Fajã – simple word concealing the best spots in Madeira

Fajã da Quebrada Nova -picture by A.Szerejko

I spotted the word „fajã” so many times while travelling through the island and checking the map of Madeira. Fajã dos Padres – one of the best swimming places, levada Fajã do Rodrigues – one of my favourite trails, Fajãs de Cabo Girao – wonderful place to watch sunsets, Fajã da Ovelha – haven’t been there yet, Fajã da Rocha do Navio – still on my bucket list and finally Fajã da Quebrada Nova. Soon I’ll get back to the last one. For sure there are more fajãs on Madeira Island to discover. Lately I started to wonder what this word actually means. It turned out it describes a flat landfall at a base of the cliff that was created by flowing lava. Due to the good atmospheric conditions and fertile land, those parts of island are still used by farmers to grow crops. Moreover, usually they attract tourists because of the stunning views, clear, turquoise water and amazing cable cars (in Portuguese: teleférico).

Fajã da Quebrada Nova was on my travel bucket list for a very long time. I saw the picture of this place once in the Internet and since then I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It is situated in Achadas da Cruz village in the north-west part of Madeira Island. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to reach this place by public transport. There is Rodoeste bus number 80 that heads to Achadas da Cruz but the hours of arrival and departure are not suitable and still Fajã da Quebrada Nova is quite distant from bus stop – it takes to get there around 1 hour by walk. I was thinking about hitchhiking there but with increasing cases of covid-19 among people on Madeira Island it wouldn’t be a safe option. Fortunately, one day me and my friend rented a car. When she asked me „where should we go?” my answer was pretty easy – Fajã da Quebrada Nova! So we set GPS on Achadas da Cruz cable car and we started our trip. Since you reach Achadas da Cruz village you have to follow the Caminho do Teleferico road which leads you straight to cable cars. You can get to Fajã da Quebrada Nova with cable car or by hiking there ( I heard so, but the walk might be quite demanding). When we arrived we were already stunned by the view from terrace. You realise how enormous the ocean water is. You see all of the shades of blue and how huge waves are formed – continously, without any break. Don’t think that’s all you’re gonna experience. The cable car trip along the very steep hill gives you the opportunity to see this part of the island from totally different perspective and of course it’s a great fun! (I have to admit – I fell in love with Madeiran cable cars!). During the whole ride we couldn’t believe what we saw but when we slowly reached the land, the view took our breaths away. We felt like we arrived in some kind of tropical and exotic place, literally paradise. Only several other tourists passed us, except for them we were there alone, surrounded by ocean sounds, fresh breeze and massive hills which make you realise how small you are in this world. It was hard to describe how beautiful this place was by any words or pictures – it was simply impossible. You have to see and feel it only by yourself. The trail goes nearby the tiny houses and little fields still used by farmers. There are no facilities down there – no shops, no restaurants, only nature. We spotted a couple with luggage in this desolate place, then I checked the Internet and yes, there is a possibility to book a night there in one of those little houses– it must be a truly unique experience.  We spent around 1-2 hours in Fajã da Quebrada Nova, the walk isn’t long and demanding there but we were admiring the views : hills, waves, pebbled beach and incredible colours of nature. We even caught the sunset on the way back in a cable car, what else could you ask for? If you are not convinced yet, check the pictures below 🙂

Teleferico (cable car) opening hours: 8 am – noon and 1-6 pm, cost: 3 euros both ways

Fajã da Quebrada Nova in Achadas da Cruz is the one of the most beautiful places I have seen on Madeira Island. If you are a nature lover like me, please add this one to your travel bucket list. Still Fajã da Rocha do Navio is waiting to be checked on my list, hope I’ll let you know about that one soon!

Aleksandra Szerejko
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Solidarity Corps  
To know more: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en

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