Curral das Freiras is a parish located in the municipality of Ponta do Sol in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. It is situated on the southwest slope of the island, about 10 km (6 mi) north of Funchal, the islands capital. The parish has an area of 7.2 km2 (2.8 sq mi) and a population of 1,945 inhabitants (2011 Census). The population density is 270.6/km2 (700.5/sq mi).
The parish of Curral das Freiras is known for its unique geography and its local beauty, known as the “Lost Valley of Madeira”. It is also home to a wide variety of endemic flora and fauna.
Situated in a deep valley , surrounded by hills , the village of Nun’s Valley is located around 29 kilometers from the headquarters of the Board of Câmara de Lobos , Madeira Island . Their patron saint is Our Lady of Deliverance , celebrated every year on the last Sunday of August .
Acess to Curral das Freiras
Since it was originally a settlement of difficult access , frequented mainly by semi -nomadic herders , it soon created favorable conditions for the refuge not only slaves that there could your letter of manumission , as still fugitives . With this we formed a small core population that in the late fifteenth century , was already legally constituted and had permanent inhabitants , although he had little development .
The town of Corral initially belonged to João Gonçalves Zarco , who donated it for cultivation in 1462 , John Ferreira and his wife , White Day , they made a donation to his granddaughter White Teixeira , the August 22, 1474 . The September 11, 1480 , this property was sold to the second donee , João Gonçalves da Câmara who donated to the Convent of Santa Clara , as a dowry for his daughters , D. Elvira and D. Joan that there professed .
At the beginning of colonization , this settlement was known simply as ” Corral ” or ” corral da Serra ” , because it is characterized as a place of extensive pastures; changing the toponym gave up when the possession of these lands by the nuns of the Convent of Santa Clara , about 1492/97 , however , others believe that this change will have occurred only in 1566 , when the nuns took refuge here in their properties , following the withdrawal of Funchal by French privateers .
Curral das Freiras population
Nuns Valley was an integral part of the parish of St. Anthony , however, given the extreme isolation of its population , which was a long distance from the center of the Parish of Santo António , Parish of Nuns Valley was established in 1780. However, only a decade later ( March 17, 1790 ) is that , by Royal Charter of Queen Mary I , the Nuns Valley acquires the status of an independent parish , separating themselves definitively de Santo António.
Previously , the steep slopes of Nun’s Valley patients were transported in typical litters .
Corral came to exist in a chapel dedicated to St. Anthony , which not left any traces , built in 1644 , in the late eighteenth century was in ruins , and there is a need to build a new temple , the Convent of Santa Clara , owner of these lands , would give the Diocese the space required for this purpose . Although there are no certainties , it is assumed that when the parish institution , had already begun the work of what was to become the Parish Church .
Despite being the parish church the only monument that is the cultural and built heritage of Nuns Valley , also deserve mention here those carried exist , among which stand out the Piornais taken , brought to the corral and castelejo and brought the Old which was designed to capture water in Nun’s Valley , conducted by the Strait , Quinta Grande and Bell , however , this was never taken complete. Its curious name ” Levada Velha ” , due to the popular imagination , because according to tradition, has been a rich old woman the author of this venture.
Things to do in Curral das Freiras
Enjoy the Scenic Views
Curral das Freiras is known for its breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Take your time to appreciate the natural beauty and immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere.
Visit the Viewpoints
There are several viewpoints in and around Curral das Freiras that offer stunning panoramic vistas. The Eira do Serrado viewpoint is a popular spot where you can admire the village from above and take in the sweeping landscapes.
Explore the Village
Take a leisurely walk through the narrow streets of Curral das Freiras and soak up the traditional charm. Admire the stone houses with their unique architecture, and don’t miss the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals.
Sample Local Delicacies
Curral das Freiras is known for its traditional gastronomy. Taste local specialties such as chestnut-based dishes, honey cake (Bolo de Mel), and Madeira wine. You can find cafes and restaurants serving these delicacies in the village.
Visit the Nossa Senhora do Livramento Church
This beautiful church is a focal point of the village. Step inside to admire the ornate interior, including intricate woodwork and religious artwork. Take a moment for quiet reflection or attend a church service if available.
Explore the Surrounding Nature
Curral das Freiras is surrounded by lush nature, making it an excellent destination for nature lovers. Discover hiking trails that lead you through the mountains and valleys, offering stunning vistas and an opportunity to appreciate the island’s flora and fauna.
Learn about the History
Curral das Freiras has an interesting history dating back to the 16th century when nuns sought refuge in the valley from pirate attacks. Visit the local museum or talk to the locals to learn more about the village’s unique past and heritage.
Buy Local Products
Curral das Freiras is known for its production of chestnuts and chestnut-based products. Take the opportunity to buy chestnuts, chestnut liqueur, and other locally made goods as souvenirs to take home.
Attend Local Festivals
If your visit aligns with any local festivals or events, make sure to participate. These events showcase the culture, traditions, and music of Madeira and offer a unique insight into the community spirit of Curral das Freiras.
Festival held annually in the parish of Jardim da Serra, with the objective of promoting the culture and commercialisation of the cherry and, on the other hand, the economic and touristic potential of the locality where it takes place. The cherry is a fruit which cultivation is predominant in the upper part of the parish of Jardim da Serra, although in the past large quantities could also be found in the parish of Curral das Freiras.
Date: 09/06/2023 – 11/06/2023 (07:00)
Junta Freguesia Curral das Freiras
Estrada Cónego Camacho, n.º 7 B
9030 – 319 Curral das Freiras
+351 291 712 493 / +351 935 712 493