Ponta do Pargo
The light house parish
Pargo is the name of a fish (sea bream) that exists in the seas of Madeira, and that abounds in that coastal area. For that reason, the first settlers called the most western part of Madeira Island Ponta do Pargo.
The settlement began with Garcia da Câmara, João Gonçalves Zarco’s son-in-law, when he started forming small estates with settlers, who farmed the lands.
The settlement was made mainly by Portuguese.
The lands that form Ponta do Pargo civil parish belonged to Fajã da Ovelha ecclesiastical parish. They were divided when the latter became an autonomous civil parish.
The precise year of the creation of Ponta do Pargo civil parish is not known, but historians believe that it probably took place before 1560.
According to the oldest document in the ecclesiastic parish, the parish council was created around 1560.
Ponta do Pargo stands out from the remaining parish councils for the extension of its tableland.
The civil parish keeps its charm all year round, and hosts several religious festivities. Festa do Pêro is the largest exhibition of the municipality.
Ponta do Pargo has a very dangerous sea coast for navigation. As such, a light house was built high up on the rock called Ponta da Vigia, and was inaugurated in June 5, 1922.
São Pedro is the patron saint of this heart-warming civil parish.
According to the 2001 Census, Ponta do Pargo has about 1145 inhabitants.
The main economic activities of the civil parish include fishery, agriculture and cattle breeding.
The climate is slightly variable during the winter and the summer.
How to Get There
To get to Ponta do Pargo from Funchal, you need to take the freeway in the direction of Ribeira Brava (Funchal-Ribeira Brava). Take the Ribeira Brava turnoff. Follow the signposts to Calheta and Ponta do Pargo, which is located further ahead towards the most western part of Madeira Island.
You can also choose to go another way. When you leave the freeway, go all the way up towards São Vicente. From there, turn left towards Porto Moniz, and then carry on until you reach Ponta do Pargo.
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