Getaway in Estreito da Calheta: what to see and do in a 3-day itinerary
Estreito da Calheta, is about 40 km from Funchal. A short 45 minute drive allows us to reach this corner of the island. I have to confess that I had been dreaming about this getaway for some time now … An old flirt by the Hotel Átrio, was the perfect motivation to visit and I felt in love with this place.
Day 1 | Estreito da Calheta | (Friday)
Hotel Atrio - book online
In addition to the tranquility of its location, there is great taste in decoration with special attention to details and the hospitality. The central courtyard is a meeting area and a highlight of the hotel. It is well lit by the sun, punctuated with small fruit trees and surrounded by walls of warm and enveloping colors that seem to say “welcome”. This patio gives access to the restaurant, and to a corridor that leads to the garden and the swimming pool. There are flowers everywhere, and paths lined with nature, where silence is king.
We stayed in bungalow nº 11, which has a very nice bed, click here to see the video.
We ended up spending the afternoon relaxing on the sun loungers by the pool… and we also became friends with a cat named Serrano.
At dinner, we went to a restaurant that we discovered by the road and it was a success! It is called Fontes do Horácio.
Day 2 | Estreito da Calheta | Jardim do Mar | Paúl do Mar (Saturday)
After having breakfast by the pool, we asked for directions to go through the levadas around this location. Going up the asphalt road next to the hotel, we arrive at a white house from the Forest Guard, and if we go to the left side we will reach Prazeres and Ponta do Pargo, but if walk towards the right side we will reach Estrela da Calheta and there we have two options: 1) Get off at the indicator sign (Lombo / Estrela) towards the road to Estrela da Calheta or 2) keep walking straight towards Rabaçal.
We opted for option 2 (about 2h-3h walk to Estrela da Calheta) and then we took a taxi back to the hotel, where we had lunch and spent the afternoon in the sweet laziness of doing absolutely nothing.
We also learned a cute curious fact, that Funchal locals are called here “Lanchas”, yes that is the name given to Funchalenses in this part of the island. Apparently, it had to do with the speedboat (translated to Portuguese as lanchas) connection between Funchal and Calheta, in the old days.
At night, we went to Jardim do Mar, to walk through its picturesque nooks and corners. There are two restaurants that I really like in this area, Joe’s Bar and Portinho, but for a change we ended up at Paúl do Mar, where we had a snack in one of the bars next to the pier.
Another place, where one can eat good fish in Paul do Mar, is Maktub, also known for its famous for its mojitos and beautiful sunsets.
On the way back to the Hotel, we discovered a charming Wine Bar, called D’ALMA. Chocolate & a glass of Madeira Wine…gave me happy dreams.
Day 3 | Estreito da Calheta | Prazeres (Sunday)
We took option 2 of the Levada, towards Prazeres – about 1h / 1h30m depending on the pace and breaks for photos. In Prazeres, we went to XS Café, a place with a lot of style, famous for the apple pie and the chocolate brownie, which I can confirm is very tasty.
Then we visited the Prazeres Art Gallery, which had some interesting works from madeiran artists on display. We ended the visit with a glass of cider from Prazeres at the Gallery’s cafe, accompanied by a slice of homemade orange cake.
On the way back to the hotel, we took a different path along the main road, through eucalyptus and shadows that danced with the wind.
In the late afternoon, we went to PUKIKI, the only TIKI BAR in Madeira, which is a nice tip. The environment, the history of the Madeira-Hawai connection, its authenticity and cocktails are a delight. If you’ve never been there, try it one of these days.
It was a happy ending for a weekend that felt like a long break, and made us feel elsewhere, inside the island. Oh we were so in need of this …
Thank you ♥