Câmara de Lobos is a town and civil parish on the south coast of Madeira Island. The municipality of Câmara de Lobos has about 35 000 inhabitants spread over an area of 51.82 km2.
The name of this parish derives from the fact that, at the time of the discovery of the island, large numbers of sea wolves were seen in that cove that still maintains the same configuration today. Currently, these animals occasionally appear only on the southern coast of the island, with a colony preserved on the Desert Islands.
The main economic activities of the parish are fisheries, agriculture-especially banana-growing-trade, services and industry.
Chamber of Wolves was the first place where João Gonçalves Zarco, the navigator who discovered the island, lived between 1420 and 1424. This was the first settlement created in Madeira by João Gonçalves Zarco himself, and was elevated to the parish in 1430.
This land of fishermen, whose main specialisation is black scabbardfish fishing, owes its fame to the fishermen who paint the bay with their picturesque and very characteristic boats – the shavings. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill painted this exceptional portrait when he visited the island on 8 January 1950.
The heritage of the civil parish of Câmara de Lobos, passing by the church of St. Sebastian, built in the XVI century; the church of Our Lady of the immaculate Conception, which was founded in the XV century and rebuilt in the EIGHTEENTH century; the convent of St. Bernardino, built in 1425, and Lime Kiln, integrated tourism project for the area of the Salt pans.
Here you can ascend to the islet of Câmara de Lobos
… an eyebrow rock to the sea that resembles an island, where inhabits much of the fishing class of this locality. This space has recently been refurbished and adapted to cultural activities, with a beautiful garden, providing magnificent views of the city, the sea and the surroundings, including Cape Girão.
In addition to the civil parish of Câmara de Lobos, four other parishes are part of this municipality: Corral das nuns, Straito de Câmara de Lobos, Jardim da Serra and Quinta Grande.
It was this traditional fishing village, situated five kilometres from Funchal
…that inspired Sir Winston Churchill to paint it. The name was given to it by explorers João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristan Vaz Teixeira, due to The Shape of its Bay (Chamber) and because there are many sea wolves in this area.
At first, the islet was completely surrounded by water but, with the earthquake, the peak of the tower collapsed and the stones and land from this collapse fell to the place where the present ‘village’is located. In addition to the charming Bay, the Chamber of Wolves has several points of interest, such as the peak of the Tower, The Corral of the nuns, the mouth of The Lovers, The Mouth of the race and the Cape Girão.
Moving towards the Straits of Câmara de Lobos
…he will realise that banana cultivation gives way to that of the vineyard and, a little higher, to that of the cherry.
Once in Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, do not forget to visit the parish church and the parish of Jardim da Serra, where you have three options: go to the Mouth of Valentine’s day and enjoy the breath-taking scenery of the Curral das Freiras, passing through the Mouth of the Race, and finally stop at Quinta do Jardim da Serra.
Wolf chamber is the’ House ‘ of the Poncha, a mixture of lemon juice, honey and sugar cane Brandy, always ready to serve in the many local tascas. If you like to take pictures, you’ll love the camera landscapes of Wolves and their inhabitants.
The Strait of Câmara de Lobos is today one of the world’s leading producers of Madeira wine
…and the freshest fruit, namely the famous Madeira banana, and vegetables, is also produced throughout the region.
The first Franciscan convent outside Funchal was built in the 15th, 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the Mother Church of Saint Sebastian (16th century) and the Chapel Of Our Lady of Calhau (15th century), but much changed in the 17th century.
Known to be a land of young people, Câmara de Lobos has a lively nightlife, with many bars, where the star is the famous poncha, now available in all imaginary flavors, but which was originally made by fishermen, using sugar cane Brandy, water, sugar and lemon peel.