PORTO DA CRUZ VILLAGE
Porto da Cruz is one of the parishes belonging to the Machico council. Its name came from a cross (Cruz) that was placed by the explorers on the bay once used as port (Porto). The attractions of this small parish are hidden and youll have to take a closer look to find them. One of them is the old sugar cane factory, which is still operating, as it was when it started with the sugar production in 1927. It boasts a 26 meter tall tower and when its working you might even see steam coming out!
Not to be missed is also the place known as Penha dÁguia, an imposing rock that separates Porto da Cruz from Faial. Getting up there might be a challenge, as the road is very steep, but the songs of the birds will help you on the way up and once you get there youll be sure it was definitely worth
Porto da Cruz is also famous for its wine. Known as vinho seco americano (dry red wine made of a type of grape called americana), this local product is the theme for a celebration usually happening in September (Festa do Vinho). In Porto da Cruz there are another two wonderful religious celebrations, with great beauty. The first occurs on days 15 and 16 of August, and the second, at the following weekend (Saturday and Sunday). They are celebrations that visitors should not miss!!!
The Porto the Cruz village is on the northeast coast of Madeira and from there you can quickly get to the Airport (12 minutes by car), to the nearest golf course in Santo da Serra (15 minutes by car) and to the neighbouring cities and villages like Machico, Santo da Serra, Santana and Faial, amongst other interesting places you can easily visit.
The Porto da Cruz village has, mini markets, restaurants equipped with several different kitchens, bars, transport services, health services, able to provide to the visitor, the satisfaction of emerging daily needs.
The weather in Madeira Island is generally quite stable and mild throughout the year.
Porto da Cruz has in its extensive and cut coast, two natural beaches of black sand, and a public swimming pool of salt water. The water temperature (22 centigrade) is surprisingly enjoyable in the summer.
MADEIRA´S CAPITAL , FUNCHAL.
Madeira's capital, Funchal, is an enchanting town set on a glittering bay against a background of soaring green mountains. Winding cobbled streets meander between elegant colonial-style buildings, nestling into the shelter of the verdant hillside. Funchals historic core overlooks the harbour and features some fine government buildings and stately 18th-century mansions. Its deep natural harbour attracted early settlers in the 15th century.
What to see. The simple whitewashed Sé Cathedral was built between 1486 and 1514. Inside, its main features are the magnificent mudejar ceiling of Madeira cedar wood and the voluptuous Baroque carving of the golden Sacramento chapel to the right of the main altar. Now a museum, the Quinta das Cruzes on Calçada do Pico is the house where the islands discoverer, João Gonçalves Zarco, once lived. Next door is the pretty 16th century church of Santa Clara where he lies buried. The Old Blandy Wine Lodge occupies part of a former Franciscan friary dating back to the 17th century. Guided visits include a tour of the cellars and a wine-tasting session.
Nearby. Opened to the public in 1960, the Botanical Gardens on the edge of town display plants from all over the world, including desert cacti, rainforest orchids and South African proteas. The famous toboggan ride from Monte to Funchal is an exhilarating experience and takes approximately 20 minutes. Madeiran tobogganing was invented as a form of passenger transport around 1850. Much frequented by Sir Winston Churchill in the 1950s, the pretty fishing village of Câmara de Lobos to the west of Funchal offers spectacular views of the worlds second-highest sea cliff, Cabo Girão (589 m). Also within easy reach of Funchal is the deep valley location of Curral das Freiras (Nuns Refuge) near the centre of the island.