Caniçal, despite its arid look, presents the visitor with one of the most beautiful landscapes of Madeira. Ponta de São Lourenço with its adjacent islet is an ode to natural beauty.
In fact, this cosy fishing village offers the visitor a bit of everything. Here, you can savour fantastic delicacies at very attractive prices, such as limpets, prawns, the traditional bread “bolo do caco” and the most common fish on the island. But Caniçal is also a land of rich traditions and a great place to go to the beach or to explore fantastic trails through the mountains.
If you like natural beaches, here you can enjoy the fantastic Prainha which is a small area of natural black sand; the bathing complex of Ribeira de Natal or the pools of Caniçal. With regard to walking tours there is a whole range on offer, the most popular routes being the Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço and the Levada do Caniçal.
In September, the parish celebrates with a feast and holds a procession of Our Lady of Mercy, which is the fishermen’s way of expressing their gratitude to the Virgin for protecting them at sea. The boats are ceremoniously decorated and the statue of the Virgin is carried by boats, during a ceremony that attracts hundreds of people.
With the creation of the International Business Centre of Madeira, Caniçal was chosen to host the Industrial Zona Franca, where factories and the harbour are located.
In this parish, you should also visit the Whale Museum which is dedicated to the history of whale hunting and the conservation of cetaceans.
To stay overnight there is a fantastic tourist resort, the Quinta do Lorde Resort Marina.
If you appreciate religious heritage, enjoy and make the most of the beautiful baroque architecture with rococo details in the Main Church of Caniçal which was built in 1783. The church is of a longitudinal design with a single nave, a gable cornice main façade, with a full arch stone doorway, topped by a large window with the coat of arms. As well as this temple, the the 16th century Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy and the Igreja de São Sebastião are also heritage of great historical and patrimonial interest.