Starting at Casa de Abrigo do Pico Ruivo, it's an almost continuous descent to the parish of Ilha, which belongs to the municipality of Santana.
Along this trail of moderate difficulty, which is 8.2 km long and takes an estimated 3 hours, you will have the opportunity to cross two types of ecosystems that are part of the Natura 2000 Network: the Central Mountain Massif and the Laurisilva forest.
It is a 1376 m level difference, which should be completed calmly and making the most of the unique scenery provided by Vereda da Ilha.
The former, characterised by herbaceous and shrubby vegetation well adapted to wide temperature ranges, rainfall and intense winds, can be seen along the Vereda da Ilha trail, from the highest peaks to an altitude of 1200 metres.
In turn, the Laurissilva is located in the fog area, between 400 and 1200 metres of altitude (note that the water from the fog condenses on the plants' leaves, thus filling the springs and streams).
It is common to see birds like the Madeira firecrest (Regulus ignicapus madeirensis) or the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) here.
Distance: 8.2 km
Duration: 3 hours
Start/End: Casa de Abrigo do Pico Ruivo / Ilha
Max. Altitude / Min. Altitude: 1764 m / 490 m