Curral das Freiras, located in the heart of Madeira Island, is a picturesque parish in the municipality of Câmara de Lobos.
This hidden gem is situated in a mountainous region, offering breathtaking landscapes and lush vegetation that stretches as far as the eye can see.
To make the most of your visit, be sure to explore the charming village itself and venture to the mesmerizing viewpoints scattered throughout the area.
Witnessing the beauty of Curral das Freiras from these vantage points is truly captivating, but it’s the awe-inspiring view from below that will leave you speechless.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unveil the best things to do in Curral das Freiras.
Discover the must-visit viewpoints that provide a panoramic glimpse of the region’s splendor.
Immerse yourself in local culture with our curated tour suggestions, ensuring an unforgettable experience. Navigate effortlessly with the help of our detailed map, and find out the best routes to reach Curral.
Are you ready to embark on a remarkable journey through the enchanting interior of Madeira Island? Join us as we unveil the wonders of Curral das Freiras and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Why is it called Curral das Freiras?
Initially this region of Madeira was called Curral or Curral da Serra, as it was a place for grazing animals.
However, during the 16th century, with attacks by French corsairs on Funchal, the nuns of the Convent of Santa Clara sought refuge in this remote and isolated location.
For a long time, Curral das Freiras was practically isolated from the rest of the island.
In fact, there are reports of Curral residents who have never seen the sea, despite being only 15 km from the coast.
This peculiarity is truly amazing.
Best Things To Do in Curral das Freiras, Madeira Island
Here’s a list of Top Things To Do in Curral das Freiras, Madeira.
Curral das Freiras offers a range of captivating attractions that you shouldn’t miss during your visit.
Some of the must-visit sites include the Parish of Nossa Senhora do Livramento, the Chestnut Museum, the enchanting levadas, and the breathtaking Fajã Escura viewpoint.
Begin your exploration at the Parish of Nossa Senhora do Livramento, where you can marvel at the architectural beauty and historical significance of this charming church.
Next, immerse yourself in the fascinating world of chestnut cultivation by visiting the Chestnut Museum. Gain unique insights into the importance of this crop in the region and appreciate its excellence through engaging exhibits.
While strolling along the streets of Curral das Freiras, take the time to discover the renowned levadas. These tranquil irrigation canals offer serene pathways, allowing you to connect with nature and enjoy leisurely walks amidst stunning surroundings.
Finally, make your way to the remarkable Fajã Escura viewpoint.
From this vantage point, be prepared to be awe-struck by the awe-inspiring vistas of the majestic mountains and verdant slopes. It’s the perfect spot to soak in the natural beauty of Curral das Freiras and capture unforgettable photographs.
Ensure that you allocate ample time to fully explore each of these captivating sites and make the most of your visit to Curral das Freiras.
Madeirense Route: Discover the Unmissable Viewpoints of Curral das Freiras
The viewpoints overlooking Curral das Freiras are the perfect opportunity to contemplate the majesty of the mountains that surround this charming village.
To enjoy panoramic and unobstructed views, we selected three viewpoints that we consider excellent places to appreciate the Curral.
Thus, the Miradouro Boca da Corrida and the Miradouro Boca dos Namorados, located in the parish of Jardim da Serra, provide stunning views over Curral das Freiras.
These viewpoints offer spectacular scenery, allowing you to appreciate the natural beauty and grandeur of the mountains.
Another unmissable option is the Eira do Serrado Viewpoint, located in the parish of Santo António.
When visiting this viewpoint, you will also have a breathtaking view of Curral das Freiras, with its slopes and the village in the valley.
It is a place that will certainly delight nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.
I should mention that, to get to Curral das Freiras, you need to take the road that passes through Eira do Serrado.
If you are at the other two viewpoints, you will have to go around Funchal to get to the village.
Therefore, plan your itinerary considering this information to make the most of your visit to Curral das Freiras and enjoy the views that the viewpoints provide.
Boca da Corrida Viewpoint: A breathtaking view of Curral das Freiras
The Boca da Corrida Viewpoint, located in Jardim da Serra, is a true treasure hidden in a dead-end road.
Although the Caminho da Encumeada (PR12) passes through here, it is important to mention that this route is quite long and challenging, not recommended for families with children due to its duration of more than 6 hours.
However, for those who want to enjoy the views of Curral das Freiras and the central massif, the Miradouro da Corrida is a mandatory stop.
During our visit, we were lucky enough to experience even more impressive scenery, as we were there just after a storm. In other words, the hills around the Curral glittered with spontaneous waterfalls, adding a special touch to the landscape.
As you can imagine, this is the perfect place to admire the majesty of the mountains, so be sure to bring your camera to capture these magical moments.
Boca dos Namorados Viewpoint: Stunning Landscapes and Memorable Picnics
The Boca dos Namorados Viewpoint offers equally stunning landscapes, located approximately 6 km from Boca da Corrida.
In addition, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a picnic area with a barbecue area, ideal for a pleasant picnic.
If you are curious about this viewpoint, you can watch this small video (shorts) on Youtube from Passaporte no Bolso, although it is in Portuguese. However, don’t worry, you’ll still have the chance to see the great views of Curral das Freiras.
Also, if you like travel videos, check out the other videos available on the channel that show our trip to Madeira. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to be notified when new videos are available.
Eira do Serrado Viewpoint: Breathtaking Views at 1095 Meters Altitude
The Eira do Serrado Viewpoint, situated in the parish of Santo António, offers a truly unique experience. To reach this remarkable viewpoint, simply follow the path leading to Estalagem Eira do Serrado, where it is located.
It’s worth noting that individuals prone to vertigo might experience some discomfort, as the viewpoint is suspended at an impressive altitude of 1095 meters.
Nevertheless, the panoramic view from this site more than compensates for any apprehension.
From Miradouro Eira do Serrado, visitors can behold the stunning beauty of the surrounding mountains and the picturesque valley of Curral das Freiras.
It’s an ideal spot for those seeking to fully appreciate the magnificence of Madeira’s landscape.
Suggestions of what to do in Curral das Freiras, Madeira
- Hiking, but keep the safety precautions in mind.
- Explore historical levadas such as Levada do Curral and Castelejo.
- Delight yourself with the typical gastronomy, including chestnut soup, chestnut cheesecake, chestnut bread, sour cherry liqueur and pastel do Curral.
- Visit Praia dos Cabeças, a stunning river beach set in a dream setting.
These suggestions offer a mix of outdoor activities, cultural exploration, and culinary experiences for visitors to enjoy in Curral das Freiras.
Map, Tours, and How to Get to Curral das Freiras
When planning a visit to Curral das Freiras on Madeira Island, there are various options available to help you navigate and make the most of your experience.
If you’re traveling by rental car, like we did, we recommend consulting the map below for precise directions to ensure a smooth journey.
For those who prefer public transport, you can take bus number 81, an interurban route that departs from Funchal and goes directly to Curral das Freiras.
If you prefer the convenience and expertise of an organized tour, there are several options to choose from.
One popular choice is the Curral das Freiras 4-Hour Tour, which provides a fully guided exploration of the site.
Additionally, there are tours that offer a more comprehensive experience by including other interesting stops. For example, the Curral das Freiras, Monte and Carro de Cesto from Funchal Tour encompasses multiple attractions in the region.
For a unique and exciting perspective, Madeira: Valley of Nuns and Montains 4X4 Tour from Funchal offers an exhilarating adventure.
These tour options cater to different preferences and provide opportunities to discover Curral das Freiras and its surroundings in various ways.
How many inhabitants does Curral das Freiras have?
According to the latest available censuses, carried out in 2001, it is estimated that Curral das Freiras has around 2000 people.
It is important to mention that, due to the mountainous terrain of the region, the houses are concentrated in a single area, surrounded by the high mountains that characterize the place.
Is it worth staying overnight at Curral das Freiras?
If you desire the unique experience of waking up surrounded by majestic mountains, staying overnight in Curral das Freiras is highly recommended.
There are three accommodation options available in the area: Danny’s Rural Suite, which can accommodate up to four people; the Coração da Madeira, offering modern interiors; and the centrally located Valley of Nuns Holiday Apartments.
However, if none of these options suit your preferences, it’s advisable to explore the availability of other hotels in the region. During our visit, we stayed at Quinta da Saraiva in Câmara de Lobos, and we highly recommend this accommodation on Madeira Island.
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- Ponta de São Lourenço Trail: PR8, boat and lunch at Cais do Sardinha
- Machico Madeira: Whale Museum, Pico do Facho Viewpoint, and more
- Madeira Airport (FNC)
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