Whale hunting council with beautiful sceneries
The discoverers of Madeira island João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira allegedly shipped off in Machico, situated in the east coast of Madeira island. The first mass of the island was celebrated here. Despite this historical fact, legend has it that the first settlers were Anne d’Arfet and Robert Machim, whose surname was in the origin of the name “Machico”. Headquarters of an old captaincy of the island, Machico has a rich heritage, namely the main church built in Late Gothic and Manueline style or 18th century Água da Pena main church with a Late Baroque altarpiece. During the visit to this council, you can not miss the civil parish Caniçal, once a whale hunting centre in the archipelago revisited in the Whale Musem. Ponta de São Lourenço is situated in this council with its 180m high steep cliffs over the sea within arid but beautiful scenery. The only gold sand natural beach of Madeira island, Prainha, is located near this place. In terms of panoramic views, the best spots are Portela viewpoint and Pico do Facho viewpoint. Portela viewpoint is located upon Machico and Porto da Cruz offering a view over the surrounding mountains and a steep cliff stretching to the ocean. From Pico do Facho viewpoint you can have a view over Machico valley, Ponta de São Lourenço and the peaks located in the centre of the island. It is also worth highlighting Penha d’Águia mountain range. It is 580m high, presenting a pyramidal shape.