Hiking in Fajã dos Padres (Câmara de Lobos – Madeira)
Fajã dos Padres, about 10 km from Funchal, is one of the best kept secrets of Madeira. We cannot dissociate from this its isolation, because we can reach this small paradise, where birds and the sea sing in unison, only by boat or cable car.
We parked our car by the cable car, about 300m above sea level, and we were immediately overwhelmed by landscapes of dramatic cliffs. Far below, we glimpse the sparse houses (see photo above), scattered within a few dozen meters of a fertile plain formed by the lava of yore and materials that come loose from the cliffs.
One of the best kept secrets of Madeira Island. A little paradise where birds and the sea sing in unison.
After buying the tickets, we entered the cable car which, although we knew it was safe, imposed some respect and discomfort when we looked at about 580m to an abrupt descent into the abyss. Despite the strong wind felt, we overcome the unevenness quietly, in a descent of about 4 minutes, absorbing the landscape at our feet, until we stop gently at the base of the fajã.
We began our discovery of Fajã dos Padres. Its history brings us to the beginning of the colonization of the island when it was the summer home of Jesuit priests, land for the Madeira wine production, a place of privateer stories and also the nearby villages granary.
Its name comes from having belonged to the Society of Jesus priests for over 150 years and about 50 people lived there.
We walked along the narrow stone path, flanked by small gardens of genuine aromas and flavors. Fajã has a certificate of organic farming and everything that is cultivated in these fertile land, without fertilizers, is made in the only restaurant. They are fruits (pitangas, bananas, papayas, etc.), vegetables, herbs and edible flowers whose freshness “explodes” on the palate every bite, but we’ll get there. In addition, this place has excellent weather conditions for the production of Malvasia wine.
In Fajã dos Padres we can spend the night in small “villas”, in the company of birds and cradled by the sea. Prepared with every amenity, some houses welcome tourists all year round, seeking tranquility and rest in this secluded corner.
We arrived at the black pebble beach and next to it, we found the restaurant, which will probably has one of the most magnificent seafront on the island. In the shade of the palm trees and with the horizon ahead we could enjoy a tasty meal to regain strength. In addition to the well-prepared local products, we added the fresh fish caught on the coast, which gave us one of the highlights of this visit to Madeira island.
After the meal, we continued the walk through this great treasure, following the paths that flank the small plots of land.
Fajã dos Padres is, as those who know it say, “an island within the island itself.” This sense of peace is hardly comparable with anywhere else in Madeira. And the island has many paradisiacal places to take as a comparison, but with the growing influx of tourists, it’s hard to find this quietness and seclusion elsewhere, even on the most inhospitable “levadas”. It was undoubtedly one of the pearls of our trip to Madeira.
Points of Interest:
Fajã dos Padres Viewpoint, Cable Car Trip, Fajã dos Padres, Restaurant, Beach.
- In summer the cable car opens daily between 10:00 and 19:00 and in winter between 10:00 and 18:00. The ticket was 10 € and free access for children up to 11 years old and guests of Fajã dos Padres houses.
- Have lunch at the local restaurant. It features a menu full of genuine flavors, including freshly caught fish on the coast, locally grown and organic vegetables and fruits.
455melevation gain uphill
436melevation gain downhill
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