Sao Vicente and the volcanic centre of Madeira
Sao Vicente is a romantic place, situated in a valley in the North of Madeira.
Eventhough the village lays at the sea, Sao Vicente feels more like a mountain village.
The place itself hasn't much to offer, but the nature that surrounds it is oh so beautiful.
Together with Boaventura and Ponta Delgada it belongs to the Municipio de Sao Vicente.
The name derives of the saint who is said to have appeared at the mouth of the (often dry) river that flows near the village. The small chapel "Capela de Nossa Senhora da Piedade" was built in 1694 and reminds of this happening.
In the center of the village there are some traffic free streets that allow for a nice and quiet walk. Most of the houses here, including the church of Sao Vicente were built in the 18th century.
Near the church there is an opportunity for a drink and a snack. The better restaurants however can be found at the sea side.
The caves of Sao Vicente and the volcanic centre of Madeira.
The caves of Sao Vicente are a must see at Madeira.
They are in fact huge lava tubes and remainings of a far past when volcanos created Madeira Island.
After a guided tour of about half an hour, the visitors are expected in the Volcanic Centre.
They will learn here through film and animation about volcanos and how they gave rise to Madeira.
It is a very interesting visit that will provide a different view on your next walks through the mountains and Madeira's nature.
The caves can only be visited together with a guide (who speaks fluent English).
There is no special clothing required as the caves are perfectly dry !
Opening hours : daily (except on Christmas from 10.00AM to 7PM.
Entrance fee : 7 Euro, free for children under 5.
Getting to Sao Vicente :
Using Funchal as your starting point, you should take the Via Rapida to Ribeira Brava.
The most beautiful route from Ribeira Brava goes over the Encumeada Pass towards Sao Vicente. The shortest and quickest, but also darkest route goes through the tunnel.
On the way back you can choose for the nice route along the North coast in the direction of Santana.
Recommended Sao Vicente hotels :
Estalagem do Mar in Sao Vicente
Hotel Monte Mar Palace in Ponta Delgada
Casa da Capelinha in Ponta Deldaga
You can make an online booking of these fine hotels in Sao Vicente and Ponta Delgada
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Click for photos of Sao Vicente and the caves