is a steep sea cliff located in
the southern part of the Atlantic
Portuguese Madeira Islands.
fields lying beneath the cliff
used to be only accessible by
boat. In August 2003, a cable
car was installed on the slope
of the cliff so farmers can
reach these low-lying fields.
is a popular lookout point as
well as a starting point for
hikers. Above the cliffs stand
a communications tower and the
parish of Quinta Grande. The
road linking Calheta and Funchal
runs 1 km north.
down from the world's second highest
sea cliff, Cabo Girao, Maderia,
The length of the cliff reaches
from approximately 1 km south
of Campanário to the west
of the urban sprawl of Câmara
Situated less than
2 km from the town of Câmara
de Lobos, it rises from 560 to
589 meters above sea level. Many
brochures tell that it is the
second steepest cliff in Europe,
but at least two European cliffs
(Preikestolen with 604 m and Slieve
League with 601 m) are higher.
The Portuguese poet
Luis Vaz de Camões once called
the island of Madeira "the end
of the world." Stand at the vertical
rock face called Cabo Girão
on the main island's southern coast
and you begin to understand why. Taller
than any sea cliff in Europe, this
is also the second highest in the
world, the cape dives nearly a half
mile down to the Atlantic ocean, but
does not stop there. As the exposed
upper reaches of an enormous oceanic
volcano, this land mass's steep flanks
are surrounded by such deep waters
that sperm whale are often sighted
offshore. Atop these majestic cliffs,
one can gaze to the horizon over the
Atlantic to follow the bending corridor
of the Earth.
While standing at the top provides
the bird's-eye perspective, a position
within its great shadow on the sea
provides an entirely different one.
Sporting a headdress of eucalyptus
and fern-like mimosa trees, the black
chunk of basalt is necklaced in white
ribbons of falling water which irrigate
a forest of colorful mosses, lichens,
and cliff-loving plants called stonecrop.
To really appreciate the enormity
of these cliffs, hop on a boat for
a perfect view of the cape.