Calheta Municipality in Madeira Island

Calheta

Calheta

Calheta Municipality in Madeira Island

Calheta has an area of 115.65 km² and 11,521 inhabitants, subdivided in 8 parishes and located on the southwest coast of the island.

Calheta is Madeira’s largest municipality in extension. It was the area chosen by João Gonçalves Zarco, the Madeira discoverer, as the location for a large donation of land to his son João Gonçalves da Câmara and Beatriz Gonçalves.

 

Calheta became a village 72 years after its founding on 1 July 1502, through a charter signed by King Manuel I. Houses of nobles and knights, perpetuate the regions names in local places: Lombo do Doutor and Lombo do Atouguia.

This is also one of the most interesting places to visit in Madeira as it has a great beach, an art Museum and even a working sugar cane processing factory!

The Centro das Artes: Casa das Mudas sits in an amazing location on a cliff overlooking the sea with an excellent view, it’s a modern style building with mostly modern art exhibits with paintings and sculptures.

A few Levada walks can also be found in this municipality, such as the one starting in Prazeres going all the way to the western tip of the island, Ponta do Pargo. Although long, it’s a relatively easy walk taking about 4 hours to complete the 12km route.

It’s also in this municipality that the majority of the paragliding activities the island has to offer take flight. Featuring a ~20 min flight you get an impressive view from the air of one of the most beautiful sides of the island.

The Jardim do Mar and Paúl do Mar areas are also excellent for surfing as they feature good access points to reach the sea.

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