The old fishing village of Câmara de Lobos is located a couple of kilometres west of Funchal. Here you can take a look at all the colourful boats in the harbour, the old houses and alleys and perhaps go for a walk to the park up on the big rock in the middle of the harbour, with a lovely view across the village and the surrounding mountains.
The oldest houses originates from the beginning of 13th century. At that time the village were home for the monk seals living on the beach that were to become the harbour later on. It´s said that the seals are the source to the name of the village. It´s also said that this was the place where fishing of Espada, the deep sea fish, started long time ago.
Go for a walk in the village, harbour and out on the pier and also along the seafront you will come to the stairs leading up to the park, Jardim do Ilhéu, on top of the big rock where you have a magnificent view over the village, mountains and the sea.
Up on the distant cliff, the Restaurante Teleferico, located at the top of the cable car Teleférico do Rancho. There is a nice diner here and to sit on the edge of the cliff looking out is exciting. They serve a very good pasta.
The cable car also looked exciting but that we saved for some other time.
Câmara de Lobos is well known as the favourite place of Winston Churchill, he said that this must be the most beautiful place on earth. He spent a lot of time here painting pictures, staying in a house on a hill overlooking the harbour. These days the house is a restaurant and it says Churchill´s Place on a sign outside the house.
If you come to Câmara de Lobos by car it´s also a good idea to take a trip up to Cabo Girao, a big steep cliff with a viewpoint built like a balcony with a glass floor, hanging out from the cliff 580 metres over the beach. This is the second highest ocean cliff in the world. The view is really something. Unfortunately we had cloudy weather at our visit. It was a bit tricky to find the right way to Gabo Girao, on the small roads, so a tip is to go on the highway and follow the signs.
Not far away from Gabo Girao, in Fajã dos Padres, there is a kind of cable car or actually a sort of a lift built on the mountain side. We have not tried it yet but it looks and sounds exciting according to their web site - http://fajadospadres.com/fajav3/index.php/en/