Things to Do in Monte De Lobos, Portugal

things to do in Monte de Lobos Portugal

From exotic fruit at the Mercado dos Lavradores market to strolling around Monte Municipal Park, there’s plenty to do in this picture-perfect village. Don’t miss the Museum of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, either.

Hop-on, hop-off tours are a convenient way to tick off all the major attractions on a short visit. However, if you prefer to walk at your own pace, self-guided tour routes are also available.

1. Take a walk in the old town

Walking in the old town (Zona Velha) is a great way to get a feel for this lively little spot. The streets are charming, though it can be a bit busier with cruise ship visitors when the ships are in port.

A popular lookout at cliff’s edge, this rocky peninsula offers views of jagged coastline & offshore rock formations. Suitable for walkers of all levels, paths are kept a suitable distance from the precipices – though that doesn’t stop the Insta crowd getting close for the perfect photo.

Many tour companies offer full-day tours of the west of Madeira, visiting Camara de Lobos and the Cabo Girao cliffs. To find the best one for you, compare prices and travel times with Rome2Rio’s helpful guide.

2. Visit the Churchill viewpoint

In a place that adapts itself to the soaring slopes (with a cable car and wicker toboggans for the steep bits), you can’t miss the panoramic views from the Churchill viewpoint. This is where the town’s namesake, Winston Churchill, set up his easel in 1950 to paint the vertiginous landscape that surrounds it.

The panorama from here, encompassing the soaring cliffs and terraced slopes of Cabo Girao, is a jaw-dropping sight. You’ll also spot the tiny cluster of houses in Camara de Lobos and the traditional fishing boats called “xavelhas” in the harbor.

3. Have a drink in a non-touristy bar

Camara de Lobos is a fishing village that has preserved its critical historical legacy and stunning Atlantic landscapes. It is famous for its characteristic seadogs (known as ‘xavelhas’ in Portuguese) and it was one of the many places that inspired Winston Churchill during his stays in Madeira. It’s best to visit on a weekday as it will avoid the crowds and you’ll be able to take in the sceneries without a fuss.

If you don’t want to do too much work, hop-on, hop-off bus tours are an excellent choice as they offer a variety of looped routes to explore the island at your own pace. Some of the most popular stops include the Churchill viewpoint, the Casino and Doca do Cavacas boardwalk.

4. Hike the Levadas

Levadas are open irrigation channels that are a very popular hiking trail on Madeira. They’re sometimes very muddy because of the water that flows through them.

Start this hike from the end of the large parking lot at Miradouro Veu da Noiva. You don’t want to follow the main driveway because you won’t find the trail there.

Walk along a lush jungle trail with beautiful waterfalls on this 8 kilometre hike. This hike also involves some tunnels so bring a flashlight. You will get incredible views of cliffs and mountains as well.

5. Take a wicker sledge ride down Monte hill

It’s not the typical sightseeing attraction you would expect to find on an island in the Atlantic, but hurtling down 2 kilometres of roads at breakneck speed in a wicker basket is pretty cool. Known as Carreiros de Monte, the sledges leave from directly below the church (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte) in Monte – a picturesque hillside town above Funchal.

The price of the ride is a bit steep at 30 euro per person, but it’s an amazing experience that’s well worth the money. The toboggans run all the way down to Livramento, a few miles below Monte.

6. Visit the Teleferico do Funchal

The town of Camara de Lobos is a must-visit for any Madeira traveler. Wander its narrow cobbled streets and take in the unique perspectives offered by the village’s steep cliffs, beaches and homes.

One of the best ways to see the area is on a hop-on hop-off bus tour. With looped routes and stops at Funchal’s city-central hotspots, these tours are a low-cost solution for ticking off the main sights in Madeira.

Ireland and Norway may dispute Madeira’s claim to have Europe’s highest sea cliff skywalk, but it’s still a thrilling sight. Cabo Girao’s glass-floored viewing platform plunges 1,900 feet to the Atlantic rollers below.

7. Visit the Jardim Botanico

This verdant sanctuary awes with its more than 6,000 indigenous and exotic flora. Originally founded in 1808 to acclimatize spices, this serene garden opened to the public in 1822. It has since attracted countless visitors, including Albert Einstein.

Vineyards deck these slopes and you can visit a working winery to learn how to make Madeira’s signature drink, the poncha. Camara’s Atlantic views are spectacular too, from the cliffs that crown its coast to the deep chasms of its mountain peaks.

At the summit you can walk around Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, a former hotel that began life as a private estate. Or swim in the natural volcanic lava pools at Doca de Cavacas.

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