The road of the northern coast of Madeira, of São Vicente in Oporto Moniz, was dug in the rock face; it is intersected with tunnels and crossing of waterfalls which are thrown from the top of the mountain while passing over the road, splashing while passing the roof with the cars. Built in 1950, it was called the “road of gold” because of its cost. Cut in a spectacular way in cornice with the side of a cliff which plunges abruptly in the Ocean, it represents a true exploit in the field of public works.
The road of the northern coast offers a landscape of cascades and remarkable greenery and is regarded as one of most beautiful and most impressive of the island.
Some cascades precipitate there from the top of Paúl da Serra and, at certain places close to the sea level, the spray of the waves sprinkles the road. The water which goes down from the mountain at a tremendous speed is used partly in hydro-electric stations, but is thrown, for the greatest part, in the sea.
Parallel to this road, a news, broader, was recently built. It is however more interesting to take the old road which remains open in the direction of São Vicente towards Oporto Moniz.