Holidays to Calheta put you on the edge of one of the only sandy beaches in Madeira. It’s a great area for hiking, too.
Peaceful, pint-sized Calheta is tucked into the base of southern Madeira’s rugged green hills. It’s one of the few places on the island that lays claim to its own proper beach, after a haul of sand was shipped in from Morocco. These days, it flies its Blue Flag with pride. Sheltered by two sea walls, the water’s calm and current-free. And the marina next door is the launching point for whale-watching boat trips.
Art and culture
Away from the waterfront, you’ve got a sugar cane factory where you can see how Madeiran rum is made. In the old town, there are some pretty gardens to explore, while the Casa das Mudas Arts Centre provides a dash of culture. The main draw for a lot of visitors, though, is the hiking. Just head up into the hills and there’s a whole selection of trails that cover waterfalls, valleys and the colourful plant life that Madeira is known for.
Day trips to Funchal
The great thing about staying in Calheta is that you get all the peace and quiet of a resort that’s not quite yet on the tourist radar, while still having the island’s capital within easy day-tripping distance. Just 30 minutes’ drive lands you in picturesque Funchal. As well as a trendy marina and a restaurant-lined esplanade, this place offers up a historic cathedral and a cable car rides to the top of the mountain.
Things To Do View all »