Jardim Do Mar is a very small village in the municipality of Calheta on the southwest coast of Madeira, which is on the ocean shore. It has about 300 inhabitants and is simply one of the most beautiful villages on Madeira Island. With its particularly mild climate, it is easy to understand in Jardim do Mar why Madeira is called the Garden of the Atlantic. Temperatures range from 15° in winter to 25° in summer: it's eternal spring in this little paradise full of sun and greenery! In the evenings the sunset will make everyone agree: The calm and the panorama with the gentle sound of the ocean makes Jardim do mar the ideal place to spend a relaxing holiday in Madeira.
What to do in Jardim do Mar?
Jardim do Mar is a well known surfing spot: the numerous waves that crash on the pebble beach make it an excellent wave spot, one of the best in Europe. This makes it quite dangerous to go swimming. Note that there is a surf school. If you want to swim, it's wiser to do it in a pool or in a nearby beach, in Calheta for example.
There are some very nice walks to do in the small picturesque streets, and also a walk along the ocean front, with portinho, concrete descent into the ocean, playground for children.
For the more courageous, the vereda Jardim Do Mar (PR20) hike takes you to Prazeres, with beautiful views of the village. The route is not very long, but beware of the steep gradient: 500 m positive with stairs from the start, enough to discourage the less trained. It is possible to make a loop until Ponto do Sol and to come back by the beach made of rocks and pebbles: be careful with your ankles!
There are of course many bars and restaurants to welcome you, with entertainment and music in the evening.
How to get to Jardim do Mar:
With a rental car:
If you are coming from the east of the island, especially from Funchal, you need to take the VR1 and then the VE3 with the Ribeira Funda tunnel that runs along the south coast of the island, for a journey of about 35 minutes (For more information, see the article Madeira's road network). Also, it is impossible to drive in this terraced village, you will have to park upstream or in the centre (although this free parking is often full).
If you are coming from the west of the island, you must take the E.R. 223 which leads you to the village of Paul do Mar. You then have to go through a long VE7 tunnel of about 1.8 km.
By regular bus:
It is also possible to come by bus from Funchal: a long 2.20 hour journey along the coast, either with line 115 or with line 142.
Where to sleep in Jardim do Mar?
There is a wide range of accommodation available for rent in Jardim do Mar: hotels with swimming pools on the premises, holiday homes, bed and breakfast or guest houses, youth hostels. In short, there are many possibilities. Each establishment offers a number of services: wifi, bathroom, swimming pool, air-conditioning (strange?), television and so on. From a personal point of view, I had a little crush on the casas Floeca house, it corresponds perfectly to my needs and the small terrace attracts me a lot!