Faja dos Padres is one of the hidden gems in Madeira and a kinda off the beaten path experience. This huge organic farm is located by the Atlantic Ocean and is only accessible by cable car or boat. Once you arrive at the bottom of the cliff with the cable car, you will walk in between the fruit trees, banana trees and different herbs and vegetables towards the ocean side where the restaurant is located. There are also cottages on the property which you can rent for a few days.
Visiting Faja dos Padres is a fun and relaxing day experience on Madeira Island. You can learn more about horticulture, the produce and history of Faja dos Padres and enjoy a biological lunch with amazing ocean view in the organic restaurant. Read in this blog post everything you need to know about Faja dos Padres, how to get there, the entrance fee and what to expect more!
How to get to Faja dos Padres
Fajã dos Padres is located on the south coast of the island in Quinta Grande on a 15 minute drive from the main town of Madeira, Funchal. There are free parking spots available when you arrive at the cable car station. The easiest way is to get here is with a rental car or taxi. I would highly recommend to rent a car in Madeira as it’s the most convenient way to get around the island.
Another option is to get to Faja dos Padres by boat. The boat “Malvasia” can carry up to 10 passengers and makes daily transfers from Funchal or from the nearby port of Camara de Lobos. This experience needs to be reserved beforehand and costs €10 for a one way trip from from Câmara de Lobos and €15 for a one way trip from Funchal. You can make a booking here.
At the ticket booth of the cable car you can pay the the entrance fee and ticket for the Fajã dos Padres organic garden and cable car which is €10,-. But there is also an option to book one of the guided tours.
If you want to learn more about the history of Fajã dos Padres, the different fruits, vegetables and horticulture, you can book a guided tour for €7,50 extra. For an extra €15 upon the €10 entrance fee you can have a guided tour with fruit tasting.
History of Fajã dos Padres
Fajã is a Portuguese term which doesn’t have an English equivalent translation. Fajã describes a piece of flat, fertile land which is created by flowing lava and is located at the bottom of the cliff in between a cliff and water. There are a few of these places in Madeira to explore, but one of the most interesting is Fajã dos Padres with a biological farm and restaurant. It’s history goes back to the 1700s when priests lived on this piece of land for over 150 years and gave it its name Fajã dos Padres. This can be translated into ‘land of the fathers’ in English.
What to expect at Faja dos Padres
After paying the entrance fee you enter the cable car cabin which takes you down a 300 meters high cliff to the entrance of the garden. Once you’ve arrived at the entrance of the garden, you will first walk through the banana tree plantation, several different crops and fruittrees.
The production of the Faja dos Padres biological farm is since 2008 certified with the label of organic farming. You can see here a large variety of agriculture because the microclimate favours the growth of several subtropical species. The bio eco organic farm consists of more than 20 different kinds of fruits and grapevines. A few examples are mangoes, avocados, banana and papaya. But you will also find figs, pitanga, passion fruit, pineapple and the vineyard. All these tropical species fill the garden with color and diversity.
It is, of course, not allowed to pick the fruits. If you want to taste the fruits you can book the guided tour with fruit tasting, or have an organic lunch in the restaurant of Faja dos Padres.
Faja dos Padres restaurant
The Faja dos Padres restaurant is at the end of the path which leads you through the organic farm. The restaurant has an amazing view on the beach and Atlantic Ocean. After exploring the farm, the restaurant is a welcome spot to relax and taste the fresh ingredients from the organic garden. The menu is quite extensive with biological fruits and vegetables and of course fresh fish. I would advice to try their couscous and fruit salad, it was very tasty!
Faja dos Padres beach
Before or after the lunch, you can enjoy the beach below the restaurant. Take a swim in the refreshing Atlantic Ocean or simply soak up the sunshine! The wide rocky beach of Faja dos Padres is maybe not the most comfortable to lie on. Therefore you have the option to rent beach chairs and umbrellas. You can also walk on the pier or jump from the pier into the Ocean. There are stairs to help you get out of the water. At the entrance of the property next to the restaurant, there are showers and cabins available.
Faja dos Padres villas and bungalow
If you want to enjoy the serenity of Faja dos Padres a bit longer, you can stay in one of their houses overlooking the ocean. The nine houses from which some are the former homes of settlers have been turned into tourist homes. The houses are simple yet comfortable and vary between double and single beds. For a booking, have a look on their website.
Short video about Fajã dos Padres
Watch the short video we’ve made about the experience at Fajã dos Padres below!
Other things to do near Fajã dos Padres
If you’ve explored the beautiful organic farm and had a tasty lunch but you still have some hours left in your day, there are a few other nice places to explore close to Fajã dos Padres. Head over to the Cabo Girão skywalk to watch sunset for example. Or go to Camaro de Lobos to see the fisher boats and cute streets of this little town. If you stay in Funchal it is also really worth it to check out the promenade at Praia Formosa to have a sunset stroll, and of course to eat dinner in one of the amazing restaurants in Funchal!
Best Madeira island tours
If you want to explore the best of Madeira with a guide then here some great tours I recommend. During these tours you will pass by some of the best viewpoints which I share in this complete guide. All of these tours include transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes the entrance fees if applicable. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.
- Customized 6 hour Madeira tour. On this six-hour tour you can choose the different areas you want to visit on Madeira island. Pick the landmarks and iconic places to make your own itinerary with the help of your local guide/driver.
- West Madeira private tour. Starting in the fishing town of Câmara de Lobos you will drive via Cabo Girao, the highest cape in Europe, to the beautiful view of Serra d’Agua valley. From there you will head to São Vicente to explore the Laurisilva forest. Continuing north, you will visit Porto Moniz, known for its natural lava pools where you can swim. As last stop you will visit the famous rocks at Ribeira da Janela.
- East Madeira tour. Visit Pico do Arieiro viewpoint, make pictures at the Santana houses and the beautiful viewpoints at Porto da Cruz to finish the day at the impressive volcanic landscape of Ponta de São Lourenço.
- Canyoning adventure with transfer from Funchal. Get the thrill of canyoneering and explore Madeira’s untouched nature. follow a river as you walk, rappel, slide and jump through hidden waterfalls with streams that cross endemic forests. A super fun and adventurous day!
- Ponta de São Lourenço hike with pick up in Funchal. Explore the most eastern tail of Madeira island with its unique volcanic rock formations to understand how the island was created.
- Funchal 48-hour hop-on hop off bus tour. Explore the lush landscape of Madeira and the sights of Funchal at your own pace with a 2 or 5 day ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus.
- Tuk-Tuk tour to Monte Tropical Garden with Toboggan ride from Funchal. Explore Funchal Old Town with a Tuk Tuk before making your way to the mountains to the stunning Monte Tropical Garden. There you will explore over 70,000 square meters of exotic plants. At the end of the tour you will enjoy the thrilling ride down the hill with a Toboggan ride.
- Funchal Old Town walking tour. Learn about the history of Funchal and Madeira on a guided walk through the city’s medieval center. Visit the farmer’s market, the Campo Almirante Reis. The Fortress of St. James, and a number of other sites as your guide provides commentary.
- Dolphin & Whale watching Luxury Catamaran Cruise from Funchal. Enjoy the views of Funchal from a luxury catamaran. Look out for whales and dolphins in their natural habitat as your relax on board and explore the underwater world with a snorkel.
- Scuba diving Madeira. Explore the underwater world of Madeira island. A theory lesson and practice in swimming pool is included. This before you will dive about 12 meters for 45 meters in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Sunset tour from Funchal by Catamaran. Watch the sunset off the coast of Madeira on a 3-hour evening catamaran cruise from Funchal and spot dolphins (guaranteed, or you get a 2nd trip for free).
General travel must haves for Madeira
Have you thought about how to get around in Madeira? A car is the easiest way to drive around the island.
- Book your rental car here and compare the providers to get the best deal.
- Book your scooter or motorbike here to get around in Madeira. Most of the scooters you can drive with driving license (A1/A2/A) from 18 years old, or from 25 years old with a car (B) license. The motorbikes have a minimum age of 20 or 21 with A (moto) license.
Do you prefer a private driver for the day and the freedom to create your own itinerary?
Did you already book your accommodation?
- Check out this great tool to compare prices of hotels on different platforms from around the world and book your favorite hotel
Are you insured during your travels?
- Buy your travel insurance here. Safetywing not only includes coverage for travel delay, lost checked luggage, emergency response, natural disasters and personal liability. But also covers all your medical expenses for hospitalisation.
More Madeira travel inspiration
I hope you enjoyed this complete guide about Fajã dos Padres. For more Madeira travel inspiration and the must visit destinations, head over to our other blog posts about Madeira island.