Calheta is a charming town situated between the south and extreme west of the amazing Madeira Island, famous for its strategic location and for its fertile soils that produce the renowned Madeira Wine and the famous Madeira Bananas.
Back in the colonization period, around 1420, due to the geographic accessibility, in these lands on the south side of the island were established “calhetas”: collecting post, over the charges on the goods that the island provided such as sugar, the important woods, among others.
Nowadays a quite developed region, Calheta still maintains its importance and its agricultural and fishing features, taking advantage of the best the rich soils and ocean have to offer, even though throughout the region several industries, services and tourism have developed.
It is worth to enjoy the very much that this village has to offer, such as its Manueline Mother Church of the Holy Spirit or the Mercy House dated from 1535. The Casa das Mudas Art Centre, with a modern architecture, promotes the Arts and Culture of the region, on a resort that comprises an exhibition area, library, auditorium, shops, restaurants and pedagogic services. Land of tradition and power in what concerns to the sugar cane production of other times, Calheta still maintains one of the few sugar mills still in use in Madeira Island.
Calheta also presents a wonderful leisure harbour, with green areas, esplanades, restaurants, pedestrian walks, kiosks and nautical amenities, and also the “yellow sand beach” (“praia de areia amarelle”), with sand brought from Morocco and Figueira da Foz, that strongly contrasts with the other dark pebble beaches of the island.
The Calheta region is also famous for its other very typical Madeira feature: its traditional Handicraft, with old knowledge and techniques, producing various works in weaver, glazed tiles, wood, the very famous dolls in banana plant straw, basketry and the very famous Madeira embroidery.