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Canico lies ten kilometres east of Funchal, the capital of Madeira. Originally a small fishing village, it is perched at the top of a steep winding road that leads down to the ocean. Now it has expanded along the coast to accommodate visitors to this popular holiday resort. Canico, being close to the city, offers visitors a peaceful base from which they can choose to be as active or as relaxed as they wish.
Canico is well positioned for enjoying water sports, golf and hiking along the levandas. With Funchal only ten kilometres distant, holidaymakers can experience all that the capital has to offer while enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of Canico.
Canico appeals to couples and sports people. Although the hotels have wonderful swimming pools, there is only a small pebbled beach at Canico which may deter those with young children.
Canico is a year round holiday destination having no extremes of temperature. Summers are pleasantly hot, in the mid to late twenties, while the winters are only slightly lower.
Canico in the south of Madeira is an attractive town sitting above the cliffs which drop into the ocean. The town centre with its narrow streets and cobbled squares has plenty of old world charm. At one end of the main square is an eighteenth century church complete with clock tower.
The small pebbled beach lies to the east of Canico. Canico da Baixo has good provision for water sports such as skiing, wind surfing and scuba diving. There are also excursions to explore the many caves and grottos.
Canico is well placed for hikers who want to discover the delights of inland Madeira with its enormous diversity of plant life. The system of irrigation channels known as levandas follow the contours of the hills and the walks are graded according to level of difficulty. The gradients are very gentle which means that most people can enjoy the beauty of the mountain scenery and the wonderful array of fragrant flowers and bushes. For the more adventurous walker there are some precipitous trails that wind their way around the mountain before disappearing into tunnels. Remember to pack a torch!
There is a choice of golf courses in the area with an eighteen hole course at Palheiro and a twenty-seven hole course Santo de Serro. The Madeira open was held here.
Nightlife in Calico is fairly low-key and much of the entertainment is hotel based. Those wishing for a livelier time can take the short journey to Funchal by local bus or taxi.
Shopping in Calico is fairly limited but Funchal, the shopper’s paradise, is only a short ride away. When looking for gifts the beauty of Madeira’s embroidered linen should not be forgotten.
Although there are a number of good places to eat in Calico, many of the restaurants are hotel based. Fish plays an important role in the islands cuisine and the menus offer a wide variety of marine life.