Porto da Cruz
Porto da Cruz, on the north coast of Madeira, is an area with many attractions. Among them, the cuisine which is well represented in the local restaurants.
This is very much a rural village well known for producing wine, the importance of which is marked annually in September during the Grape Festival. At the centre of the agglomeration, by the sea, there is a cluster of cafes and restaurants and, as you weave in and out of the streets, you will find white houses, some adorned with rose bushes, making this area picture perfect.
Porto da Cruz has been, at times, connected to the sugar cane culture, an activity that left behind relics like an interesting sugar mill and a factory with a 27 metre high tower, it’s possible to visit both.
This is also a very desirable location for surfers and sunbathers. For holliday-makers, the Praia da Lagoa in Porto da Cruz offers a solarium and good access to the sea, manned by lifeguards during the summer, showers and changing room, playground and restaurant. Another option is the local swimming pools.
As in virtually all the island, Porto da Cruz also has a good variety of walks such as the nature trails of Penha d’Aguia, Pico do Larano and Boca do Risco, among others. Despite the steep access, it is worth visiting Penha d’Aguia with its imposing rock that separates Porto da Cruz from Faial and a breathtaking view.
With regards to its heritage, we recommend a visit to the main church of Porto da Cruz, a temple built after the destruction of the old church of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe which was demolished in 1961 and still protects some decorative Baroque elements of the former church.
Other points of interest:
Fortim do Porto da Cruz The ruins of this fort, which was built in the late18th century, stand on a small headland. The building still has some tough, grey stonework in the door and window frames, although the walls have been destroyed by decay and acts of vandalism.
Solar Nossa Senhora de Belém This manor house, a testimony of former glory, is today in complete demolition. Built in stone masonry and lime, this is a construction from 1770 made up of a chapel and extensive grounds. Inside, there is a double window overlooking the interior of the chapel. It reveals an altar of arched masonry with a carved altarpiece that frames a painting referring to the birth of Jesus Christ. On the floor of the temple, there is a tomb with the quartered coat of arms of the founder of the chapel.
Vereda do Larano Carved in reddish volcanic slags and dark basaltic dikes, Vereda do Larano lies on the edge of a cliff, three hundred metres above sea level. It was via this path that the population of Porto da Cruz moved to Machico to address issues in the Town Hall or the Public Treasury