The small fishing village of Camara de Lobos, Madeira

Camara de lobos: The literal translation for this town’s name is ‘chamber of the sea-lions’. Here’s how you can visit it.

Camara de lobos; the history of the town

Back in 1419 when the island was discovered by Zarco, he found a colony of marine animals sheltering in the bay.  The animals were later categorised as monk seals which today are very rare and only found on the deserted islands (Ilhas Desertas, three long and narrow islands) a short boat trip from Madeira.

Camara de lobos

The view over to Cabo Girao from the walkway in Camara de lobos.

We stopped for something to eat

5km east of Funchal, we stopped off at this traditional fishing village for a spot of lunch and a little walk. The fishing port is a working town that specialises in fishing of the night dwelling fish, the Scabbard. During the day, the fish descend to depths of 1,500m and this deep water survival has evolved the ugly appearance of the fish, with big eyes, long snouts and fang teeth.

Camara de lobos

Winston WHO?

Apparently this village was visited by Winston Churchill in 1899 and inspired him to paint it. I wasn’t aware of this prior to our visit but somewhere there is a plaque on the wall of the Churchill Restaurante which shows where he worked.

His paintings can be found on Google Images, if you’re interested.

Camara de lobos

There are Bananas everywhere!

The steep hills that encapsulate the valley have been agriculturally cultivated into banana and cherry plantations and higher up, vineyards. As you drive into this town, you can see the hundreds of banana trees planted at eye level.

Camara de Lobos the town

We visited this little town in the depths of winter and with Max (our neighbour’s dog who we’re now banned from seeing). The town looks a little shabby around the edges, much like lots of Madeira, and it’s clearly having something of an uplift with what looks like a new seafront.

The town is slightly sprawled around the higher cliffs and sea inlets, which can be very rough. At the western end you have the church and town square which lead down to the walkway which looks over to Cabo Girao and the eastern side houses the colourful bay of boats and a selection of restaurants.

Camara de lobos

Where to park

There is street parking dotted around but it costs €2.20 and you’re limited to 2 hours.  There is a square for parking HERE which has about 25 places and also multi-story parking is found HERE.

The town’s church

Camara de lobos

The Walkway

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The Sea Boats

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The bay inlet

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The boats on land

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Eating lunch in Camara de lobos

We ate a simple but very tasty lunch on a balcony overlooking the fishing boats. Taberna dos lobos. We had a variety of soups, salads, chips and 3 large bottles of sparkling water. I think the bill came to €25. We left a tip.

What else can you do on Madeira?

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