Paúl do Mar

Paúl do Mar

Quietness by the sea

After, for many years, having had just one access road, where you had to pass whether you were coming or going, Paúl do Mar has today another entry point. As such, to get to this flat ground by the sea, it is now easier and more accessible. People no longer emigrate looking for a better life.

Paúl do Mar is different from the other civil parishes in the island due to its characteristics: a stretch of land that borders the sea offering perfect waves for surfing.


Paúl do Mar is located in the south-western part of Madeira Island, occupying an area of 1700 m2.

The fact that a considerable part of the parish is constituted by a very flat fajã (flat arable land by the sea) gave the name to the place: Paúl do Mar (sea marsh). Adding to this fact, there are those who believe that Paúl is in fact a very appropriate designation, particularly if it used to be a marshy land, with water coming from the high neighbouring rocks or even the sea, by means of some lower point on the beach, transforming it in a kind of swamp or mire. In fact, there were times in which the sea leaped over the margins and took over the land.

However, those times have been long gone, which the strength of men stopped.

Today, Paúl do Mar is a completely different civil parish, which greatly evolved with the arrival of the new road.

In Paúl do Mar there is a quality hotel unit, as well as modern infrastructures, making a longer or shorter stay a pleasant one.

Paúl do Mar stands out due to being an important piscatorial centre, supplying the local restaurants.

Besides, Paúl do Mar, much like its neighbour parish, Jardim do Mar, constitutes a privileged stage for surfers to challenge the waves that are constantly being formed there, and which are considered by some as one of the best in Europe.

The civil parish is composed by five places: Quebrada, where the wharf and the parish council are; Igreja, where the parish church is; Lagoa, where Paúl do Mar school is; Serra da Cruz, where you can find local handicraft namely hand painted tiles, and where you can see the bust of João Maurício Abreu Santos; and Ribeira das Galinhas.

The settlement took place around 1676. Amongst the settlers the name of João Anes de Couto Cardoso stands out.

The most important economic activities include agriculture, namely banana and vine, amongst other products, bread industry, trade and services, as well as the hotel and catering industry.

According to the 2001 Census, the civil parish of Paúl do Mar has about 900 inhabitants.

Paúl do Mar has average temperatures that range between 20 to 25 ºC (68 and 77 ºF) in the summer, with a very low level of humidity.

How to Get There

To get to Paúl do Mar from Funchal, you need to take the freeway in the direction of Ribeira Brava (Funchal-Ribeira Brava). Take the Ribeira Brava turnoff.

Follow the signposts to Calheta and Paúl do Mar, which is located further ahead towards the most western part of Madeira Island.

Links relacionados

Especialidades Gastronómicas

Pratos Típicos

Dados Históricos sobre as Freguesias

Caracterização das Freguesias

Monumentos Arquitectónicos, Conventos, Igrejas, Capelas, Fortes e Fortalezas

Praias, Piscinas, Ribeiras, Cascatas na Madeira

Artesanato na Madeira

Festas Religiosas e Arraiais na Madeira

Serviço de Protecção Civil na Madeira

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