Calheta Municipality

"running along the coast a good two leagues without finding a place to put ashore, they came upon a large bay, where desirous to explore the land, they disembarked between some rocky cliffs, making there a landing point which the captains called Calheta."

Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent

The municipalities of Calheta, located in the western part of the island of Madeira, were created in 1502. For a long time, the majority of the population dedicated themselves to agricultural activities, mainly the production of bananas, wine, horticultural crops and sugar cane. Later the industrial sector began to assume more importance and became more widely known, especially what in terms of the small industries of dairy products, fireworks, salt pools and sugar. Presently these industries are extinct, except for the sugar cane mill--which produces molasses (mel de cana) and rum and still functions in the village of Calheta--and the fireworks factory at Lombo do Doutor. It is the most extensive municipalty of the island, composed of various parishes: Arco da Calheta, Calheta (municipal seat), Estreito da Calheta, Jardim do Mar, Paul do Mar, Prazeres, Fajã da Ovelha and Ponta do Pargo.

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Carlos Verdinho
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