If you are planning to take a day trip to Camara de Lobos from Funchal and are not sure how to execute it, this post is all you need. Whether you are planning to use public transport, walk or rent a car or even wondering if Camara de Lobos is worth visiting, I have all the answers for, you including a full list of things to do in Camara de Lobos, Madeira.
Visiting Camara de Lobos is among some of the best day trips that can be done from Funchal. You can also easily combine it with a trip to Cabo Girao, which is what I did. I visited Madeira without renting a car so I am proof that this trip can be done totally by public transport. In fact, there are a few ways you can get to Camara de Lobos from Funchal.
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Is Camara de Lobos worth visiting
Camara de Lobos is a cute colourful fishing town located only 9 km west of Funchal and is definitely worth visiting for its laid-back atmosphere, scenic views and tons of photo opportunities. Although there are not heaps of things to do, Camara de Lobos has a lot of charm and visiting will make for a great relaxed afternoon.
Camara de Lobos bay is a picturesque place overlooking some of the highest cliffs in Europe, where brightly coloured boats rest on the beach and numerous restaurants offer the freshest fish. In fact, this bay inspired Winston Churchill who was visiting in January 1950 and he spent his time immortalizing it in his paintings. Today you can find his statue standing (actually sitting) down at the bay.
Camara de Lobos is just perfect to visit on a day trip. It’s very close to Funchal and well served by public transport and even if you wanted to travel by taxi (I recommend Bolt) it shouldn’t cost more than €15 one way.
Moreover, the town is super chilled, picturesque and perfect for a relaxed day in the sun. You will return with a stash of awesome photographs and a belly full of delicious food and Poncha!
How to get to Camara de Lobos from Funchal
How to get to Camara de Lobos by public transport
It is very easy to get to Camara de Lobos from Funchal. You can take the green line Horários do Funchal bus number 1 from the Funchal seafront. Exactly from the Avenida do Mar bus stop. Get off at the Ponta da Laranjeira stop or simply ask the bus driver. You can also take the nb 3 bus from Rua Conselheiro but I think the nb 1 bus is your safest bet.
You can also take a Rodoeste bus number 7 from in front of Opan cafe in Funchal. This bus goes all the way to Ribeira Brava and also stips at Cabo Girao. Do check before you get on, as some of the routes are so-called ‘rapidos’ and don’t stop everywhere. So tell the driver you want to get off near Camara de Lobos and he will let you know.
Another easy way to get to Camara de Lobos is by the red Hop On Hop Off bus.
It was not running at the time I was there. However, as far as I know, the bus has been relaunched and you can see places like Camara, Cabo Girao and all the points of interest in Funchal itself.
How to get to Camara de Lobos from Funchal on foot
If you enjoy walking and are not afraid of longer distances (after all, you are in Madeira, a paradise for hikers and walkers), you might consider getting to Camara de Lobos on foot. It’s a mixed bag of gorgeous views, coastal walks, not-so-exciting roadside walks, and some of the city’s suburbs. A mixed bag is a good thing, at least in my opinion.
The best place to start this Camara de Lobos walk is Funchal’s Lido. You can walk there, of course, but you can also take the bus. The first part of the walk leads to Praia Formosa and then from Praia Formosa to Camara de Lobos. In total it’s about 4.5 km, which should take you about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your pace of course.
In some places, you will have to walk on the road and after Praia Formosa, you will walk along the lovely promenade. When you arrive in Camara de Lobos, you can enjoy a well-deserved poncha and even consider taking Bolt back.
Getting to Camara de Lobos by taxi
You can also opt for a taxi ride. I personally recommend taking Bolt, which works exactly the same way as Uber. It’s cheaper, more reliable and, of course, safer. I took a Bolt several times during my stay in Madeira, including once on the way back from Cabo Girao.
Download the Bolt app on your first day in Madeira if you don’t plan to rent a car. Even if you’re determined to only use public transport, things can happen. You’ll get lost, walk to the other side of the mountain with no way of getting back before dark (true story) and you’ll be grateful for the Bolt.
The taxi ride to Camara de Lobos by Bolt should cost around €12 one way.
How to visit Camara de Lobos and Cabo Girao on one day trip from Funchal
Why visiting Cabo Girao
I mean, I feel silly even for asking this question. But just in case you were asking …
Cabo Girao is one of the most famous attractions of Madeira and one you simply cannot miss!
This famous skywalk was built on top of the highest cliff in Madeira and in Europe (580 meters above sea level) and offers spectacular views and can cause a bit of vertigo too. It is completely free to visit and one you won’t forget.
You can also take a cable car down to Fajas de Cabo Girão. The cable car was originally used by farmers to transport produce from the fields that were used to grow vines. There is also a secluded beach located at the bottom of the cable car well worth visiting.
How to get to Camara de Lobos via Cabo Girao
There are a couple of ways in which you can combine visiting Cabo Girao and Camara de Lobos without taking a tour.
Bus number 7 (Rodoeste) from Funchal stops near Cabo Girao so you can start your trip here. After spending some time marvelling over the views you can walk down to the Camara de Lobos (around one hour) or catch the same bus returning from Ribeira Brava. Or you can take a Hop On Hop Off bus too!
The super fun way to travel between Cabo Girao and Camara de Lobos is by taking a little green tourist train. It costs €7.5 both ways but it’s a lot of fun! So the second way you can see Cabo Girao is to visit Camara de Lobos, take a green train up the Cabo and after viewing take the same train back to the village.
If you want to see it all hassle-free and dont mind spending a few bucks on a good tour you can look into booking this 4×4 tour which covers Cabo Girao Camara de Lobos, Cabo Girao and the west side of Madeira.
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Things to do in Camara de Lobos
Relax at the Harbour
Camara de Lobos Bay is definitely a focal point of the town and a wonderful place to just hang out. You can walk around the bay while taking tonnes of photos or just chill out in one of the cute restaurants located at the seafront.
Here you’ll find colourful fishing boats moored on the pebbly beach and a statue of Winston Churchill ‘sitting’ in front of the Pestana Hotel.
The inlet is surrounded by banana plantations and tenement houses towering over the bay – simply a lovely place to spend a few hours doing not much.
Discover Camara de Lobos Street Art
It’s not every day that you find a picturesque fishing town decorated with the most spectacular modern wall art. I knew Camara de Lobos was a pretty town, but I was very surprised by the murals I found there.
I tried to find out if there was a particular story behind the origin of murals, like in Funchal, but I couldn’t find much. One story I found was that of the large blue sea lion mural that Bordallo II created with paint and recycled cans and plastic bottles. He said that he created a portrait of nature with products that destroy it every day.
I guess the story I was looking for is told by the images themselves, some of which are very profound and thought-provoking.
Visit the Fishermen Chapel
Right behind the beach, you’ll find an inconspicuous little church, the Capela de Nossa Senhora da Concelcao. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much. Inside, you’ll find a beautifully decorated, gilded altar and paintings of fishermen and ships.
It’s said that fishermen’s wives came to this chapel to pray for their husbands while they were fishing in the wild waters.
Take photos from one of the Viewpoints
Take a walk to the Jardim do Ilheu, a beautiful little botanical garden perched on the cliff, offering a breathtaking view of the bay, the nearby Cabo Girão Skywalk and the vast ocean.
The Miradouro Winston Churchill is where Churchill is said to have painted his canvas. If you prefer to have a cup of coffee and watch life in the bay below, be sure to stop by Churchill’s Cafe
There’s also a viewing platform at the lighthouse that gives you a slightly different perspective for equally great photos.
Try fish with passionfruit sauce (and poncha!)
There is plenty of great restaurants and bars in Camara de Lobos where you can try delicious fish served with… passionfruit sauce! I followed the waiter’s recommendation and I wasn’t disappointed! You can either find a seat in one of the seafront restaurants or within the town. Plenty of places to chill, eat and enjoy delicious yet insidious poncha.
Make Camara de Lobos a starting point for Levada do Norte walk.
A trailhead of Levada do Norte is located only one hour’s walk from the Camara de Lobos Bay. So if you want to do this hike you might as well consider staying in Camara for the night and spending the whole of the next day hiking.
Levada do Norte will allow you to see the Cabo Girao and Camara de Lobos from afar and will take you to Ribeira Brava and back so it’s a great picturesque walk.
You can arrive in Camara de Lobos early, check into the hotel and do the walk on the first day. This way you will be able to enjoy a relaxed evening after the hike and spend the next day exploring the town before heading back to Funchal Pretty awesome two days!
Final thoughs on Visiting Camara de Lobos from Funchal
Visiting Camara de Lobos from Funchal is such a great day trip that you should definitely put it on your Madeira itinerary. Although not too much to do, this seems to be the biggest appeal of the town. But you can keep yourself as busy exploring or as relaxed as you wish. It’s a good place to allow the time to stop for a little bit.
Escape Funchal and relax in this cutest little town.
Let me know what you think about the town and if you think I have missed anything in this post. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!
Until then, happy travels and stay free!
Are you caught in the rain and Funchal and wondering what can you do? This is my guide to all the great things you can do in Funchal when it rains!
If you are planning to visit Machico for a great beach, here you can read about many other awesome things you can do in Machico.
And make sure you don’t miss my complete guide to the best hikes in Madeira you can do without the car.
If you are wondering where to stay in Madeira I have a complete overview of the best areas and accommodation recommendations for you.
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My favourite Travel Resources
- For most of my accommodation, I use Bookings.com and Hostel World. With both booking platforms, you will often get free cancellations and access to tons of reviews. Read them! You will also get the most extensive selection of all types of accommodation. I hardly ever look elsewhere. If you are travelling in Asia – Agoda is definitely worth checking out!
- Make sure you download Google Maps and, for each new destination, download an offline map of your location and surrounding area. This way, even without the internet or Wi-Fi, you will be able to get to navigate around the town.
Moovit is also an excellent and very underrated travel and journey-planning app. It works great in many countries and will show you all possible routes by public transport, including the timetables.
123Go — Great for tickets for trains, buses, ferries and charters in Southeast Asia! The best way to buy your ticket for the overnight Bangkok train! Rome2rio – Another great journey-planning app. If your way of travel is mainly public transport – you will use this app for sure!
The travel insurance I use is Heymondo, and their plan suits me perfectly. They have clear policies with no deductibles, the price is excellent for what they offer and the price doesn’t go up when you are over 30 years old. They have a dedicated, easy-to-use app and free assistance calls.
I can get a cover for a month or three months and I know I can travel with peace of mind and get the best product for my money. And it also covers COVID-19.
- I carry two debit cards with me. Given I don’t have a permanent country of residence, Revolut and Wise work fantastically. In case one gets frozen, stolen or simply lost, I have a backup. The great thing about both cards is that you can freeze them straight from your phone and transfer money between them in case you need to. You will also get a great exchange rate and create separate foreign currency accounts.
- I booked most of my tours via either Get Your Guide or Viator. You can also book locally, but I advise you to ask around and follow the local recommendations.
For more travel tips and recourses, visit Pati’s Travel Tips page!