Estreito de Câmara de Lobos
João Gonçalves Zarco, the first benefactor and captain of Madeira, christened the area with its current name in 1419, upon arriving and seeing a host of seals (lobos marinhos = seals).
This is one of the oldests boroughs in Madeira. It was created at the beginning of the second quarter of the fifteenth century. It served as an important fishing outpost for the archipellago, and was granted the status of municipal borough in 1835. Later, in 1996, it received city status.
On his first visit to Madeira in 1950, Winston Churchill was one of the most famous and illustrious visitors to the island, and became enchanted by the picturesque bay of Câmara de Lobos, which he even painted on one of his canvasses.
The municipal borough of Câmara de Lobos comprises the following component boroughs:: Câmara de Lobos, the Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, Curral das Freiras, Quinta Grande and Jardim da Serra.
The Estreito de Câmara de Lobos is a privileged agricultural area, which is known primarily for the production of the famous Madeira Wine. This borough, which is part of the municipal borough of Câmara de Lobos, host a number of festivals, such as the lively Vindimas, part of the Madeira Wine Festival, in September:
- The Cherry Festival in the Jardim da Serra...
- The Swordfish Festival in Câmara de Lobos...
- The Festivals of the People’s Saints in June...
- The Chestnut Festival...
During the Christmas period, the whole island, and in particular the Borough of Câmara de Lobos, celebrates this event with various festivals, such as mass, music and fireworks.
In the restaurants of the Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, you can enjoy the famous regional kebab, with succulent beef prepared only with salt, garlic and laurel, accompanied by fried corn and salad.
In Câmara de Lobos a dish not to miss is the local grilled swordfish, either filleted or in other styles. For a starter, try the tasty “limpets”.
Swordfish is a local speciality from the deep waters of Madeira.
Don’t forget to try the famous Madeira Wine, either Sercial or Verdelho as an appetiser, and a Boal or Malvasia as an after-dinner drink.
Places to Visit
Thanks to Vila Afonso’s privileged location, our hosts have easy access to several places of interest, among which the following should not be missed:
Pico da Torre Look-out Point
Leaving Câmara de Lobos heading towards the Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, following a road round to the right, you will see Pico da Torre, which gives a great view of the bay and city of Câmara de Lobos, as well as the boroughs of São Martinho, the Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, Quinta Grande and Cabo Girão.
Cabo Girão Look-out Point
Halfway between the boroughs of the Estreito de Câmara de Lobos and Quinta Grande, is a headland which extends to 580 metres in altitude, the highest cape in Europe and the second highest in the world. From here, a vast and surprising panorama is visible, from the Estreito de Câmara de Lobos to Funchal, with a spectacular arial view of the sea and the beach.
Boca dos Namorados
Boca da Corrida
Cable Car to Cabo Girão Beach
Fajã dos Padres
By the sea, at the bottom of a smooth, naked rockface, of around 300m in height, there is a small area of cultivated land (known as a fajã), just to the west of Cabo Girão. Fajã dos Padres is currently a great source of cultural attraction for tourists, allowing visitors to take part in nautical fishing or leisure activities. Access can be achieved by boat or by road. If visitors choose the latter, they must use a panoramic elevator which is an unforgettable experience.
Eira do Serrado Look-out Point
On the way to Curral das Freiras, there is a turn-off to the right, which leads towards the look-out point. This provides a spectacular view of the borough of Curral das Freiras and the surrounding mountains, displaying landscape of indescribable beauty.
Curral das Freiras
This borough is situated in a deep valley, which appears to be the crater of a volcano, but which is actually due to erosion. It is one of the most picturesque areas of the island. It received its name in 1560, when it served as a place of refuge for the nuns (freiras) of the Santa Clara Convent in Funchal, when fleeing from the French lutheran pirates. It was useful to them as one of the few places in Madeira that cannot be seen from the sea, and with very difficult access.