“running along the coast a good two leagues without finding a place to put ashore, they came upon a large bay, where desirous to explore the land, they disembarked between some rocky cliffs, making there a landing point which the captains called Calheta.”

Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent

The municipalities of Calheta, located in the western part of the island of Madeira, were created in 1502. For a long time, the majority of the population dedicated themselves to agricultural activities, mainly the production of bananas, wine, horticultural crops and sugar cane.  Later the industrial sector began to assume more importance and became more widely known, especially what in terms of the small industries of dairy products, fireworks, salt pools and sugar. Presently these industries are extinct, except for the sugar cane mill--which produces molasses (mel de cana) and rum and still functions in the village of Calheta--and the fireworks factory at Lombo do Doutor. It is the most extensive municipalty of the island, composed of various parishes: Arco da Calheta, Calheta (municipal seat), Estreito da Calheta, Jardim do Mar, Paul do Mar, Prazeres, Fajã da Ovelha and Ponta do Pargo.

Must-see Places:
City hall Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse

Parish Church
Casa das Mudas - Centro de Artes da Calheta (Centre for Arts in Calheta)

Festivals and Events:
On 18 January, in Prazeres, we celebrate a festival dedicated to Saint Antão, who is most known for blessing the animals.   The Apple Festival, when the various uses for apples are demonstrated, is held in the month of September, a celebration of a non-religious nature that should not be missed.

Nature and Activities:
For surf lovers, Jardim do Mar is considered the best point break on the island of Madeira.  Thanks to its valuable scenery, the municipality of Calheta offers many footpaths with varying degrees of difficulty and distance.  We recommend bringing snacks and proper footwear.  We also recommend gathering all pertinent information about each route that you desire to complete before trying them.  As for the municipality of Calheta, there exists the possibility of completing the route all the way from Calheta to Ponta do Pargo, following the levada that comes out of the Hydroelectric Plant extending to Sítio do Cabo at Ponta do Pargo. The route that starts in Rabaçal, passing through Lagoa do Vento, Risco, and Vinte-e-cinco Fontes is an equally remarkable attraction in the municipality.

Related Links

Gastronomic Specialties of Madeira

Typical Food in Madeira Island

Traditional Sweets and Deserts in Madeira

Levadas Walks Madeira

Traditional Activities and Popular Culture Madeira

Monuments, Churches, Chapels, Fortresses in Madeira Island

Peaks and View Points in Madeira Island

Handicraft in Madeira Island

Religious Festivities and Arraiais in Madeira Island

Civil Defence - Emergency Service in Madeira Island

Accommodations nearby :