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From fishing town to vacation retreat: Câmara de Lobos is becoming Madeira’s new hip destination


Located only 10 minutes away from Madeira’s capital Funchal, Câmara de Lobos is emerging as an alternative place to dine and stay. The town is set around an amphitheater-like harbor surrounded by colorful houses that make this a charming and picturesque place to visit. Fishing and agriculture remain the main activities, but tourism has expanded into the nearby areas and this sector observed significant growth in Câmara de Lobos. 

New investments are being made, such as the Pestana Churchill Bay hotel that opened this summer. Located on the bay that inspired Winston Churchill’s paintings in the 1950s, this is the first hotel to open on the scenic waterfront of Câmara de Lobos. The new 5-star property offers 57 contemporary-styled rooms, restaurant and bar services and a panoramic rooftop pool with views over the sea and the colorful harbor. 


Câmara de Lobos is also a short walk from the cliffs at Cabo Girão, known for a suspended glass platform overlooking the Atlantic. There is a 7.5-mile hiking trail leading to this dramatic viewpoint, starting in the neighboring village Ribeira Brava. From the top of the slopes that embrace Câmara de Lobos it is also possible to see several vineyards and get stunning views of the villages below. Curral das Freiras and Eira do Serrado are examples of vantage points.

In the historic center there are two churches dating back to the early days of Madeira, 600 years ago, Church of São Sebastião and the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição. Today both structures exhibit mostly baroque elements that were added following 18th century renovations. And there are museums too, like the Press Museum housed in the Municipal Library. 

This town has everything Madeira is famous for: good food, good wines, challenging hikes and great views. So when booking a trip to Portugal’s volcanic paradise, consider making Câmara de Lobos your base and explore the best of Madeira from there.


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