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Câmara de Lobos

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This pretty and old fishing town, with its colourful boats, was one of Winston Churchill's favourite sights, and he often painted it during his visits to Madeira in the 1950's. The preference was never forgotten and bars and restaurants have been named in his honour.

Câmara de Lobos, promoted to city rank in the 90's, is presently one of the main centres for catching sword-fish, one of Madeira's gastronomical specialities.

The most important monuments are the Mother Church of Saint Sebastian, from the 16th century, the Chapel of Our Lady of Calhau (dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers, it dates from the 15th century but was rebuilt in 1732), and the Convent of São Bernardino (15th, 18th and 19th centuries).

At about ten kilometres from the village, Cabo Girão is the second highest sea cliff in Europe, with peaks rising 589 metres above sea level.

Also in the environs, Estreito de Câmara de Lobos is the centre of Madeira's wine production. Four main varieties of grape are cultivated, producing four different types of Madeira wine: the most famous is Malmsey, a rich dark wine to be drank after meals.

From Câmara de Lobos, tourists can drive to Curral das Freiras (nuns' refuge): located at the bottom of an orographic depression, the village still keeps the Convent of Saint Claire, where nuns took refuge from the attacks of pirates in 1566. It lies in the island's deepest valley, surrounded by mountain peaks with rare vegetation and magnificent views.

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