For being so small, Madeira is mountainous, which means that for many a lot of the island is off limits, whether because of vertigo or poor health. But visitors who simply must get that bird's eye view, Pico do Arieiro is the place to go. It's the third-highest peak in Madeira and best of all, it's completely accessible by car.
The view Pico do Arieiro affords depends on the weather. On a clear day it's possible to see as far as 30 miles, and the views are tremendous. But even on a cloudy day – at least, when it's cloudy down below – visitors will be above the clouds and feel as though they're flying without wings. Add in a lunch at the nearby restaurant, and it's a fantastic day trip from Funchal that will provide lifelong memories.
From Funchal, Pico do Arieiro is about a 35-minute drive along route ER103. Please note that this is not a road for inexperienced or timid drivers, and that weather conditions must be checked beforehand. It is strongly recommended that visitors go with a guide who is versed in traveling in the changing weather conditions of the high altitudes of Madeira.