Ponta do Sol

Ponta do Sol

The land of the sun

 

Ponta do Sol is the only civil parish in the Island named after the sun, corresponding, in fact, to what the municipality, in general, and the civil parish, in particular, have to offer.

In truth, Ponta do Sol owes its name to the existence of a rock hedge entering into the sea where the sun beams are reflected.

Ponta do Sol is considered the warmest municipality in the island, where the sun shines the longest amount of hours.

For that reason, under privileged conditions, Ponta do Sol’s settlement begun little after the discovery of the Island, in 1425.

The establishment of the old municipality of Ponta do Sol dates back to December 2, 1501, date in which king D. Manuel I promoted the village to the category of town and municipality.

Today, Ponta do Sol is the chief town of the municipality, constituted by the civil parishes of Madalena do Mar, Canhas and Ponta do Sol, and has an area of 43.3 Km2.

Located in the southern coast of the Island, Ponta do Sol is to be found between Ribeira Brava, to the east, and Calheta, to the west, São Vicente, to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean, to the south.

Most of the first settlers were Portuguese.

The fertility of the ground has always been used for the so called rich crops. At the time of the colonization, Ponta do Sol was one of the most active centres of agricultural production, namely of sugar cane.

Regarding the town, we can say that it has particularly developed in the past few years.

Tourism has grown a lot in Ponta do Sol in the recent years, with the establishment of high quality hotel units.

Ponta do Sol town is located by the sea, such as Lugar de Baixo, where you can enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscape, with the fields of banana trees, and the sea. The sea front is currently being object of works, in order to provide the coast with more pleasant conditions.

In terms of historic and cultural heritage, in Ponta do Sol you can visit Nossa Senhora da Luz church, established in an ancient chapel of the 15th century. It was rebuild at the beginning of the 18th century.  The temple is very precious, for the engravings and representations it possesses.

The main economic activities of Ponta do Sol reside in the primary sector, where agriculture assumes a prominent place, particularly in terms of sugar cane, banana, horticulture and floriculture production. In the municipality, there is a company that exports large quantities of plants to France. In addition to these activities, the traditional retail shops and the flourishing local hotel industry are also worth mentioning. According to the 2001 census, Ponta do Sol has about 8,200 inhabitants.

Ponta do Sol’s climate is mild and not very humid. The temperatures range on average between 29 ºC (84 ºF) in the summer and 18 ºC (65 ºF) in the winter.

 

Useful information

Municipal Public Holiday: September 8
Surface: 43.8 Km2
Bathing areas: Ponta do Sol beach, Madalena do Mar beach and Lugar de Baixo.

 

How to get there

 

To get to Ponta do Sol from Funchal, you need to take the freeway towards Ribeira Brava (Funchal-Ribeira Brava). When you arrive at Ribeira Brava, exit the freeway and then follow the road signs towards Ponta do Sol.

To get there follow the road towards Ponta do Sol. When you arrive at Ponta do Sol, go down towards the sea front, and there you are, in the town centre. However, the civil parish starts before, in Lugar de Baixo, on your way down before you get to the town centre.


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