Calheta Holidays (2021) - Balkan Escape

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Calheta Holidays

Located around 35 minutes drive from the capital Funchal, the quiet town of Calheta is famous for its sandy beach, one of only two on the island, making it a great place relax.  

Offering a tranquil location on the southern Maderian coast with a dramatic backdrop of rugged hills rising high above, Calheta makes for the perfect destination for visitors looking to escape the everyday hustle and bustle. Its imported blue flag sandy beach, modern art museum and nearby hiking opportunities provides plenty of scope during the day. By evening, several waterside restaurants at the marina offers hearty local cuisine.

 

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Getting to Calheta - Fly from London and all main regional airports from the UK to Madeira Airport (FNC). Flight time is typically 3hrs 50 mins to 4hrs 10 mins. To get to Calheta, transfer by car is approximately 50 minutes. 

 

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When to go - One of Madeira's biggest draws is its weather with day time highs rarely getting below 20 degrees. This makes it a great year round destination especially those looking to experience the island's beautiful outdoors. 

 

getting around

Getting around - Buses from Calheta are fairly infrequent, therefore if you plan to see more of the island, we recommend hiring a car.

 

getting around

Weather - Funchal offers a warm subtropical climate throughout the year. Summers are typically hot and dry with temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees. Spring and autumn are relatively dry with temperatures rarely getting betlow 20 degrees whilst winter is wetter but still warm with day time highs of 20 degrees.

 

Calheta Madeira Beach

Sandy Beach: Calheta's primary draw is its sandy beach, one of only two on the island. Imported from Morocco it's a great spot for some R&R. It proudly flies its blue flag, making it a safe place for all ages. Changing rooms, toilets and numerous bars offer great services to spend your day soaking up the rays.

Madeira Whale Dolphin Watching

Whale and Dolphin Watching: Madeira is a great place to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. There are a number of different types of whales that can be seen throughout the year and there's always at least 2 species in the area. Whales are more commonly seen in May to June and September to November but that doesn't mean you won't see certain species outside these months. There's also 20 different types of dolphins and are a lot more common and in much greater numbers.

Calheta Museum of Contempory Arts (Mudas)

Culture Vultures: If you're yearning for a spot of the arts, Calheta's Museum of Contempory Arts will be number one of things to do. Located high up on a cliff (with exceptional views of the glistening sea and Calheta beach, it was built in 2015 and showcases Portuguese pieces from the 60's to today. The Sugar Cane Mill and Museum, is also very much worth a visit. Offering a glimpse into how the ingredient that put Madeira on the map, was and is today, processed. 

Madeira Levadas

Levada Walk: Another of Madeira's iconic features is the 2,500km of levadas. Levada is loosely interpreted as "carriageway" which were built in the 16th century to carry water from the rainy northern coast of the island to the sunny south. They are essentially mini canals on a slight slope to enable water to trickle down its destination. Two of the island's most visited Levadas are both in close proximity to Calheta; Levada das 25 Fontes and Levada do Risco, both offering dramatic views.

Monte Palace Tropical Gardens

Monte and the Cable Car: Monte is one of the Madeira's most popular and symbolic places. Located above Funchal, start your journey with a 15 minute cable car ride, rising 560m over green slopes with stunning vistas over the city. On arrival you'll find the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, home to over 100,000 plants from across the world. It's located at the Quinta Monte Palace, a beautful mansion with fairytale like grounds.

Cabo Girao Madeira

Cabo Girao: Located 30 minutes drive from Calheta, is an attraction only for those with a head for heights. Built in 2012, a “skywalk” was installed over a 580m. The glass floor tiled platform overhangs the edge of the cliff offering a clear, yet dizzying view of the ocean below. What's great is that it's also free! You'll also be treated to incredible panoramic views of nearby Funchal.

Pico do Airiero Madeira

Pico do Airiero: The third highest peak on the island at 1,818m and the most popular sunrise spot, its views are unsuprisingly awe-inspiiring especially when looking out above a sea of clouds. For more experienced hikers, one of the most spectacular trails from Pico do Arieiro is the 7km (4 hour) walk to the second highest peak at 1,862m Pico Ruivo, making your way through cliffs, tunnels and steep slopes.

Santana Madeira

Explore more of the Island: Madeira may only be a small island but there's so much to see. A great way to see more of Madeira is to take a tour which includes the highlights of a certain part of the island. Western Madeira includes beautiful fishing villages, high sea cliffs (580m!), lush green valleys and moutains. Whilst the east allows you to experience culture, history and traditions.

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