Madeira Island West Tour
Madeiras West Tour Map

The Madeira Island West Tour starts off from the reception area of your hotel at about 9h00. The first stop will be at the fishing village of
Câmara de Lobos
. This typical fishing village, which is about 5 km outside of Funchal, was first discovered and named by the first Portuguese explorer João Gonçalves Zarco. Câmara de Lobos was initially the home of thousands of docile Mediterranean Monk Seals. The natural harbour and chamber (hence the name "Câmara de Lobos", chamber of seals - or chamber of wolves if translated literally) that for so long provided shelter to the seal was then taken over by the recent arrivals. This picturesque village with its beautiful bay attracted the likes of Winston Churchill that spent his time painting the beautiful surroundings. Câmara de Lobos is also famous for its ‘poncha’, a mixture of lemon or orange juice, honey and sugarcane spirit, available at the many of its local taverns.
Camara de Lobos
Câmara de Lobos
Or next stop is a drive of about 5 minutes further where we visit the majestic sea cliffs of Cabo Girão. This absolutely amazing sea cliff which is the highest in Europe and second highest in the world (589m), will present you with breathtaking panoramic views. Bizarrely, it has a small area of cultivated land at its foot.These terraced fields lying beneath the cliff used to be only accessible by boat. In August 2003, a cable car was installed on the slope of the cliff so farmers could reach these low-lying fields. For those adrenalin junkies, this is a popular spot for paragliding and base jumping.
Cabo Girão is a popular lookout point as well as a starting point for hikers. The length of the cliff reaches from approximately 1 km south of Campanário to the west of the urban sprawl of Câmara de Lobos.
Cabo Girão
Cabo Girão

Next we will make our way to Ribeira Brava and head north, up through the deep and narrow valleys of Serra de Agua and Encumeada which are enclosed by very high, steep mountains, until we come out to the village of São Vincent. São Vicente is one of the most predominant villages of the northen coast of Madeira island. The main church of São Vicente's council, right in the center of the village with the same name, is dedicated to Saint Vincent and was built in the 17th century. The volcanic caves which is a popular touristic attraction can be found here.


São Vincent
After a 5 minute stop at São Vincent we make our way towards Porto Moniz where we will pass the most dramatic scenery there is to find on the island along the Seixal Road. This north coast with the narrow twisting road is simply spectacular with the most fascinating scenery coming both from its hanging cliffs and from the energetic ocean crashing against the rocks below. This is one of the many sceneries Madeira offers which is an absolute must!
North Coast Seixal
Seixal Road
We then arrive to the village of Porto Moniz, which is famous for its series of natural volcanic pools created by reefs in the coastal lava rocks. These clear shallow pools surrounded by volcanic rocks are great for swimming, and attract both locals and tourists alike. Situated in a remote part of the island, Porto Moniz sits high on a hill, amidst some rugged coastal scenery, with a harbour considered to be one of the safest on the north coast. An important wine-growing region, Porto Moniz is also a major fishing centre on Madeira, its' excellent fish and seafood restaurants makes this the perfect place for lunch.Walking along the coast - Porto Moniz has nice and recently renovated promenade between harbour and the natural pools with crystalclear water in the lava rocks. The rocky coast is spectacular and the small rocky islands are very picturesque.
Porto Moniz
Volcanic Pools of Porto Moniz
After lunch we make our way up to the longest as well as the highest plateau of Madeira, Paúl da Serra, where we will stop several times to have a look at the stunning scenes on either side of the valley. Up here the weather changes drastically from one minute to the next. Hot and sunny the one minute, to cold and misty the next. Some say that it resembles the bleak moors of Scotland. If the weather is good we will stop to do a short, easy levada walk.
Paúl da Serra
Paúl da Serra
We then make our way down through a lovely green drive, to visit one of Madeira oldest parishes Arco de Calheta. This attractive location, surrounded by rocks that caress the ocean, Calheta – which actually means ‘small beach’ in Portuguese, now bosts as having the only white sand beach on the island. Ofcourse its a man made beach, the sand was shipped in from Morroco, but that does not stop the thousand of visitors that flock to the beach during the summer months. ( Please note that this stop might not be made, depending on time and weather conditions. )
Arco de Calheta
Arco de Calheta
After a small stop at Calheta we take the coastal road all the way to the most picturesque village of them all,
Ponta do Sol. Surrounded by the scenic mountains and the sparkling seas, Ponta do Sol enjoys an enviable position on the fertile south coast of Madeira. Ponta do Sol is situated on both sides of the river of the same name, and this peaceful village, full of charm and tradition, is home to some of the most beautiful old family homes and buildings.
Ponta do Sol
Ponta do Sol
After a short stop in Ponta do Sol we drive for about 5 minutes further onto our last stop, Ribeira Brava. It was one of the first parishes of the island and was inhabited early in the island’s history. Its name came from the wild (Brava) river (Ribeira) that used to flow in this area and, when the rain falls heavily, occasionally it still does. Now a lot easier to access since the construction of the two-lane motorway from Funchal. The town has made enormous progress with a new promenade and beach being build in the last few years. It has really geared itself up to tourism boasting many street cafés and shops and is certainly the place to spend a while taking in the sights and sounds.

Ribeira Brava
Ribeira Brava
After a fantastic day out we return back to the hotel.
All in all the trip lasts about 8hrs and you should be back before 17h00.
The excursion is offered with an English, German, French or Spanish guide.

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