Ponta do Sol, Madeira

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For Ponta do Sol in Cape Verde, see Ponta do Sol, Cape Verde.
Ponta do Sol
Municipality (Concelho)
The seafront at Ponta do Sol, Madeira, Portugal.jpg
The seafront margin of Ponta do Sol
Coat of arms
Official name: Concelho da Ponta do Sol
Name origin: Portuguese for point of the sun
Country  Portugal
Autonomous Region  Madeira
Island Madeira
Civil Parishes Canhas, Madalena do Mar, Ponta do Sol
River Ribeira do Ponta do Sol
Center Ponta do Sol
 - elevation 34 m (112 ft)
 - coordinates 32°40′50″N 17°6′15″W / 32.68056°N 17.10417°W / 32.68056; -17.10417Coordinates: 32°40′50″N 17°6′15″W / 32.68056°N 17.10417°W / 32.68056; -17.10417
Lowest point Sea level
 - location Atlantic Ocean
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Area 46.19 km2 (18 sq mi)
Population 8,862 (2011)
Density 192/km2 (497/sq mi)
Settlement c. 1420
 - Municipality 2 December 1501
LAU Câmara Municipal
 - location Rua de Santo António
President Rui David Pita Marques Luís (PPD-PSD)
Timezone WET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone 9360-219
Area Code & Prefix (+351) 291 XXX XXX
Location of the municipality of Ponta do Sol in the archipelago of Madeira
Wikimedia Commons: Ponta do Sol
Website: http://www.pontadosol.pt

Ponta do Sol (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpõtɐ ðu ˈsɔɫ], English: Point of the Sun) is a municipality in the southwestern coast of the island of Madeira, in the archipelago of Madeira. The population in 2011 was 8,862,[1] in an area of 46.19 km².[2]


The settlement of Ponta do Sol began shortly after the discovery of the island of Madeira, around 1420.


The rugged coastline near the parish of Ponta do Sol
Cascata dos Anjos Waterfall on old road in Anjos, Ponta do Sol

Ponta do Sol is located between Ribeira-Brava and Calheta, on the southwest coast of Madeira, linked to Funchal (the capital) and surrounding communities by the main regional road.

The municipality is crossed by a few pedestrian hiking trails, that usually follow the levadas (English: aqueducts) carrying water from the mountains.

Human geography[edit]

Administratively, the municipal government is located in the parish of Ponta do Sol, while local government is handled through the three parishes:

  • Canhas
  • Madalena do Mar
  • Ponta do Sol - in 2011, the parish had a population of 4,577 inhabitants, in an area of 27.45 km²


Historically, the main sources of income in this region has been agriculture, fishing and trade. Ponta do Sol's main harbour, although small, was a crucial commercial gateway to the western part of the island. These importation and exportation businesses fostered the creation of new activities in what became the central part of the community and created a flow of goods into the hinterland (such as local and imported goods).

Today, commercial activity is scattered throughout the municipality, while the port area of Ponta do Sol has declined in importance. In its place, the economy of the municipality has been dispersed to other parishes, particularly Canhas, which were essentially agricultural parishes, but have developed into important economic nodes, while still retaining its rural landscape. While agriculture remains the primary activity in the interior, and the fisheries industry has declined significantly, construction and industrial enterprises have conquered a prominent role in the municipality. The service industry, particularly tourism, has carved-out a portion of the income stream, with high-quality hotels or residential inns located in the countryside and urban centres.


External links[edit]