Curral das Freiras is well worth a visit. This small town is surrounded by huge high awe inspiring mountains and is famous as the place nuns fled from pirates in the times when Madeira was plagued by pirate attacks.
The high altitude in this area means that the highest areas are often shrouded in cloud, giving Curral das Freiras a somewhat mystical feel. There is a viewing point at the top of the mountains near Curral das Freiras where you can enjoy dramatic views of the village below.
Madeira is a superb destination for hikers. The ispland is crisscrossed with dry river beds or levadas which people walk along. It's the best way of seeing the island and its natural beauty close up. Because the temperature does not generally rise higher than 25 degrees, hiking is an all year round activity. April to September are the driest months.