Factory in East Madeira Apart from being well-known among Portuguese sports fans as being the venue for Portugal's first football match (there is a monument mainly square), Camacha today is about one traditional product – wicker. Harvested from the nearby mountains, it’s dried and graded before being twisted and weaved into myriad objects of varying examples of usefulness.
The industry's epicentre can be a building within the town centre called O Relógio (The Clock), which houses a workshop, shop and displays. This being Madeira, the O Relógio building is entered about the 2nd floor, where there are the shop. Half exhibition, half souvenir emporium, the wicker is available in all sizes and shapes, from huge mirror frames and doll's house furniture to suitcases and bread baskets, mini Monte toboggans and lampshades to fruit baskets and bottle of champange holders. Prices are affordable and the quality higher than normal – items often last for decades.
Down a straight from a shop an exhibition of wicker creations may have you reaching for you got it. A wicker replica of Zarco's caravel sails on the stairs while wicker monkeys and frogs stare back at you with old-fashioned teddy-bear eyes. You won't be reaching for your wallet here, though – regardless how much you offer, sadly none on this is on the market. What is good for sale would be the large home furnishings, extremely popular among Madeira’s smaller guesthouses and quinta hotels.
Arguably one of the most interesting component of O Relógio may be the basement where 4 to 5 nimble-fingered local craftspeople take a seat on old cushions creating items for a store. They’ll gladly demonstrate their skill and let you handle the products they make, but few speak any English. Here you can even see the crude wooden templates they'll use to fashion baskets and lampshades, together with inspect the bushels of graded wicker stacked facing the walls.
Museu da Baleia
Museum in East Madeira Once the exhibition housed in small seafront building, Caniçal's Whale Museum was gone to live in a large, multi-million-euro ultra-modern complex in 2012, which makes it possibly the world's best museum focused on the topic. The fascinating exhibition is divided into two sections – whaling on Madeira and whales – with the automatic commentary playing with your ears as you go.
The first section plots training through the brief reputation Madeira's whaling industry, looking at the amateur beginnings to its final demise inside early 1980s. There are real whaling boats, gruesome harpoons, instances of scimshaw (whale-bone art) plus a slightly nauseating film showing how whales were caught and butchered in Caniçal. However, upstairs is how the real wow-factor is – gigantic
whale, dolphin and seal models hang on the ceiling, you'll be able to head to the deep inside a submarine, there are lots of 3D films on every aspect of whales' lives to observe and a lot of information to digest. Count on spending a minimum of 2½ hours here.
Statue in East Madeira The upmarket village of Garajau hangs for dear life around the side of cliff, 6km because the crow flies from central Funchal. On an often blustery promontory below the village stands the Christo Rei, a late-1920s mini-version of Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue, arms outspread, eyes gazing into your infinite blue with the Atlantic.
Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo
Landmark in East Madeira Few airports might be counted as true tourist destinations, but Madeira's runway stuffed on stilts in the Atlantic and surrounded on three sides by mountains definitely is usually. From Santa Cruz head uphill across the ER207 which runs high on top of the runway for nice views of planes performing the tricky landing manoeuvre.
Praia de Garajau
Beach in East Madeira At the foot with the cliff atop which stands the Christo Rei statue, this stony beach used to be used for dismembering and boiling up whales caught by boats off Madeira. It's since been changed into a leisure complex having a restaurant and also other facilities reached by cable car or maybe a very long and zigzagging road.
Capela dos Milagres
Chapel in East Madeira Machico has three churches but by far the most famous would be the pretty little Miracles Chapel for the north side in the river. It was famously washed away in the flood in 1803, even so the crucifix is discovered bobbing within the Atlantic by an American galley. Miracle!, the locals declared, hence the chapel's name.
Praia de Machico
Beach in East Madeira Gently sloping sun-trap beach manufactured with golden sand shipped in from Morocco and protected by two artificial breaks. Facilities include toilets, volleyball court and showers. There are lots of restaurants nearby.
Complexo Balnear Lido Galomar
Beach in East Madeira Take the lift down from Caniço de Baixo's Hotel Galomar to find this secluded sun-trapping bathing area with sea access, pools plus a first-rate restaurant.