Fajã dos Padres – sleep or have lunch on the “island within the island”
Who doesn’t want to have a private piece of paradise? Fajã dos Padres, on the beautiful island of Madeira, is perhaps not the most accessible place to go, but definitely one of the most beautiful and special places I have come across in Portugal. If you love nature, sea and peace and quiet, this is the place for you!
The Madeira coastline is one with impressive, high cliffs. A very famous viewpoint is that of Cabo Girão, where you can stand on a glass platform, looking 580 metres down on the Atlantic Ocean. Close to this skywalk, Fajã dos Padres is located at the bottom of the cliff, right by the ocean. You can only reach it by cable car or by boat, which makes it “an island within the island”. Here you can enjoy sleeping in a beautiful holiday home or come for a delicious lunch on a sunny day.
The history of this property goes back to the 15th century, when settlers discovered this isolated piece of land on the island. Later came the Jesuits, who introduced the winegrowing. In spite of its isolation, Fajã was once inhabited by approximately fifty people, between settlers and Jesuits, distributed by an agglomerate of about ten houses.
You can relive this history, by staying in one of nine rebuilt holiday homes. They are spread around the property, each of them with its own unique character. All of the houses are equipped with a kitchenette, bathroom and private balcony.
There’s the Boat House which is located between the beach and the banana fields. This was originally a warehouse where fishing articles and the boat of the property were kept. Now you can enjoy the sound of the waves and the fabulous view. Another example is the Sailor’s House, once inhabited by a former land owner and still full of the original characteristics.
When you stay at Fajã dos Padres, the beach is right at your doorstep. It’s a pebble beach, but most people use the beach chairs on the platform near the pier to sunbath. It’s not only hotel guests that come here, but also locals and some tourists that are well informed. They come by boat or cable car and will leave before sunset.
As was the case in previous times, the property is used for growing many exotic fruits. Mangoes, avocado, banana, grapes and, in a smaller scale, a wide set of exotic fruits such as papaya, pitanga (surinam cherry), araça (a brasilian fruit) figs, passion fruit, tabaibo, pineapple and pomegranates.
The grapes are used for making malmsey wine, the typical Madeira wine made from the Malvasia grape. You can taste it after a visit to the wine cellar on the property.
Next to the holiday park there’s a very good restaurant. Locals love coming here for lunch on a sunny day. Taste the traditional Madeiran food on the beautiful seaside terrace.
As a guest of the accommodation you can choose to have your breakfast in this restaurant or have it delivered at your house. The restaurants closes to visitors at 6.00 p.m., so dinners are always served at your holiday home.
Elevador da Fajã dos Padres
Fajã dos Padres can only be reached by boat or cable car. The Elevador da Fajã dos Padres takes you down the 300 metres high cliff in a very comfortable way. It runs from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, but if you’re a guest of Fajã dos Padres you can request trips outside service hours (it requires prior communication). As a guest you don’t pay for these rides.
Fajã dos Padres is located on the southern coast of the island Madeira. The city centre of capital Funchal lies around 14 kilometres to the east.
The Fajã dos Padres website will give you all the extra information you need about sleeping here, the restaurant, boat trips or just visiting the property.