Passeio Público Marítimo
|Lido Bathing Complex|
There's also a rather less fancy free bathing area that the path runs by soon afterwards:
Around the corner, a lookout point offers views around the bay. A rather basic concrete bathing "beach" leads to the Marine Biology Station and the path is landscaped with opportunities for sitting and enjoying the view. Just a little further on is the pier on which the former maritime coaling station is located.
|Former Coaling Station|
The path continues past the Jardim Panorâmico, the terraced garden with panoramic views out over the bay. There are also paddle courts and a café bar.
From here, the path descends, passing the Clube Naval do Funchal and its leisure facilities, until it reaches the Ponta Gorda bathing complex. The path rises again as it heads towards Ponta da Cruz.
Towards the Doca do Cavacas bathing complex the path drops steeply again after passing the
statue to João Gonçalves Zarco, one of the founders of Madeira as a
Portuguese colony. If you're unfortunate you may find yourself confronted by a locked gate meaning the tunnel to Praia Formosa is closed: in that case you have really no option but to retreat. If you want to continue your journey you'll have to walk up to the Estrada Monumental and follow the road west.
Assuming the gate is open, the rather damp and formerly dark tunnel to the pebbled beach of Praia Formosa has been upgraded with improved lighting. At the far end, in place of a hike across the pebbled beach (with a plastic mat to ease the going), a new concrete promenade has been constructed. You can see the former tunnel path in the upper part of the following picture and the present path beneath.
The promenade is now fully open, with a tall concrete wall on its landward side more clearly delineating the public realm from present and future private developments. In conjunction with plans for extensive new residential development, there will be a new public park and covered parking in the fullness of time.
Once back on the promenade, continue your journey passing the various beach bars and hotels. Beyond the commercial strip, parts of the path are built out above the sea.
The path is now approaching an industrial area round the Ribeira dos Socorridos. Just before the cement works, there's a signpost along the Beco da Vitoria. This will take you up to the roundabout where HF Bus 1 departs for Funchal should you have walked far enough!
If you want to continue, a footbridge by the gas terminal takes you over the river.
Once over the bridge, the path returns to dry land.
As you round the corner, Câmara de Lobos will be visible in the distance.
Many visitors will be staying close to the Lido area or to the route of the Passeio.
There is parking around the Lido, at the foot of the Jardim Panorâmico, at the Forum Madeira shopping centre and on the streets around Ponta da Cruz as well as in Praia Formosa and Câmara de Lobos.
HF urban buses 1 and 2 run along the Estrada Monumental from where it's a short walk down to the Lido and also call close to the Jardim Panorâmico. HF bus 1 runs on to Ponta Laranjeira, close to the cement works, from where you can walk a short distance down to the Passeio. HF bus 2 stops in Ponta da Cruz on the Passeio itself.
Rodoeste buses link Funchal and Câmara de Lobos relatively frequently - check their timetables for details.