“… they sailed further down until they came to a narrow rock, …, which enters out into the sea, and, between this rock and the other, there is an arm of the sea at rest, where nature made a large den, in the style of a chamber of rock and stone; here the skiffs were put ashore, and they found so many sea wolves that they were amazed…so that they called this quiet bay Câmara de Lobos (Chamber of Wolves)…”
Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent
Câmara de Lobos owes its name to the people that discovered and populated this island. When the sailors João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, sent by Prince D. Henry, started to explore the coastline of the island, they found a small bay densely populated by monk seals (Port. Lobo marinho = “sea wolf”).
Because of this, João Gonçalves Zarco named the place Câmara de Lobos (Chamber of Wolves). Câmara de Lobos, situated a small distance from the capital of the island, owes its fame to its fisherman that have as their principal specialty, the black scabbard fish, and with their very typical, picturesque boats “os xavelhas”, they paint the bay that opens to the sea. It is this unique picture that the former English prime-minister Winston Churchill could not resist painting, when he visited the island on January 8, 1950. The municipality came into existence in 1835, being separated from the municipality of Funchal, presently combining the parishes of Câmara de Lobos (municipal seat), Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, Jardim da Serra, Curral das Freiras and Quinta Grande.
Centre of the city
Winston Churchill Belvedere
Eira do Serrado Belvedere
St Sebastian’s Church
Poncha and Nikita, typical local drinks
Black scabbard fish
The “gata” (kitefin shark), also known as “Câmara de Lobos codfish”.
Nature and Activities:
The walk from Corticeiras to Boca dos Namorados, returning back to Corticeiras is not to be missed. You can enjoy various views, including an exceptional view of Curral das Freiras.