- Arquipélago da Madeira, Portugal
- N 32° 50.110 W 016° 54.419
Off the southwest coast of Portugal and northwest coast of Africa lies the beautiful archipelago of Madeira. It is the outermost region of the European Union and an autonomous region of Portugal. Known for its idyllic climate, flowing wine, romantic beaches, and sheer cliffs, Madeira is also home to close to 1,200 active geocaches.
You must be thinking, “Geocaching in gloriously warm climate with stunning landscapes and flowing wine—where’s the grit and the character-building adventure of that?!” Luckily, this traditional cache provides a mildly challenging hike with a big pay off in a phenomenal location. Perfect!
You’ll start your journey at the São Jorge (St. George) lighthouse, a sweet little spot to prepare for your trek and take in the ocean views. The lighthouse was, “…designed in 1948 and started to function in 1959. Its structure is a cylindrical tower 14-meters high, and the focus is at an altitude of 271 meters. Its light has a range of 16 miles, and its operation is automated in 1986 after being electrified in 1962.”
The next step is to find the path to the geocache. Once you are on the path, you will see why this geocache earned its 3.5 terrain rating. There are many paths—will you take the correct one? Will your path be full of mud with no alternate route? Will you slip and fall in the mud? Will this actually be worth it? Stay strong, intrepid geocachers, because yes, the payoff will be worth it.
At the end of the path on the very edge of a cliff, you will find a very large rock. Many years ago it broke free from the hills above, rolled down the rugged terrain, then suddenly stopped right on this precipice. This was so amazing and odd that the locals built a small shrine in honor of the “Lady of the Stone” and placed it underneath the boulder. This “monument’ is full of religious statues, candles, flowers, stones, and other knickknacks. It is also a wonderful place for quiet reflection and to sign a logbook.
If this amazing rock and little shrine weren’t enough, check out that view! On the left you can see Porto Moniz very far away, while on the right you can look down and see the old pier of São Jorge. Can it get any better than this?
This is my second time visiting Madeira but the first time with Geocaching. Without geocaching I wouldn’t have seen this “balancing” rock with the small shrine and the great views. Thanks for showing!
On our way, we could not miss this cache, that we already bookmarked in France when preparing our trip. Its D/T ratio is the only one missing in on matrix. We first discovered the lighthouse, then went down to GZ. 148 steps later, we were at the right place. A special place, as many ones that we can discover since we are practising geocaching. We found the box with the help of the spoiler. While we were signing the logbook, a rainbow appeared above the Ocean. To celebrate our fully filled matrix? Thank you for this great cache!
First we had problems to find the right access and had almost given up. Fortunately we found the right way otherwise we have missed a great adventure and a total crazy place! The path down was a real adventure but at the end worth every step How curious to place a shrine under this huge stone! We enjoyed the mystic and peaceful place, stayed some time staring at the sea This place is worth a favorite point
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