The first Pousada to open on the island of Madeira, the Pousada Pestana Churchill Bay is located west of the island’s main city, Funchal. The Pousada is set in the former Council Chamber and fish market buildings, overlooking the attractive Câmara de Lobos bay.
The white and terracotta houses surrounding the bay (which is usually filled with colourful fishing boats) along with the impressive Atlantic backdrop make for a truly beautiful setting, somewhat reminiscent of Italy’s Amalfi coast, and the Pousada is the first hotel to open in this location.
Inspiration for the hotel’s name and the design of its 57 bedrooms comes from the paintings of Winston Churchill. Churchill spent time holidaying in Madeira following World War II and was inspired to paint landscapes of the island, one of the most famous being a painting of Câmara de Lobos bay.
Guests will find comfortable rooms, some of which have views onto the pretty bay, each decorated in a modern, comfortable style and many of which feature copies of Churchill’s famous painting.
To relax, head to the Pousada’s panoramic rooftop pool or visit the hotel’s bar and lounge where you can sample the typical Madeiran drink, Poncha. The Pousada’s restaurant serves a selection of regional and international dishes.
There is payable public parking available nearby.
Câmara de Lobos is a fishing town located 8km west of Funchal. The town is most famous for Prime Minister Winston Churchill's visit in 1950 where he spent time holidaying on the island and painting the attractive landscapes. The bay was discovered in the early 15th century by Portuguese explorers and its unusual name ('Câmara de Lobos' translates as 'Municipal Chamber of Sea Lions') is thanks to the circular shape of the bay and the large number of sea lions that used to seek shelter along the shore. Today the bay is a busy fishing port and visitors can marvel at the colourful array of fishing boats lined up along the beach, waiting to be boarded by the fisherman each morning as they go in search of the daily catch. The area is particularly rich in cat fish, known locally as the 'cod fish' of Câmara de Lobos and it is not unusual to see large numbers of cat fish hung up on the beaches to dry out. There is a local fish market nearby where you can purchase fresh fish and many of the local restaurants feature cat fish on the menu.
Câmara de Lobos is only a short distance from Cape Girão, the highest viewing point on the island where you can visit the popular Cabo Girão skywalk, a suspended glass platform which sits at 580m above sea level. Girão is the highest cape in Europe and offers spectacular panoramic views of Funchal, Câmara de Lobos and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Pousada Pestana Churchill Bay is only a 15 minute drive from Funchal, Madeira's oldest and most populous city. For centuries the city played an important role as a key stopover for ships traversing the Atlantic, and as its main port city, Funchal became a principal trading point. Today it is a vibrant city, popular with those staying on the island and those visiting from docking cruises. Surrounded by mountains, the city faces the depths of the blue Atlantic and boasts a mild climate all year round as well as a large number of restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues, not to mention the natural beauty surrounding the city.
Alongside the popular cosmopolitan areas like Funchal, Madeira is a rich, beautiful island with experiences to cater to many tastes. With nearly two thirds of the island’s surface classified as a nature reserve, there is no shortage of beautiful natural scenery. One of the most popular activities is hiking along the Levadas and mountains; these routes follow the 16th century ‘Levadas’ which are open air canals used to carry water from the dense forests and waterfalls to the island’s towns and cities. These hikes take you through some of the greenest parts of the island and you can marvel at the luscious laurel forests and picturesque waterfalls.
For those looking for adventurous breaks, Madeira has a wealth of activities including diving, surfing, swimming with dolphins, boat trips, mountain-biking, canyoning and even coastal paragliding. Many of the island’s hotels have swimming pools so you are never far from somewhere to cool off.
Like many archipelagos, Madeira has a number of fascinating customs and delicacies that are unique to the island. The toboggan rides through the city of Funchal, where people barrel down steep hills in large wicker baskets aided by ‘drivers’ in boater hats, is an intriguing sight to behold and an exhilarating experience. As an island nation, seafood plays a huge role in Madeira’s gastronomy, but its mild year-round climate creates the perfect conditions to grow delicious produce such as bananas, pineapples and sugar cane. One of the island’s traditional drinks is ‘Poncha’ made with brandy cane sugar, lemons and honey and no trip would be complete without sampling some traditional Madeira wine.
It typically takes 4 hours (direct) or between 5-6 hours (connecting) to fly to Madeira from the UK. Some airlines (such as British Airways, Easyjet and Jet2) offer direct flights to the island, while others connect via Lisbon.