Sit back and relax on this leisurely tour of Madeira's ruggedly picturesque southern shore with stops at several elevated lookouts and in the charming city of Camara de Lobos.
Depart from the pier and begin driving west along Madeira's volcanically formed coastline. Before long, you'll arrive in the city of Camara de Lobos, a setting so beautiful it inspired Winston Churchill to paint it while writing his memoirs there. Named by a Portuguese explorer for the monk seals (Lobos Marinhos) that once lived on the shore, Camara de Lobos has grown to become Madeira's second largest city, yet its charm remains.
While there are agricultural interests such as banana plantations and vineyards, the city thrives on fishing, particularly for black scabbard fish. The fishermen's colorful boats, known as "xavelhas," can usually be seen bobbing in the bay.
Not far away, you'll find Cabo Girao, a diamond-shaped escarpment that soars more than 1,900 feet above the sea. From this amazing vantage point, which is Europe's highest sea cliff, the views are truly spectacular. If you look straight down at the cliff's foot, you'll notice a small plot of cultivated land that farmers access by boat or cable car.
On the circuitous return drive to Funchal, you'll stop at two other outstanding lookouts. At the first, Eira do Serrado, you'll have a chance to walk to the view point or enjoy some shopping time at the local craft shop. The second, Pico dos Barcelos, offers a birds-eye view of Madeira's southern coast. After taking in the sights, you'll drive back to the pier.
Please note: Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops; however, there are cobblestone surfaces at Camara de Lobos. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate, clothing; a light sweater or jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.