South west Madeira

There’s an appealing disjointedness to South west Madeira.

Travelling east-to-west along the coast, you’ll find each town sitting in its own secluded natural harbour with its own little microclimate; almost its own little world. There’s something of a Cornish-feel to villages like Ponta do Sol and Madalena do Mar, and their attractive colourful buildings, pebble beaches and laid-back feel make them popular weekend destinations for the residents of Funchal.

South west Madeira’s largest town is Calheta: a Funchal in miniature, Calheta’s small-and-friendly marina is a nice alternative to the much larger marina in the capital, particularly if you enjoy sailing. Many of our favourite self-catering villas are nearby – include a hire car in your tailor-made holiday and Calheta’s a great base from which to explore the western-end of the island.

As the south coast meets the west, you’ll come the tiny seafront hamlets of Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar. Jardim has three popular pebble beaches – Portinho, Enseada at Ponta Jardim which are particularly popular with hardcore surfers. Paul do Mar is barely two cobbled-streets wide, and you could be forgiven for thinking you were lost in the narrow backstreets of an Italian city. Find the harbour and you’ll find the some of the best fish restaurants on Madeira; the type of places where you can eat like the locals, with the locals.

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