Cabo Girão


Around 3km west of Câmara de Lobos, Madeira's highest sea cliffs rise 580m to loom high over the village and the Atlantic's sapphire expanse. The panorama from the viewing platform is nothing short of spectacular. Spectacular that is, unless you look down – the platform floor is made of glass and hangs over the cliff edge – a knee-weakening, toe-curling experience! Many Rodoeste services heading west now climb up here from Funchal.

Cabo Girão means Cape of Return – in the 15th century, captain João Gonçalves Zarco is said to have turned his ship around here on his first recce of the coast. He'd probably now turn back in the face of the tired souvenir stalls that have replaced what was once a peaceful, overgrown spot.

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