Raposeira de São João is situated West-Madeira in the sunny council of Calheta. A perfect base for all kinds of activities that make a stay in Madeira so attractive.
Where the more easterly villages in the Calheta council are gradually getting too much built up, Fajã da Ovelha, the village where our hous is, lies in a rural and protected area, where building is usually limited to the reconstruction or renovation of existing houses.
On top of that, the limit of the Parque Natural da Madeira lies at the bottom of our valley, at less than 150 meters from our house. That guarantees an unobstructed view of the ocean and the wooded valley at your feet! The main image already will give you some clues, but the reality is even more stunning than any photo can ever be. In the small streams that abound in our valley, watercress grows, tell-tale of the excellent water quality. Beard mosses that you will find growing on many trees are an indicator of the lack of air pollution in Madeira.
The house lies in a small hamlet that is aptly called ‘Soalheira de Baixo’ which means, lower sunny spot. The area has a spectacular beauty, with rugged deep gorges and countless streams and brooks, upholstered with tiny fields, often glued against the steep slopes. The whole area breathes peace, quiet and the unspoilt beauty that abounds in Madeira. It provides stunning views from the house and from the garden!
But also the surrounding hamlets and villages have a lot of natural beauty to offer. Ponta do Pargo, Paúl do Mar and Jardim do Mar are within easy reach and each have their own character and views. Visit the view point of Garganta Funda (yes, it does mean ‘Deep Throat’) and see how breathtakingly beautiful is the West coast of the island. And the beauty of the Garganta Funda waterfall will leave you speachless. It is so high and narrow, it was not possible to make a good picture of it. You will have to see for yourself!
In Paúl do Mar you will find the perfect spot to have some nice sundowners. Even if the weather is not too good it is an excellent spot, as the high cliffs at Paúl do Mar’s back provide shelter from the often northerly chilly winds. Sundown in Paúl is often spectacular. We have made a habit of making a picture of all our Bed and Breakfast winter guests against its stunning backdrop. They are all published on our ‘Wall of Fame‘.
The old main road – in its hayday only suitable for oxen sledges ad pedestrians – branches off of the main road that links the church area of Fajã da Ovelha to the express road VE3. Together with the Levada Nova, it forms a beautiful circular walk from the house, which you can do leasurely in 3 hours and a half. The walk gives a good view of the Lausrissiva, the last European moderate primeval forest that still thrives in places all over the island. But you have also nice views of the small-scale agriculture on the island and the way people live here. Soon, the route description will be published on this web site.
From Paúl do Mar, a relatively new tunnel leads directly to Jardim do Mar, which means ‘Garden of the Sea’. A network of beautifully paved alleys take you to all corners of thi extremely green and flowery village that is very much worth a visit. The small church in the centre is a little gem in all its simplicity. Culture lovers should visit the interesting website of Madeira Cultura The site gives an overview of all kinds of expositions, concerts, theatre performances, museums and folkloristic events in the island. You will need to come back to the island to see it all!
Apart from the many different and overwhelming landscapes in Madeira, we are always struck by the stunning and ever changing skies over the island. For those who love dramatic or serene skies, have a look at the gallery below.
You want to make yourself familiar with the island already?
There is a website that tells you all about Madeira and Porto Santo.