Ponta do Pargo is a civil parish and a diamond-shape territory on the western edge of Madeira island. A major point of interest, Ponta do Pargo is a must-see while in Madeira. You'll see cliff top escarpments extending into the Atlantic Ocean. You'll hear hungry waves crashing into the rocky cliffs and, on a clear day, you'll see the distant line of the horizon.
Many come to see the Ponta Do Pargo lighthouse, but it's the stunning landscape that's worth your while. Bring your camera and your picnic and sit down to admire the most incredible sunset.
There are a few things you need to know about visiting Ponta do Pargo. In this guide, we will cover all the information you need to know to be able to plan your trip properly.
Before we begin, please remember to buy travel insurance. You'll want to be fully covered, as it's always best to be safe and have peace of mind.
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Ponta Do Pargo
Ponta do Pargo is Madeira's most western point. Not only you can admire the magnificent vista point, but you will feel as if you've reached the end of the world. And in a sense, these feelings are valid. As there's nothing but ocean for more than 5000 km until you hit the Americas.
Ponta do Pargo is a civil parish in the municipality of Calheta. It can easily be reached by car from Porto Moniz but also from the capital Funchal. Ponta do Pargo is a year round destination, but given its terrain, please make sure to check the weather conditions before your visit.
The name Ponta do Pargo comes from early explorers who fishes in these western waters and caught a fish species of porgy (similar to sea bream).
The history of this location still remains a bit of a mystery. We don't know for sure the exact date when this parish was created. We do know that the settlement began with one Garcia da Câmara and many of the land deeds dated to the 16th century.
Initially, Ponta do Pargo was incorporated into Porto Moniz but later deannexed and reintegrated into Calheta. This parish maintains its charm thanks to its tranquil and calm setting. During the year, it comes to live during various festivities. Festa do Pêro is especially fun to visit, a festival dedicated to apples which takes place in September.
almost all year round, becoming especially alive when religious festivals occur. Another event that makes it shine is the ‘Apple Festival' (Festa do Pêro).
How to get to Ponta do Pargo
Winding motorways, narrow lanes and deep, long tunnels traversing the mountains, that's driving in Madeira. From Funchal, take the motorway towards Ponta do Pargo. You'll pass through Ponto do Sol and Calheta. After half an hour, you'll exit the motorway and drive on hilly roads.
The drive itself feels like a roller coaster ride, which is part of the fun in Madeira. Driving to different points on the island is definitely one of the best things to do in Madeira. Parts of the road go through incredible leafy eucalyptus forest. Roll that your window and take a deep breath in, as it smells fantastic. Other parts of the road are lined with large and colourful alliums and hydrangeas. It feels as if you're driving through a botanical garden.
In under two hours you'll get to the car park in Ponta do Pargo. From the car park, make your way towards the Ponta Do Pargo lighthouse. Don't just stop here, continue walking just a few steps further to see the true reason why you've come all this way: those astonishing views.
If you are located in Porto Moniz, the drive to Ponta do Pargo is just 35 minutes.
This is the perfect time to get your camera out and take many pictures. It will be worth it.
What to expect from Ponta do Pargo
Ponto do Parga feels vast. If you arrive on a moody day, the place feels deeper and heavier. Either way, the landscape will stir some emotions. Standing on Madeira's vertiginous cliffs will make your knees wobble a little. Most of the time, the pictures really don't do this place justice. It looks far more impressive in real life.
The adventure of driving here it's all worth it, the moment you see the coast, the rocky beach and the hungry sea.
Spend time enjoying the landscape, then take a hike on the Levada da Ponta do Pargo, a 14.2 kilometre hiking trail. This route offers scenic viewpoints and the trail is rated as moderate. Some trail apps will suggest that you need to hike towards the waterfall. There's no need, just follow the signs on the path
Near the Ponta do pargo viewpoint there is a restaurant called O Farol. It served traditional Madeiran food. Order Bolo de Caco with fries, fruit salad or octopus starter.
Points of interest in Ponta do Pargo
Farol da Ponta do Pargo - Located on top of Ponta da Vigia, a rocky cliff escarpment (290 metres above sea level). Ponta do Pargo is extremely difficult to navigate. This led to the construction of a lighthouse, opened on 5th June 1922, an important signal for all approaching vessels.
Centro Cívico da Ponta do Pargo - A modern centre built with 8 million euro investments. It houses all significant civic buildings including the health care centre, social services and social security centres.
Church of São Pedro (Church of Saint Peter) - This church was initially dedicated to Saint Peter. In 1620, it was reconstructed by the order of Conselho da Fazenda. According to oral tradition, it is believed that the reconstructions happened in three different places: Pé do Pico, Achada da Igreja and where it currently stands today. It's worth mentioning that there is no evidence of this. Nevertheless, it's always nice to hear the local traditions.
Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo - A chapel constructed in the 20th century by the Bishop of Funchal, David de Sousa, in 1960.
Safety at Ponta do Pargo
Please check the weather conditions before visiting Ponta do Pargo. While it's safe to visit the lighthouse, the escarpments can be slippery on a rainy day. Don't get too close to the edges, as there's always a risk of powerful gusts of wind.
Wear good waterproofs and decent walking shoes, especially if you plan to hike in the region. On sunny days, bring a hat and plenty of sunscreen.
Are you ready to see those beautiful cliffs and the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean? You're going to love the coast, especially if you stay for the sunset. Ponta Do Pargo is a great place in Madeira island, and you will love it. After a day hiking on the island, head back to the calmer areas of Madeira and rest on a beach with some local wine and good food.
Accommodation in Madeira
Many decide to stay on the western side of Madeira because it's quiet, tranquil and less developed than other parts of the island. Read this comprehensive guide on where to stay in Madeira. Below you will see our recommendations for great places to stay right in the heart of Ponta do Pargo.
Cottage: Chalets Madeira Sunset
Madeira Sunset Cottage - Nature Retreat offers chalet accommodation with and outdoor swimming pool, a green garden, an organic orchard and barbecue facilities. Your Nordic cottage starts from £74 per night.
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Studio: Herdade do Pedregal
Herdade do Pedregal is located in Ponta do Pargo in the western coast of the Madeira Island. Offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, these studios are set in a quiet area, providing peace and tranquillity. Prices from just £27 per night.
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Suite: Homestay Jasmine
Jasmine Guest Suite has a terrace and sea views. This homestay provides a satellite flat-screen TV, a washing machine and a kitchenette with a fridge and oven. Prices start from £51 per night.
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