Pico do Facho

Pico do Facho (literally ‘Peak of the Torch’) is, at 516 metres, Porto Santo’s highest point. In wicked days gone by, when marauding pirates pillaged the archipelago, this high vantage point provided a lookout. When a Jolly Roger was spotted, a huge bonfire was lit which could be seen from Ponta de São Lourenço, the easternmost part of Madeira. Successive fires were then set ablaze on peaks all the way to Funchal, giving the capital a good few hours’ warning of a raid. There’s no road to the top of Pico do Facho, though there is a fairly tough walking route from Pico Castelo that takes in the Pico do Facho and a couple of surrounding peaks in 1.5-2 hours. As with other walks on Porto Santo, do remember to take water and a picnic, as there are no refreshment facilities en route.

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