Vila Afonso is located in Estreito da Câmara de Lobos - a freguesia (a parish county or suburb) of the city of Câmara de Lobos. Estreito is roughly translated as "the Narrow" or "channel" or even "enclave". The location above and over the main freguesia of Câmara de Lobos is Estreito de Câmara de Lobos itself - which may explain its name; that is, since it extends as a broad channel on the higher part of the Câmara de Lobos municipal area. The area is very well known for its excellent Madeira Wine production having some of the most productive and remarkable lands for vineyards. Close by the world renowned Henriques & Henriques Madeira wine company is located and even the 7,000 m² property on which Vila Afonso is located grows and produces it own Madeira wine.
Câmara de Lobos was first discovered and named by the first Portuguese explorer João Gonçalves Zarco. Câmara de Lobos was initially the home of thousands of docile Mediterranean Monk Seals - which having not known the heavy handed ravages of Man till then - lay themselves to virtual extermination by a rampant and inexhaustible human slaughter of their species. The natural harbour and chamber (hence the name "Câmara de Lobos", chamber of seals - or chamber of wolves if translated literally) that for so long provided shelter to the seal was then taken over by the recent arrivals and transformed as a point of departure for the adventurous sailors to venture further and further towards the waters of the high seas.
The protected harbour and excellent fishing conditions in Câmara
de Lobos soon developed to provide the residents of the island with
an excellent source of protein and fresh meat. Catches included Cherne
(Wreckfish), Sardines, Abróteas (Larger Forkbeard Fish), Encharéu
(Guelly Jacks), Boga (Bogue), Bluefish, Cow Bream, White Bream, Two
Banded Bream, Lumpheaded Bream, Saddled Bream, Common Bream, Zebra Bream,
Bodião (Parrotfish), Serralhão (Atlantic Bonito), Tuna,
"Cavalas" and the abundant "Chicharros" (Horse Mackerel).
Many other smaller amounts of other types of fish were also caught -
including the rather special Badejo (Comb Grouper), Mero (Dusky Grouper)
and Peixe Porco (Gray Triggerfish). But it is the Espada fish
that so much characterises this romantic part of the island.
The other Parish counties that form part of Câmara de Lobos, besides Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, are Quinta Grande, the remarkably interesting and unique Curral das Freiras, and Jardim da Serra.
Estreito de Câmara de Lobos is blessed with the beautiful and picturesque colourful landscapes. Belvederes or tourist view points nearby include Boca dos Namorados, Cabo Girão, Ilhéu, Pico da Madeira, Pico da Torre, and Eira do Serrado.
The only beach is the "Praia do Vigário" in the centre of the main village centre of Câmara de Lobos. There is also a unique museum and cultural centre you can visit: - the "Núcleo Histórico da Cidade da Câmara de Lobos"
Estreito de Câmara de Lobos is also the scene and attention for the central activities regarding the Madeira Wine Festival held in September each year. This is probably the best time to visit Vila Afonso as so many cultural activities take place. Traditional folklore dancing, traditional chicken barbecues and lots of wine are enjoyed by the villagers in the small village centre of Estreito de Câmara de Lobos.
importantly Vila Afonso is located on the main road of Estrada João
Gonçalves Zarco. As such it is about 1-2 kilometres from the
Funchal-Ribeira Brava-Airport highway making it an excellent location
for guests to stay in the countryside but enjoy quick entry to the centre
of Funchal. 10 to 15 minutes and most places of Funchal can be reached
by car or taxi. There are also many busses that drive past the house
because the road is a very important road for all the Funchal busses
to get to the other parts of the Island like Ribeira Brava, Estreito
de Câmara de Lobos, Ponta do Sol, Boa Morte,
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