Things to do in
Estreito da Calheta

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Our most recommended things to do in Estreito da Calheta

Madeira Island: Whale and Dolphin Watching

1. Madeira Island: Whale and Dolphin Watching

Discover magnificent marine monsters in their natural habitat with this fantastic tour. After boarding your boat, set off on a 2-hour journey of discovery as you venture into the Atlantic ocean. Finally get close to some of the most amazing animals on the planet.  Aboard your RIB boat, you can quickly reach where the animals are, and increase your chances of seeing more species on your trip. With the help of an expert spotter, you can really make the most of your experience with up-to-date information about where the whales and dolphins are. During the boat trip, you will also be accompanied by an experienced crew, who will beguile you with tales and everything you need to know about the marine life around Madeira island.  Marvel at amazing whales and dolphins, swimming and diving in their natural habitat. From your boat, you can also take in fantastic views of Madeira island. With your friendly expert guides, you will have a truly unforgettable experience. 

Madeira: Whale Watching Excursion in a Traditional Vessel

2. Madeira: Whale Watching Excursion in a Traditional Vessel

Discover the protected marine areas surrounding the island of Madeira on a boat trip with expert local guides. Enjoy a whale-watching excursion on the "Ribeira Brava", a traditional wooden fishing boat restored down to the smallest detail which the only boat of its kind in Madeira. Admire the views of the coast as you sail out to sea. Explore and try to spot monk seals, different bird species, dolphins, and whale species in their natural habitat. Watch amazing breaches and marine creatures frolicking in the open ocean.

Madeira: 2-Hour Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

3. Madeira: 2-Hour Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

Glide around Madeira Island as you search for whales and dolphins by speedboat. Experience close encounters with the island's wildlife and follow the guidance of your local crew to approach animals with awareness. Meet your speedboat crew at the port and aboard a modern and highly efficient whale watching vessel. The speedboat's silent engines are ideal for wildlife watching as they cause little disturbance to the sensitive hearing of whales and dolphins. Once aboard, tour the sea around Madiera Island and beyond as your speed boat takes you to far distances for an optimal marine-watching experience.

Funchal: Amazing Craters of Fire 4x4 Tour

4. Funchal: Amazing Craters of Fire 4x4 Tour

Enjoy the warmest place of Madeira and what is has to offer. The southwest is the point less visited by foreigners, making all the viewpoints unique. You can admire the lovely scenery freely there without the crowds of tourists around spoiling it. You'll start at Campanário, with tiny 2-way roads making for great adventures. Once at Ponta do Sol, you will take an off-road track up to the plateau which sits at 1,500 meters. This track will see you passing by green mountains, all of which are covered with forests. Following that, stop at Prazeres where you have the option to taste home-made dishes which pack plenty of flavor. You'll then make your way down to the villages near the coastline, where charismatic fishing villages create a contrast with the colors of the sky and mountains. You will see old terraces where people still work with their hands in the production of bananas, sugar cane, and subtropical fruits.

Porto Santo: Kayak Tour from Ponta Calheta

5. Porto Santo: Kayak Tour from Ponta Calheta

Embark on a kayaking tour from Ponta Calheta and discover beautiful landscapes of volcanic rock formations, caves, and rugged coastlines. Choose from two different routes: Kayaking to Cal Islet Start the tour on Calheta Beach and head to the nearby Cal Islet located just offshore. See the rugged volcanic rock formations of the island including its many caves and high cliffs. Kayaking to Zimbralinho Beach Start from Calheta Beach and kayak along the coast to Zimbralinho Beach. Discover the beautiful coast of Porto Santo ánd its inlets, arriving at the pristine Zimbralinho Beach.

Madeira: Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio Private Walk

6. Madeira: Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio Private Walk

Journey from the center of Santo da Serra to Ribeiro Frio, two of the main points of interest on Madeira Island, visited not only by tourists but also by residents. Walk through a forest road passing by the Trout Fishing Park, where you can relax for a while, having a tea or simply enjoying the surroundings. Immerse yourself in the amazing nature at the Levada, enjoying every step while you appreciate the wide variety of endemic flora and fauna of Madeira Laurisilva. Discover open areas that offer magnificent views of the valley and peaks of the island. Continue walking along the levada, enjoying the energy of all this pure nature surround you.

Madeira: Old Roads to Calheta Tour

7. Madeira: Old Roads to Calheta Tour

Travel the old roads to discover sea and mountain views on the western coast of Madeira on this tour to Calheta. Enjoy scenic viewpoints, plenty of photo opportunities, and stops for tasting local food and drinks. Along the tour, take in the views over Câmara de Lobos and Cabo Girão, followed by Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol, Madalena do Mar, and finally Calheta. Discover places only known by locals and learn information about the spots you visit. There will also be stops in between for optional snacks and drinks. Views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Madeiran Mountains will be a constant backdrop for your tour. Later, get dropped off at a location in the city of Funchal.

Calheta: Madeira Private Yacht Cruise with Snorkeling & Wine

8. Calheta: Madeira Private Yacht Cruise with Snorkeling & Wine

Experience the beauty of Madeira's coast on this private yacht tour. Cruise along the coastline to see steep cliffs and charming red-roofed villages. Jump from the boat into the cool refreshing water. Meet your crew and board the boat. Set off along the coast from Calheta and have the freedom to explore the shore in either direction. Uncover secret spots that can only be accessed by boat. Dive into the water and snorkel through rock formations and schools of sliver fish. Pick from the daytime option where you can sun on deck or the evening option which allows you take in stunning views of the sunset over the sea. Travel in a well-maintained craft and have the use of amenities like towels and a cabin. Chill out with a fresh drink or sparkling wine served by the professional crew. Head back to Calheta

From Calheta: Ribeira Brava Catamaran Cruise

9. From Calheta: Ribeira Brava Catamaran Cruise

Discover the southwest coast of Madeira Island on a catamaran cruise to Ribeira Brava. See coastal villages and towering cliffs along your journey, stopping for a dip in the open sea once you arrive. Make the most of a trip out at sea and see Madeira from a different perspective. Depart from Calheta Marina and head out to sea, hugging the cliff-lined, lush coastline. Pass by the beautiful Madalena do Mar and Ponta do Sol municipalities on your way. Arrive at Ribeira Brava, one of the largest municipalities on the island, and marvel at its football stadium, which is tucked in the middle of the valley. Stop for a spot of sunbathing on the decks, with a breathtaking valley view of Ribeira Brava as a backdrop. Cool down in the open waters of the sea, before returning to Calheta.

South & Sunset 4x4 Jipe tour - SOUTHWEST COAST MADEIRA

10. South & Sunset 4x4 Jipe tour - SOUTHWEST COAST MADEIRA

Embark on an unforgettable sunset trip to the south coast of Madeira starting with pickup at your accommodation in Funchal or Caniço. Stop at Ponta do Sol, Calheta, Jardim do Mar, and more. End with a mesmerizing sunset and time for dinner.  Start your discovery of the south coast of the island towards Ponta do Sol, where you’ll make your first stop. Then, head towards Calheta, famous for its sandy beach.  Stop at Jardim do Mar next and fall in love with the typical streets of this rustic village. Continue to Paúl do Mar and then to Ponta do Pargo.  Once in Ponta do Pargo, enjoy time for dinner (costs not included) and then have the opportunity to be dazzled by the best Atlantic sunset.

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What people are saying about Estreito da Calheta

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 44 reviews

We saw 2 schools of dolphins, the first one was small in number, but it was a larger dolphin species. The second school was much greater in number, but much greater in number. The 2 crew members were friendly and helpful, especially when 1 of the passengers became seasick. It was great to see the dolphins up close, sometimes swimming under the boat or right in front of the boat. Sailing with a RIB is also an experience in itself and we had nice weather, so it was also a nice experience at sea…. Recommended !

Beautiful tour! We saw a lot of dolphins and even one of the rare monk seals. We would do it again at any time and can only recommend the trip to everyone :) The special thing: at the end there are even professional pictures that are sent to you free of charge afterwards. Really great service, because you can hardly capture these moments with a cell phone.

We had a great tour. The ride is action-packed. We also saw dolphins and a large group of sperm whales! The guides give a lot of understandable information with a lot of humor.

Very nice outing with two very smiling guides who shared a lot of things. They scrambled to find dolphins and didn't hesitate to take a little longer than expected.

Excursion was mega, super nice TEAM. Saw smaller whales and lots of dolphins. Really worth it.