Visit this old-fashioned fishing village, known for inspiring one of Britain’s greatest politicians with its charming scenery.
Câmara de Lobos is a traditional Madeiran village, the landscape of which was famously painted by Winston Churchill during the 1950s. Go for a stroll along the harbor, where multicolored boats are lined up against the shore, or walk amid the whitewashed cottages of the town, stopping at one of the quaint restaurants to try some local dishes.
Be sure to visit the town’s rocky beach, which is overlooked by some of the highest cliffs in Europe. Take a few photos of the bright boats contrasting against the beach’s grey stones. Visit the beach in the evening to see fishermen returning with the daily catch. See children playing and old men chatting or playing cards on overturned boats.
Keep an eye out for a plaque marking the spot where Winston Churchill set up his easel to paint this seaside scene. Although the legendary statesman only visited Câmara de Lobos once, it was enough to make the town famous and increase Madeira’s popularity as a vacation destination.
Walk into town to see the small fishermen’s chapel, called Nossa Senhora da Conceição. Believed to be the second-oldest chapel on the island, the building was founded in the 15th century and was rebuilt 3 centuries later. Notice how the chapel’s interior is decorated with depictions of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers. The wives of fishermen would traditionally come here to pray for their husbands at sea.
Head down Rua Joao de Deus, an attractive street lined with traditional shops, restaurants and bars. Be sure to sample one of the dishes made with black scabbardfish, a species commonly caught by local fishermen.
Take a look inside Igreja de São Sebastião, an 18th-century parish church. Admire the church’s fine azulejo tiles, its Baroque gilded wood altarpiece and its blue ceiling decorated with clouds.
Câmara de Lobos is located in west-central Madeira, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) away from Funchal. Most buses heading west from Funchal stop in the village.