It was so dreich and windy the other day that we were cooped up in the house. I decided that the wind wasn’t so bad and that we should go and visit a lighthouse.
Of course, a trip to a lighthouse for ten minutes was never going to satisfy me and we also visited a viewing point high up in Sao Jorge and the old sugar ruins of Sao Jorge….
Farol da Ponta Lighthouse
The Farol da Ponta de São Jorge is an active lighthouse that became active in 1959 and it’s located on the top of Sao Jorge cliffs. It has a focal height of 271 metres.
Google maps doesn’t appear to be very effective here on Madeira, so I’ve added in a map for you just in case you visit it. A, marks car parking, which is on the road and B, marks the lighthouse.
Parking is on the road outside the lighthouse and entrance is free. You must however sign the visitors book.
The lighthouse’s history
This lighthouse was designed in 1948 but only started to function in 1959. Its structure is a cylindrical tower 14 meters high and the focus is at an altitude of 271 meters.
Its light has a range of 16 miles and its operation was automated in 1986 after being electrified in 1962.
I am informed that this lighthouse appears to share its design with the Carapacho, Ponta da Garça and Ponta do Cintrão lighthouses in the Azores, which are a short distance away.
The lighthouse has an impressive spiral staircase leading up to the light.
The light is HUGE – as is obviously to be expected given it shines 16 miles out to sea.
I am quite short, only 5ft/1.5m, so I found the view a bit difficult to see as did the kids. I lifted them up to get a better view but sadly they couldn’t return the favour!
The view isn’t great as the local area is a bit run down but it’s pretty cool being inside a lighthouse.