Calheta - most extensive of all the municipalities 1LOCALS 

Calheta – most extensive of all the municipalities

The municipality of Calheta is located between the south and the West End of Madeira Island and its area, approximately 116 km2, makes it the most extensive of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. About 12,000 people live here.

It is thought that the origin of its name comes from the small bay or cove that serves it as port and that it watched João Gonçalves Zarco when he intended to go ashore. This is the meaning of the word”calheta”.

In this locality lies the center of the Arts “Casa das Seedas”, a project conceived in complete harmony with the surrounding landscape, which presents a vast cultural offer. Exhibitions of a diverse nature, plays, musical performances, conferences and many other events are held here.

There are eight parishes that make up the municipality of Calheta: Arco da Calheta, Calheta, Strait of Calheta, Fajã da Ewe, Jardim do Mar, Paul do Mar, Ponta do Pargo and Prazeres.


Estreito da Calheta

Estreito da Calheta is a civil parish in the municipality of Calheta in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira.

The characteristic aspect of the town, with similarities to a canyon or deep valley, caused the first settlers to call Straits from the Calheta to the site, being today one of the oldest places on the island.

Among economic activities, agriculture stands out. In this context, the most predominant crops are the vineyard, after the sugarcane had a great implantation, besides the cultivation of potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, and also of fruit trees.

In its pacatiz, the Strait of Calheta today has a school, an industrial park, a youth hostel, a Civic Center, a health center, a bank and several residential and hotel facilities.


Municipality of Calheta

The municipality of Calheta is the most extensive of all the municipalities of the archipelago, since it covers about 116 Km2, which corresponds to 15% of the total area of Madeira Island.

Situated between the south and the West End of the island, it was one of the first to be populated.


Gutter arch
Calheta Strait
Garden of the Sea
Paul of the Sea
Sheep’s fajan
Ponta do Pargo

With a current population of about 11521 inhabitants (2011 census), This County was perhaps the largest number of emigrants sent to almost every corner of the world.

The municipal holiday is celebrated on June 24, St. John’s day, according to the resolution of the Municipal Assembly.

It is during this period that the municipal festivities are held and during a week different activities are dynamized, from exhibitions to concerts and sporting initiatives.

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