Câmara de Lobos
Madeira West Tour, Peaks & Waterfalls Tour- the first stop is a small fishing village, “Câmara de Lobos”, which is located west of Funchal where the port is a small creek, with a beach and a harbour and with the houses heaped up around the bay. It was named by João Gonçalves Zarco due to thousands of monk seals living in the bay. In 1949 Winston Churchill chose this place to paint its picturesque surroundings. Poncha is a locale drink made of honey, lemon and sugarcane rum, available in the local taverns.
After visiting Camara de Lobos, we drive further up to the worlds second highest sea cliff and Europe’s highest (580m) – (1775 ft). Here you can enjoy the beautiful views of Camara de Lobos and Funchal. Due to sea erosion, caves and terraces were formed along the coastline. The locals made little plots, for crops, forming an incredible watercolors landscape
Ribeira Brava is the next stop on this journey. The town reflects the personality of the stream, from where it gets its name. Ribeira (river) Brava (wild). The mother church is its main point of interest. Build in the 16th Century it has undergone several alterations throughout time. It has a Flemish work of art and a valuable Manuel style baptism fountain. But its chandeliers are its main attraction. On the sea promenade the fort of São Bento is this town’s landmark .Here you can enjoy a cup of coffee.
We climb 1.007mts (3.303 ft), passing through a village of Serra de Agua to reach Encumeada pass. It is actually the islands most beautiful mountain pass. From the view point at the top, in good weather it is possible to view the North and South Coasts simultaneously.
Paúl da Serra
We climb to the plateau of Madeira. Paul da Serra which translated roughly is “mountain plain” .It is Madeira’s biggest and highest plateau. Located at 1400mts (4593 ft). It is Madeira’s Scot’s moors. It has wide open landscapes, where you can enjoy the panoramic views over the Valleys. Once on the plateau you will be able to do a 30 minutes levada walk (weather permitting).
To reach Porto Moniz, we pass landscapes intercepted by lyricism and suspense. Porto Moniz is Madeira’s most north-western valley. From Above, this dramatic village at the foot of the mountain is quite flat. The terraced slopes, lined with dry stone walls and fences, made of heather broom, shelter the crops from the northerly winds. Driving through a zigzag road we reach Porto Moniz. The main attractions are its beautiful natural pools. Porto Moniz is an important fishing village on the north coast. On the promenade which stretches from the naturals pools to the pier; you will find pleasant restaurants were you can try the local sea food or other delicious local dishes. After lunch why not look at the aquarium. The aquarium is housed by the fort of Sao Joao Batista.
Leaving, Porto Moniz we head for São Vicente, We travel the famous north coast route. We drive through Seixal, a picturesque village, where vegetables and vineyards are surrounded by heather broom. Its spectacular coastline is towered by mountains. There, we will stop to see one of Madeira’s famous waterfalls, called Brides Veil. The waterfall starts on top of the mountain falling directly into the sea. The white foam of the water reminds us of a brides Veil, thus the name. Continuing our journey to São Vicente, we are able to absorb the scenery, and the energetic Ocean
Located on the North Coast between two rows of basaltic lava, Sao Vicente is a charming little town with narrow picturesque streets, old houses, immaculately white. The mother church, dates to the 17th century. At the edge of the main road lies a park with coastal plants, endemic to Madeira. The volcanic caves can be found here. But, that is a tour on its own.