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Santa Cruz



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Being one of the regions where the colonization of the island first started, it still preserves historical signs of its old importance. The church, built in 1533, has been restored and modified but still keeps traces of the original Manueline style and is the second biggest after that of Funchal.

Near Santa Cruz, Água da Pena boasts of a magnificent tourist resort, and a fine view over the village and the valley of Machico can be obtained from the Álvares de Nóbrega Belvedere.

From Santa Cruz, tourists can also drive to Camacha, one of the most picturesque villages of the island, famous for its group of folklore dancing and, specially, for the wicker products which delight the tourists in Funchal.

Here, a large shop exibits, from floor to ceiling, every kind of wicker handcrafts, from armchairs (the tiny ones are the children's favourites) to all types of baskets, picture frames, tables, craddles, etc. The variety is huge and it is often possible to see the weavers at work, with a skill that always surprises the visitor. To enhance this, a Noah's Ark full of animals and an ancient galleon are displayed in the shop.

The southwest zone of the island is characterized by two different kinds of landscape: low valleys with few trees and a hot and drier weather (Caniço and Caniçal), and another of dense vegetation and green woods over mountain slopes, more fresh and humid (Camacha and Santo da Serra).

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