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The town of Câmara de Lobos

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General presentationGeneral information
. Click to enlarge the image.Câmara de Lobos, usually called Cama de Lobos, is a village of fishermen with coloured boats.

The city, picturesque, is built around a port protected by two volcanic cliffs. Black jagged headlands close the handle where blottit the fishing port, dominated by the popular quarters over its basalt table. In the countryside around, the banana trees occupy all the terraces.

The White Houses with red tiles are distributed on planted terraces of banana plantations.

In the high part of the city, close to a small shaded place, a covered view-point of a pergola gives on the pebble beach and, on the right, on the estuary of C Vigàrio will ribeira where the lavender fields spread out the linen. The cliff of Cabo Girão is drawn up just opposite.

Decades ago, it was the den of the seals monks (marine lobo marinho, wolves or old seamen) and it is from there that the name comes from Câmara de Lobos: the port occupies the site recognized by Zarco as of its second voyage to Madeira. When they reflect foot on the beach, the Portuguese sailors found old seamen so much that they gave the name of “room of the wolves” to this place.

The seals disappeared for a long time, but a colony still remains with broad of Ilhas Desertas.


Câmara de Lobos is in the mid-west part of Madeira.


The port
The animated and noisy port offers an amusing spectacle: the zone of the port has escaped with any attempt at rehabilitation, and kept an image very macho. Heavy drinkers autochtones absorb a particularly strong drink, the poncha (rum, juice of lemon and honey), in dark bars, while of old fishermen whom are going grey play charts, sitted in moored boats, while waiting for the next departure.

While going along the port in the west, one discovers a general sight of the site since the small terrace which is at the exit even borough, with the crossing with the main roads of Funchal: Winston Churchill, at the time of his stay in 1949-1950, came there in person to plant his rest.

On the beach, shaded of palm trees and plane trees, the multi-coloured boats are hoisted by a mechanical winch; they carry, suspended with arches of wicker, curious black nets drying with the sun.

The port photographed in 1898. Cliquer pour agrandir l'image.. Click to enlarge the image.. Click to enlarge the image.
While going down towards the port, one meets the small white parish church which shelters a ceiling painted in trompe-l’oeil, glosses, a large retable baroque and an original platform of wood above the entry. It is a construction of the beginning of the 15th century, rebuilt in 1723.
View-point of Pico da Torre
On the basis of Câmara de Lobos towards Estreito of Câmara de Lobos, a road on the line leads to Pico da Torre, from where the sight embraces bay and the town of Câmara de Lobos, like São Martinho, Estreito of Câmara de Lobos, Campanário and Cabo Girão.

History and traditionsHistory, literature, arts, traditions, legends, religions, myths, symbols…

The bay, picturesque, is particularly appreciated painters, a landscape that Sir Winston Churchill painted in the Fifties, a scene immortalized by the Perestrello photographer.
Since it is the principal center of fishing, the local fishermen take there the black saber, peixe espada, (a deep water fish).

The city is surrounded by vines and is considered for its excellent Madeira wine, besides being the cradle of the poncha, a mixture of honey and strong alcohol, lemon juice.

Even naval construction knew a renewal of activity: sometimes, the village resounds of the noise of the saws or of the hammers of the shipyard because in addition to the maintenance of the boats, the workmen build new boats of wood - they thus revived for the World Fair of Lisbon in 1998, Santa Maria de Christophe Colomb; reconverted in boat of excursion, it skirts from now on the coast starting from Funchal.

Other topicsOther topics

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More detailed topics
The village of Curral das Freiras
The village of Estreito of Câmara de Lobos
The cape Girao
Close topics
The town of Funchal
The town of Câmara de Lobos
The town of Ribeira Brava
The town of Ponta do Sol
Broader topics
The island of Madeira
The septentrional coast of Madeira
The Eastern coast of Madeira
The southernmost coast of Madeira
The Western coast of Madeira
Interior of Madeira
The island of Porto Santo
The islands Desertas and Selvagens
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