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Calheta - A short introduction

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On the southern west coast is Calheta a charming village set below a steep cliff and blessed with a wide variety of natural beauty. Calheta consists of eight civil parishes covering over 116 km2, making it one of the largest regions in Madeira . It was first discovered in June 1502 and governed by Zarco´s children making it one of the oldest regions in Madeira, and was originally a customs post for sugar exports.

Calheta now boasts a beautiful little marina and a man-made golden sand beach which is visited by tourists and locals alike. During the summer the beaches get really full so it is recommended that you arrive early to get a favorable spot.

Approximately 15kilometres into its interior you find Rabaçal where you may see one of Madeira's finest breathtaking waterfalls. A walk down to Rabaçal is highly recommended and should not be given a miss.

A wide variety of natural vegetation, indigenous and exotic alike are found all over the region of Calheta. Bananas, wine and sugar cane are widely produced here by the locals. Should you be interested how rum is made you may visit Calheta´s own rum distillery called the “Engenho da Calheta”. Here you are allowed to wonder around and see how white rum is made.

Calheta also has a large selection of historical churches and places to visit each unique in their own way.










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