Ribeira Brava

Is one of the oldest settlements on the island of Madeira, dating back to the 15th century. The water comes from 327 meters high source in the mountains, so the ancient settlers were extremely fascinated with the power of water coming down the mountain and its strength. The municipality of Ribeira Brava was created in 1914, during the first year of World War I. Its regions are Parishes of Campanário, Ribeira Brava, Serra d’Água and Tabua.

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Location

Ribeira Brava

History

The town Ribeira Brava got its name by the tremendous amount of water going down the stream when it rains heavily. In the translation from Portuguese, its name means “wild river”. However, through the whole region, this river looks more like a calm stream and reflects the calm nature of this area.

It covers the area of 65.41 km2, and its population is 13.375. However, during summer months population can be 5-10 times bigger. The town is located on the southern coast of the Madeira island.

This town strictly follows the old tradition and the most of its production are banana plantations, vineyards and fruit trees. Ribeira Brava may offer tremendous hiking trails, fantastic nature, high-level sun and world-class hand-made black sand beaches.

Hotels in Ribeira Brava

Cheerfulway Bravamar Hotel ***

This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Located in the heart of the small charming coastal village of Ribeira Brava, Cheerfulway Bravamar is just 25 minutes by car from the city of Funchal.

Cheerfulway Bravamar has a rooftop swimming pool with sun loungers for those wishing to relax under the hot Ribeira Brava sun. Soak in the calm sea views from this exquisite vantage point.

All the guest rooms are nicely decorated and fully equipped with modern amenities, with most of them offering views over the town and surrounding mountains or over the Atlantic Ocean. The blue colours and woods give an atmosphere of relaxation.

 

Cheerfulway Bravamar Hotel

Dorisol Pousada Dos Vinhaticos ***

Pousada dos Vinháticos is set high in the mountains of Madeira with panoramic views over the island and access to famous walks. Rooms have satellite TV and internet is available in common areas.

The UNESCO listed Levada Canal Walks are within 5 minutes from Pousada dos Vinháticos by bus. Other nearby attractions include Ribeira Brava Beach, which is 6 km from the hotel.

Pousada dos Vinháticos’s restaurant serves local and international cuisine, which guests can enjoy on the terrace overlooking the Laurissilva Forest. Guests can also request picnic lunches to take on their day trips.

Just a 20-minute drive from Funchal and 44 km from Madeira International Airport, Pousada dos Vinháticos is easily reachable by car.

Dorisol Pousada Dos Vinhaticos

Hotel Encumeada ***

Inserted into the forest laurel, recognized by UNESCO as World Natural Heritage, Hotel Encumeada is located on the beautiful slopes of the valley of Ribeira Brava, 950 meters.

A privileged area for the beauty of green landscapes and access to several footpaths along the typical paths that lead and brought irrigation water to agricultural fields and make the connection to other major tourist attractions of the island. Among them, Pico Ruivo, the highest point of the island, Boca da Corrida, the Folhadal, the Pinnacle and Bica da Cana.

Situated about 42 km from Madeira International Airport and 12 km from the village of Ribeira Brava, the Hotel offers its visitors Encumeada the tranquility of a vacation spent in touch with nature and with maximum comfort.

Hotel Encumeada

Hotel Do Campo ****

Do Campo is an eco-friendly hotel, perched on a cliff overlooking Madeira’s laurisilva forests and the Atlantic Ocean. It features an elevated salt-water swimming pool surrounded by sun loungers.

Guests will enjoy the hotel’s gym, equipped with cardio and fitness machines, or relax at the on-site spa, offering a hot tub and Turkish bath. A reading room with free Wi-Fi and a games room are also available.

Bright and airy, rooms at Hotel Do Campo open out on to panoramic balconies. They are all equipped with extra-long beds, a seating area and satellite TV channels. En-suite bathrooms with bathtub are standard.

Traditional specialities are served at the restaurant and the bar, using locally grown aromatic herbs. Many eateries and entertaining options can be found in downtown Funchal, a 15-minute drive from Do Campo hotel.

 

Hotel Do Campo

Hiking trails

Levada do Norte do Cabo Girão to Boa Morte

The length is about 11 km. Duration of the walk 3-4 hours with slow foot.

This trail begins at Cabo Girão, where the Levada de Norte touches the regional road. An ability to view farmlands and coastline as well as twists and turns in the irrigation channel which display varieties of wild plants. Towards the end, there is a slight descent. An ending point is site Boa Morte, Ribeira Brava village.

Remember: before doing hiking always evaluate your physical abilities, strength, and don`t forget to apply basic safety precautions.

Levada do Norte do Cabo Girão to Boa Morte

Lugar da Serra e Espigão

The length is about 15 km. Duration of the walk 7 hours with slow foot.

This trail starts at Cabo Girão, it is very long and very challenging. There are many various sights along the way – Jardim de Serra, Trompica Forest and the capital Funchal in the distance. One part of the track is walked through eucalyptus forest. The trail ends at Ribeira Brava village.

It is classified as experts only since it is very steep at the end. The beginning of the trail is medium difficulty.

Remember: before doing hiking always evaluate your physical abilities, strength, and don`t forget to apply basic safety precautions.

Lugar da Serra e Espigão

Caminho Real da Encumeada – Boca da Corrida

The length is about 13 km. Duration of the walk 3-4 hours with slow foot.

This trail requires some preparation and endurance, although the feeling of greatness and satisfaction offered by it clearly outweighs the effort. Moreover, while making this walk you will be taken to Ancient Madeira, as this was a major route that linked the north and south of the island.

Remember: before doing hiking always evaluate your physical abilities, strength, and don`t forget to apply basic safety precautions.

Caminho Real da Encumeada - Boca da Corrida

Levada da Serra de Água ao Curral das Freiras

The length is about 14 km. Duration of the walk 5-6 hours with slow foot.

There are two possibilities – both starting at Igreja da Serra de Água near the Levada. One leg is longer and finishes up further east at the Igreja da Curral das Freiras in Curral das Freiras; a second goes to the Belvedere Encumeada viewpoint. There are many trees along the way including laurel, eucalyptus, ferns, holly… World class choice for nature lovers.

The trail difficulty is medium since there are some damaged paths and it might be slippery.

Remember: before doing hiking always evaluate your physical abilities, strength, and don`t forget to apply basic safety precautions.

Levada da Serra de Água ao Curral das Freiras

Levada Nova – Tabua

The length is about 6 km. Duration of the walk 2 hours with slow foot.

It is a pleasant walk, accessible to anyone that allows observing this area of the island from a different perspective.

The beautiful landscapes are one of the main features of this walk. Between valleys and mountains, hikers can delight themselves with the magnificent views that arise, over the villages of Ribeira Brava. Small towns and plantations comprise a unique landscape. A unique landscape comprised by small settlements and plantations.

Remember: before doing hiking always evaluate your physical abilities, strength, and don`t forget to apply basic safety precautions.

Levada Nova - Tabua

Restaurants and bars in Ribeira Brava

Restaurant & Grill Muralha

It offers a true taste of Madeira – seafood, Mediterranean food, Portuguese food and European food. Suitable for those who like to try local meals and drinks.

Address: Restaurant & Grill Muralha Terrace, Estrada Regional 220 nº1, 9350-217 Madeira, Ribeira Brava, Portugal

Restaurant & Grill Muralha

Taberna da Poncha

Address: Taberna da Poncha, Sitio da Lage, Serra d’Agua, 9350-309 Ribeira Brava, Portugal

Taberna da Poncha

Restaurante Borda D’Agua

A superb offer of seafood, Mediterranean food, Portuguese food and European food.

Address: Restaurante Borda D’Água, Rua Engenheiro Pereira Ribeiro, Ribeira Brava, 9350-201, Madeira, Portugal

Restaurante Borda D'Agua

La Parreira

A traditional restaurant with a traditional taste of Portugal. Barbecue and Portuguese food.

Address: rua Camacho de Freitas, Ribeira Brava, Portugal

La Parreira

A Parada Brava

Address: 17-21 Rua Dr Manuel Arriaga, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9530-221, Portugal

A Parada Brava

Miminho

Cafe with various delicious pastries.

Address: Rue 6 Maio | Edf. Brava Golden Loja 2, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-208, Portugal

Miminho

Churrascaria o Patio

Address: R. de S. Bento, 37, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-223, Portugal

Churrascaria o Patio

Dom Luis Restaurante

Address: Rua Gago Coutinho, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-217, Portugal

Dom Luis Restaurante

Restaurante Snack Bar A Laranja

Address: Rua de Sao Bento 37, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-221, Madeira, Portugal

Restaurante Snack Bar A Laranja

Pizzaria A Chave

Address: Centro Comercial Mar A Vista, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350, Portugal

Pizzaria A Chave

OClock Bar

Address: Sitio Da Meia Legua, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-148, Portugal

OClock Bar

Cais da Ribeira

Address: Rua Comandante Camacho de Freitas 2, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-209, Portugal

Cais da Ribeira

Cebas Kafe

Address: Rua Comandante Camacho de Freitas 5, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-209, Portugal

Cebas Kafe

Esplanada Don Luis

Address: Rua Gago Coutinho, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-217, Portugal

Esplanada Don Luis

Snack Bar Recreio da Ponte Vermelha

Address: Sitio Da Ponte Vermelha, 63, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-215, Portugal

Snack Bar Recreio da Ponte Vermelha

Points of interests

Igreja Matriz de São Bento (São Bento Church)

The 15th-century church has been restored, but it kept a lot of original beauty. It is specified by its Gothic and Flemish style. Three gothic archivolts run on the ceiling arcs, while there are many various Flemish panels inside of it. The church also has a small collection of old artifacts.

Forte da Ribeira Brava

This strong construction was used in earlier centuries to defend Ribeira Brava from enemy attacks. Today, this is a tourist information office.

Fajã dos Padres

This stunning area is tucked away under a cliff on the south coast of Ribeira Brava. This impressive place sits in the shadow of Cabo Girão, the second highest cliff in the world.

Fajã dos Padres was once inhabited by the ‘Padres’ or priests of the Society of Jesus. Today only a huge 250-meter glass elevator can take visitors down to the land below. Aside from wonderful views, there’s a pebble beach with excellent swimming conditions, guesthouses for short stays, and a restaurant. The place is known for Malvasia wine production. Awesome for lovers of extreme things!

Câmara Municipal da Ribeira Brava

This is a very unusual town hall, with light pink walls. Its garden is surrounded by jacaranda trees. It was built in 1765, a former home of a wealthy merchant.

Miradouro de São Sebastião

This viewpoint enables a stunning panoramic view of Ribeira Brava village as well as the coastline.

Paúl da Serra plateau

This is a single road stretching across the untouched terrain. It is located on Madeira’s largest land plateau – 1500 meters high and 24km2 in the area. This plateau is environmentally vital as it collects rainwater and feeds the irrigation channels (levadas). It offers wonderful views of the coast, forests and many hiking trails. An amazing place for energy recovery.

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