From Egg Tarts to Suckling Pig: Hiking in Macau

a green railing on a mountain

Macau is a pretty awesome place — European architecture in a city in China, incredible Portuguese food, and, if you’re into gambling or people watching, casinos and hotels that put Vegas in the shade. What you might not hear about is the beautiful trails and views on the southern part of the island.

a city next to a body of water
View of Hac Sa Beach from Coloane Trail

The trails have some strenuous climbs, but your biggest challenge might be finding information about the routes and the best way to get there. I found a couple of blog posts about the Colonae Trail and the Macau government has a site, but their map isn’t mobile friendly and most of the trails don’t show up Google Maps or Apple Maps. I did have success with Galileo Offline Maps.a map of a trail

There are many trails, the two I enjoyed were

  • Trilho de Coloane aka the Colonae Trail is the longest at 5 miles and is good for all levels of fitness. It circles the top of the hill in the center of the island offering great views of everything from the Cotai strip to the beaches and ocean.
  • Caminho Antigo de Seac Min Pun de Coloane is a short steep trail which runs between Coloane Village and Hac Sa beach and intersects with one of the more scenic portions of the Caminho de Coloane.

Its recommended to start your hike at the Arborteum or the A-Ma Cultural Village — you can catch a bus to the base of the hill and then take the free shuttle bus to the top. You can take a taxi but might have to pay more to go to the top. But since those trails are near some of the best restaurants Macau has to offer, consider starting in Hac Sa Beach or Coloane Village and use your hike as a great way to work up an appetite between meals. 🙂a pastry with a custard inside

I started in Coloane. In the interest of time I took a taxi and had it drop me off in front of the original Lord Stow’s Bakery for my first taste of the famed egg tarts. If you want a meal instead of a snack, consider their sit-down options — Lord Stow’s Cafe and Lord Stow’s Garden Cafe. Or take it up a notch and eat at the Michelin starred Espaco Lisboa next door which has great Portuguese food.a group of people walking in a courtyard

After wandering around scenic Coloane Village for a bit, I began looking for the start of the Caminho Antigo de Seac Min Pun de Coloane. You’ll walk down the side of Estr. de Cheoc Van, past the prison and past the sign for clean toilets. Your next left will take you down a road to the start of the trail.a sign on a pole

a sign on a pole next to a fence

a sign with a group of signs

a dirt path with trees and a fence

The trail starts off sunny with a slight incline before getting into heavily shaded steps. Many many steps. But about 10-15 minutes in you’ll find yourself at the top with the choice of going on to Hac Sa or detouring to the Coloane Trail. Along the way there are taps for the fresh spring water, but if you’re not used to the local microbes, you’ll want to pack your own water.a dirt path with trees and bushes

a stone stairs in the woods

I chose the detour along the southern part of the Coloane Trail which offers amazing views of the ocean and beaches and only added about 15-20 minutes.a green railing on a rocky path with trees and mountains in the background

a city next to a body of water

a gazebo overlooking a city

a rock on a road with trees in the background

From there you can decide whether to keep going on the trail and see the A-Ma Cultural Village and statue or take the Caminho Antigo downhill to Hac Sa. With limited time, I decided to head down to Hac Sa Beach for a quick lunch at Fernando’s which was another 10-15 minute hike down the trail (at least half of it stairs) and another 5 minutes from the trail entrance to the beach.a stone path in the woods

a stone stairs leading to a road

a plate of food with a spoon
Lunch at Fernandos

Catching a taxi outside Fernando’s can be tricky, but the buses are cheap and run regularly to Cotai, Taipa, and Macau. My driver was quite nice to the clueless tourist, but heads up you’ll need correct change. Or you can walk across the beach to the hotel and get a taxi there.

I loved the views and the break from historical and casino sight-seeing. If you have good weather, well worth incorporating it into your trip.

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