A Look at the Portuguese World


h facebook h twitter h pinterest

The priest plateau

Written by 


It is a journey through the beautiful scenery of the archipelago of Madeira.

The origins of the Fajãs date back to the cessation of volcanic activity on the island. In geological terms result from the upper land collapse, along the coastline, which disintagrates the mountain slopes, without any warning or possible predictability, just happen and can either create ground tracts of greater or lesser extent, as may simply disappear by the land been drag by the tides. It is a nature event that can cause giant waves, due to the collapse of the slopes and according to popular accounts that already were faced with these natural poignant acts seem authentic earthquakes, such is the force of the fall of the impact of land in the ocean.

In Madeira along its coastline has several of these lands since the beginning of the island's colonization that were used by the population for the high fertility of the land and easy access by sea. The Priests plateau is one of such example, located on the south coast, it is an area of land at the bottom of a large rock colonized by the Jesuits that it produced all kinds of fruits, vegetables and were also responsible for planting one of the most famous varieties of Madeira wine, the malvasia.

Since the fifteenth until the eighteenth century priests and another 50 people who were obeying them were responsible for the export of thousands of barrels of wine throughout Europe, a success story that ended abruptly when the Marquis of Pombal decided to terminate the Society of Jesus and expelled the Jesuits from all over the kingdom of Portugal. In the case of Fajã dos Padres the land that extended until Campanário was sold in a public auction and the property was fragmented.

Nowadays the fajã is considered one of the best kept secrets of the island, the top of the high hill are still visible traces of the passage of the Jesuits in this area, the chapel where they prayed for the salvation of the souls, the cellar where they squeezed the grapes and some dwellings of the ancient settlers, who at present are rented to tourists and locals.

Notice to navigation, a visit to the Priest plateau is an adventure, believe me, to access the panoramic lift overlooking the ocean, you need to go down about 92 stairs, then it's a four-minute journey along a slope 300 meters height in the vertical that is breathtaking and I do not speak only of the endless blue sea parading in front of our eyes. But the odyssey does not end there, since it is necessary walk over another ninety two in the exit. I promise it's worth the effort, because we are then treated to a studded landscape of different varieties of tropical fruit trees, are more than 25 species, which are one of the most beautiful visit card of this area and you can still taste the famous malvoisie wine is produced on a smaller scale. It's a corner to discover calmly, where it seems that time has stopped, almost isolated from the world, where we only hear the waves lapping on the pebble... Well, not everything is so heavenly, there is wi-fi, a bar beach and is also available a cable car for the delight of visitors.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

FaLang translation system by Faboba