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