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Achadas da Cruz Cable Car in Madeira (Don’t Miss This Hidden Gem!)

Achadas da Cruz Cable Car in Madeira (Don’t Miss This Hidden Gem!)

Achadas da Cruz cable car brings you to one of the most unique spots in Madeira – Fajã da Quebrada Nova. It’s a tiny place on the northwestern coast of the island that is isolated from the rest of the world by the tall mountain cliffs on one side and the ocean on the other.

If you like remote locations and off the beaten path destinations, then this is as good as it gets!

Spectacular, amazing, incredible… no epithets are strong enough to describe this place, our favorite of the hidden gems of Madeira. In fact, it’s so beautiful and so unique that it deserves to be very high on the list of the best places to see in Madeira.

On the other hand, places like this are becoming more and more scarce. So let’s hope that it manages to escape from mass tourism and keep its authenticity, despite the fact that tens of tour busses come to the area daily on their way to the famous natural pools of Porto Moniz that are located just a few kilometers further.

Achadas Da Cruz

As we arrived at the tiny village of Achadas da Cruz and followed the signs to the cable car, we had no idea what to expect.

It was a windy and rainy day in April and locals told us that despite the season it felt like winter to them. When we saw how tiny the cable car was and then looked down to the beach far below us, we had no intention to go down in such weather. 

Furthermore, we had read that the cable car would be closed for lunch and we were there just after noon. All the good reasons not to go down, we thought.

Achadas da Cruz cable car in Madeira
Tiny cable car takes you to an isolated coastal area below
 

While the kids played with the local cats and we were looking at the vertical drop and hardly visible small pebbled beach below us planning to just take a picture and move on, a cable car operator came to us and suggested that we go down.

He didn’t speak much English but assured us that the wind wasn’t a problem and that the opening hours didn’t matter either. And so after some hesitation, we decided to give it a try.

For just a few euros a little cable car takes you down to what looks like a tiny village by the sea. In fact, it’s not really a village and nobody lives here full time. Some local farmers have a tiny piece of land here and come down to work on their land once in a while. Up to a few years ago only accessible by boat, it feels like one of the most remote places in the world.

Looking to explore Madeira off the beaten path - take Achadas da Cruz cable car
We fell in love with this place at first sight!
 

We expected to spend just a few minutes down by the beach. But almost two hours flew by wandering around this beautiful coastline dotted with colorful wildflowers.

Apart from a few cats, we didn’t see a soul in the tiny houses. Just the pebbled beach, the waves, and incredible nature that makes you feel small and humble. It’s our kind of paradise!

Below are a few pictures from Achadas da Cruz that will give you some idea of what to expect. It’s a rugged, but very beautiful place, and can’t be compared to anywhere else we’ve been to before. Truly one of a kind!

Secluded village in Northern Madeira
A little village is perched between the ocean on one side and these high rocks on the other side…
Red poppy flowers in Madeira
There were so many poppy flowers when we visited here in April!
Cats are the only permanent residents at Faja da Quebrada Nova that can only be reached by Achadas da Cruz Cable Car in Madeira
Cats are the only permanent residents at Faja da Quebrada Nova that can only be reached by Achadas da Cruz Cable Car
 

On the way back up, we met a man who has a little ‘vacation house’ as he called it and goes down here every day. He said that only a handful of locals come here daily, a few more people stay here in summer. And when we asked what they do down here, he laughed and said ‘we grow wine and then we drink wine’.

He then added that some people go fishing, some do farming, and in summer it’s also used as a very low key vacation place to swim, fish, and just enjoy life and nature.

Wildflowers on Madeira coast in spring
Coastline path – a bit surreal to find such a well-kept path in such a remote location
 

One of the fun parts of taking this cable car is that you have to operate it yourself when you decide to go up. It’s not more than a push on the button, but it’s a small detail that makes the place even more special I suppose. The kids loved it!

Faja da Quebrada Nova in Madeira
Faja da Quebrada Nova is a real hidden gem of Madeira
 

P.S. It was actually one of our blog’s loyal followers who told us about this hidden gem of Madeira. So now I want to give back by sharing this secret place with you. At the same time, I have mixed feelings about it and a fear that too many tourists would ruin it. So don’t tell the whole world about it, but don’t miss this unique place when visiting Madeira. You’ll love it!

Practical information for Achadas da Cruz cable car

  • Location: North of Madeira in Achadas da Cruz village just 10km from Porto Moniz. See also the map here.
  • Opening hours: 10AM to noon and 1PM to 6PM
  • Cost: 3 EUR for adults. Kids travel free.
  • Facilities. There are public bathrooms and a small cafe at the upper cable car station. There are no facilities down by the beach.
  • How much time do you need? Count at least 30min for a visit (we spent almost two hours).
Achadas da Cruz cable car brings you to one of the most unique places in Madeira
 

So, this is our short guide to one of the most unique places in Madeira. If you love rugged landscapes and remote places that give you the feeling of being alone in the world, then definitely check it out!

For us, it became one of the fondest memories of our trip.

READ ALSO: Best Hikes and Levada Walks in Madeira

More travel inspiration and tips for Madeira:

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

Achadas da Cruz cable car is a true hidden gem of Madeira
 

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Ruta

Monday 7th of January 2019

Hello, I have found your blog accidentally and I am so happy about it! Such a great stories, advices, photos - really enjoy it! And what is most importantly I have found some very useful information about Madeira. But after reading this article I have one question: what about that cable car which you have to operate by yourself? Does it mean that if someone is already at the bottom you have to wait until he comes back or is it still possible to call this cable car from the top? Could you please explain about this a little bit more?

Jurga

Monday 7th of January 2019

Hi Ruta, This cable car actually starts at the top and goes down to the beach. At the top station there is an operator. He sells tickets and sends you down. It's when you want to come back up that you have to go and sit in the cable car on your own and then push the button to close the door. It will then leave, normally. I seem to recall that you can also call an operator if you have a question, but it's really straightforward. Just a push of the button. :) If the cable car is not there, you just have to wait till it comes (there are two gondolas, so every time one goes up, the other one automatically comes down. Don't worry about it - it's really simple. Enjoy the trip!

Guna

Friday 28th of December 2018

Today we were more lucky and cable car was open (and to be sure I phoned to them beforehands) We spent there almost 2 hours, kids absolutely loved this place :) Only thing which confused me in your info is that kids go for free as they asked 3 eur as well for kids (5,7,10).

Jurga

Saturday 5th of January 2019

Hi Guna, glad you enjoyed it! It's still one of my favourite places in Madeira. As for the ticket price for the children, I assume they changed the rules. No idea, but 3EUR doesn't sound unreasonable to me. Still definitely worth it, don't you agree?

Guna

Friday 28th of December 2018

Hi, i was there 2 days ago and unfortunately bad luck as the cable car was not operating (not sufficient power to close the doors properly as the station downhills operates on solar power if I get it correctly). But now reading your story, will try to go back next week and maybe will have more luck!

Juvenal

Friday 23rd of November 2018

Hi Jurga Thank you for your great blog about our "beautiful" calhau. I am one of the operators of the cable car and would just like to correct some mistakes. Firstly our operating hours are from 8am to 12pm, closed for lunch between 12pm and 13pm for lunch then reopens 13pm till 18pm. I may just add that the hours might change from January 2019? NO lunch closure as well as longer trading hours for the summer months. I can also add that we now have 2 operators who speak ENGLISH fluently. Thank you again for your great blog, I hope this information was helpful.

Jurga

Saturday 24th of November 2018

Thanks for sharing this info, Juvenal. Feel free to let us know how the opening hours will be in 2019, it can be helpful to our readers.

bernadett

Wednesday 18th of July 2018

Dear Jurga!

I am so glad you talk about this place. Me and my other half booked an airbnb by the shore for our first holiday with our baby girl . We fell in love with the view and raw beauty we saw on photos... Cannot wait to see it in real life next week!

warm regards,

Bernadett

Jurga

Friday 20th of July 2018

Hi Bernadett, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Such a beautiful place. Have a wonderful trip to Madeira.

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