The town of Câmara de Lobos is located just west of the capital Funchal, on the south coast of the island. It has about 16,000 inhabitants, 35,000 with the small municipalities attached to it:
- Quinta Grande, west of Cape Girao.
- Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, located north of the city
- Jardim da Serra, a little further inland
- and finally Curral das Freiras, one of the few villages located in the centre of the island, in the Nonnes valley and surrounded by the picos.
Lobos means seal in Portuguese. Its name comes from the colony of seals that lived there a long time ago, before being slaughtered to feed the inhabitants. It is a fishermen's town, and its port is a must-see place, with its many colourful boats and its special atmosphere.
Beware, it is a very popular town with tourists because of its proximity to Funchal, and also because of its superb viewpoints, such as Salão Ideal, to the east of the port, which offers a magnificent view of the Bay of Câmara. If it rains, you can linger in the Press Museum, or visit the small chapel of San Sebastian or the one in da Victoria. A short stroll through the streets of the city will take you there.
What to do near the city?
It is difficult not to mention the famous Spot facing the city: Cabo Girao, which can be climbed on foot or by cable car, to the west of the city. It offers one of the most beautiful views of Madeira, on the glass platform, from the top of this 580 metre high cliff.
A little further north, the Levada Norte is one of Madeira's largest and most important levada: almost 65 kilometres long and with several tunnels. It crosses a good part of the island. It can be reached here from Quinta Grande.