Ribeira Brava is a municipality on the south coast of Madeira Island.
The main reason that took us to Ribeira Brava was to try the traditional Poncha at Taberna da Poncha, which is in Serra D’Água.
Thus, in this blog post, we will give you some suggestions on what to visit in Ribeira Brava, how to get to Taberna da Poncha in Serra D´Água, what levadas you can do, and hotel tips to better organize your itinerary in Madeira.
So, will you join us on this trip on the southwest coast of Madeira Island?
Ribeira Brava what to visit
The main attractions in the center of Ribeira Brava are the Ethnographic Museum of Madeira, the Miradouro de São Sebastião, the Forte de São Bento and the Ribeira Brava Lighthouse.
Also, take the opportunity to visit Ribeira Brava beach, which is protected from the waves by a breakwater.
The main reason that took us to Ribeira Brava was Taberna da Poncha, which is about 10 km from the center.
The Poncha Taberna in Serra D’Água
Many bars and restaurants serve Poncha in Madeira, but the most traditional is at Taberna da Poncha in Serra D’Água.
Taberna da Poncha is a rustic place on the side of the road that connects Ribeira Brava to Serra de Água.
The Poncha is made on the spot, so you can see how this traditional drink is prepared and who knows, try making it at home.
Be aware that the walls of the tavern have business cards, bills (cash), and scarves from football clubs.
The traditional Poncha takes lemon, sugarcane honey, brandy, and orange juice, but there are other variations, for example, with passion fruit.
It’s a drink with a lot of alcohol, so you should have something to eat (at Taberna da Poncha you can buy bags of peanuts) or prefer the versions with ice.
In any case, be extra careful with the alcohol in the Poncha if you have to drive.
The levadas in Ribeira Brava
Walking along the levadas or paths is an excellent way to discover the magnificent landscapes of Madeira Island, but do you know the difference between a Levada and a Vereda?
In the south of Madeira, there was no water in abundance, so it was necessary to find a way to take water from the springs in the north of the island to the south.
The solution found was to build levadas, that is, buildings that channel water to the places where it is needed.
Thus, the levadas are trails that accompany these constructions, while the veredas are dry trails, meaning they do not follow the watercourses.
In the Ribeira Brava area there are three recommended routes, so if you are a hiker, take note of the following: PR1.3 Vereda da Encumeada (Pico Ruivo-Encumeada), PR12 – Caminho Real da Encumeada (Boca da Corrida-Encumeada) and PR17 – Pináculo and Folhadal Path (Lombo do Mouro – Caramujo – Folhadal – Encumeada).
In addition to these, you can also visit Levada Nova – Tábua, Levada do Norte and Calhau da Lapa.
Hotels in Ribeira Brava
We stayed at Quinta da Saraiva in Câmara de Lobos, about 12 km away and we recommend this hotel.
It is an incredible Rural Boutique Hotel with vineyards and banana trees and with a privileged location over the bay of Câmara de Lobos.
However, if you prefer to stay overnight in Ribeira Brava, you can see some suggestions below.
Map and how to get to Ribeira Brava
Taking the city of Funchal as a reference point, count on a journey of 20 km, that is, about 20 minutes to reach the center of the village.
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