Walking from Cape Girao to Lido, Madeira, Portugal

Walking from Cape Girao to Lido, passing through Câmara de Lobos, allows us to get to know various locations in Madeira with the tranquility that only walking allows.

According to some sites, Cabo Girão is about 580m high and is the tallest cape in Europe, which, being there, I can believe it.

On the glass platform, looking down to small fajãs, we have the feeling of being hovering if it weren’t for a set of dots printed on the glass, it completely spoils that experience.

Ok, I know, many people need that to ease their vertigo sensation.

These dots exist to reduce the feeling of vertigo, but I think it also spoils the purpose for which it was built. Still, it is worth visiting.

It is right here where this walk starts, taking us down to the bathing area of the Lido. A 9.5 km walk, mainly downhill, quite demanding for your legs.

Mostly along the coastal line, this walk has a 650m elevation loss.

This journey begins by taking us to walk the Caminho Velho do Rancho, mentioned in another text. Although it is an excellent start, the remaining walk is not less attractive. 

If Câmara de Lobos is on your shortlist of places to visit when at Madeira, then this hike will be an excellent way to accomplish that goal.

During this walk, you will need to cross Câmara de Lobos walking, and, as it was for me, I could stop there during lunchtime.

To explain the origin of the name Câmara de Lobos we can read what is written in the town’s website:
“In 1419, more precisely on July 1st, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tritão Vaz Teixeira anchored at Madeira Island, in the Machico area. When they arrived on Madeira Island, they started exploring the southern area. On the first day of exploration, they arrived at this land that they called Câmara de Lobos due to the huge amount of Sea Lions on the south coast.”

“Câmara de Lobos” in Portuguese means an area, bay, or chamber with wolves. In Portuguese, to the sea lions, we call them sea wolves, so the idea of sea lions chamber.

The multiple bars and restaurants you can find at Câmara de Lobos, give us the possibility of lunch. You can enjoy your time in one of the many options.

Also, a wooded area next to the fishing port gives you a chance for a brief break enjoying the shade, maybe eating your sandwich while staring at the sea. You can find a water faucet there, and the water is good to drink.

From here to the Formosa Beach area, there is a walkway built along the coastline.

It’s an opportunity for a peaceful and very photogenic walk with the sea always on our right.

Right at the beginning of Praia Formosa (Formosa Beach), you will find public restrooms.

It is a beach area so, if you took have bathing gear, you might enjoy the beach as well.

Right after this point, there’s an area with some excellent beach restaurants.

To please Greeks and Trojans, as we say it in Portugal, there are two very different restaurants.

One of the restaurants with a more sophisticated look, with more modern design and well-presented dishes, and a more accessible restaurant with plenty of tables at the terrace, and, in my opinion, with more authentic options.

Honestly, the first restaurant didn’t seduce me. The menu had something fake on it, too much “touristy” kind of thing … nnaaaahhhh.

The second one, although a bit too simple, had a clean and honest look. When I checked the menu of the second restaurant was nice to see a set of local options well set for local people.

Can you guess which was my option? I think you can.
A plate of limpets, a bifana in Bolo do Caco, and a couple of beers were the options to start… Bingo !!! Everything delicious and authentic.

You might not know what a bifana is, right? Well is a pork steak sandwich, a very appreciated sandwich in Portugal.

After relaxing at the beach, or eating a snack, or maybe both, you can continue your journey passing through the Bathing Area of Ponta Gorda or Poças do Governador.

Poças do Governador is a paid access area to sea swimming pools. An excellent place to spend some time.

The walk will end at the Lido, a resorts area.

Undoubtedly, we can make less interesting comments about this whole area of intense tourism activity. However, it is a small area when compared to the island, and it was here where the touristic activity of the island started more intensively.

It is a matter of balance, and it seems fine for me.
From here, you can get a bus or a taxi to Funchal if it is the case for you.

Walking from Cape Girao to Lido, Madeira, is an opportunity to spend your day actively without being strenuous.

Carpe diem.
David Monteiro

Poças do Governador
Poças do Governador also known as Poças do Governador, at Madeira Island
Bifana
a pork steak sandwich, a very appreciated sandwich in Portugal
Caminho Velho do Rancho
The Caminho Velho do Rancho is an obligatory trail to be walked during a trip to Madeira
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