A coastal haven in Madeira

For charm and character, look no further than picturesque Calheta. With pretty beaches and a marina, this village on Madeira’s southwest coast is enchanting. Home to one of the oldest parishes on the island, Calheta is a surprisingly modern resort, with its man-made golden sandy beaches a major draw.

Calheta holidays are great for water sports, and you’ll find everything from canoeing to windsurfing on offer – the clear waters are also popular with scuba divers. If you prefer to sit back and relax, book yourself onto a dolphin-spotting tour, or settle down at one of Calheta’s two pristine beaches.

By night, Calheta’s marina sparkles, and you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants to tempt you – you can also watch the catch of the day arrive as it’s brought in from the Atlantic. Whether you’re on, in or by the water, things don’t get more idyllic than holidays to Calheta.

Your Calheta questions, answered

As with the rest of Madeira, Calheta benefits from a sunny climate throughout the year, including during winter, so it’s an attractive year-round destination.

The pretty municipality of Calheta is located on the southwest coast of the Portuguese island of Madeira. It’s about 30 kilometres from the island’s capital, Funchal.

Look out for white rum ‘aguardente’ which is made in Calheta, and is a key ingredient of the punchy Madeiran cocktail, ‘poncha’, along with citrus juice and sugarcane.

Best things to do in Calheta

See some art

Visit the cliff-top Casa das Mudas, an impressive art centre where exhibitions and concerts are held throughout the year. Expect great views of the Atlantic, too.

Take in the sights

For panoramic views over Calheta and the Atlantic, head up to the Achada de Santo Antao viewpoint, which is also a popular spot for paragliders.

Catch some waves

The charming village of Jardim do Mar – ‘garden of the sea’ – is a hotspot for surfers from around the world, who visit to ride the large ocean swells.