Praia da Calheta


Two well-protected artificial beaches (created with sand from western Sahara) face each other off on Calheta's seafront, one of the sunniest places on the island. A great place to swim on hot days and there are plenty of eating spots and a supermarket nearby.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madeira attractions

1. Engenhos da Calheta

0.29 MILES

Calheta's old sugar refinery building starts as a half-hearted 'museum' and ends as a shop where you can buy the bolo de mel (molasses cake), molasses,…

2. Mudas Museu

0.39 MILES

Housed in an almost Minecraft-like building high above Calheta, this contemporary arts space has a gallery, shop, cafe, auditorium and workshop area. The…

3. Madalena do Mar

2.65 MILES

Wedged into the mouth of an impossibly deep creek, tiny Madalena do Mar has a long stony beach and a quiet, undisturbed atmosphere that feels a long way…

4. Rabaçal

4.04 MILES

The waterfalls, springs and hiking trails at Rabaçal are an easy-going highlight of Madeira's outdoor world. You can spend all day cooling off in the…

5. Paúl do Mar

4.35 MILES

Perching precariously on a ledge under high cliffs, pretty Paúl do Mar is the surfing capital of the Atlantic and has even hosted a leg of the World…

6. Ponta do Sol

5.05 MILES

This village is the island's sunniest spot (hence the name) with a rocky beach and pretty, compact centre. Worth a stop on the way between Funchal and…

7. Igreja de São Bento

7.27 MILES

Originally dating from the 15th century, one of the most attractive churches on Madeira occupies a pebble square in the very centre of Ribeira Brava…

8. Museu Etnográfico da Madeira

7.27 MILES

One of Madeira's most interesting museums, the collections here look at every aspect of the island's traditional life, from espada (scabbardfish) fishing…