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.
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.