The Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse began operating on June 5, 1922 and completes a century of history
On June 5, 1922, the westernmost tip of Madeira Island began to have another light. The Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse, situated on top of a cliff at an altitude of 290 meters, started operating.
Besides the safety at sea function that the lighthouse provides, the whole surrounding area has become a touristic and landscape reference. From the top of the cliff the ocean is as far as the eye can see. And all around, the landscape is a contrast between the green of the hillside and the crystalline blue of the sea. The sunset at the Ponta do Pargo lighthouse is an experience not to be missed.
For decades the lighthouse was inhabited by lighthouse keepers. It was only in 1989 that the infrastructure was electrified with power from the public grid. Ten years later, in 1999, the Regional Government of Madeira declared the property as being of cultural value to the Region, classifying it as a Heritage Site of Local Value.
Since 2001 the Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse is open for visits and has a small museum that helps to understand the history and importance of lighthouses in the Madeira Archipelago. Not to mention, this has been the most visited lighthouse in Portugal, with about 15 thousand visits per year.
Now the westernmost parish of Madeira is closer than ever. Since August 2021, the access to Ponta do Pargo is made by an Expressway. The road has been a lever for private investment, where restaurants stand out, but also contributing to the establishment of new residents in the area.
On the area surrounding the lighthouse the Ponta do Pargo Golf Course is to be built. It will be the engine for urban requalification of that area.
To keep up with this growth, the Calheta Town Hall is preparing an "avant-garde work", framed in the landscape, which will make that area even more attractive: a belvedere, a commercial area with a restaurant, a bar, a store, and sanitary facilities.
The belvedere will be almost over the Atlantic Ocean. It will be a pontoon through which people will be able to circulate in absolute safety, enjoying a 360-degree panoramic view. The project will also include a garden area and a parking area.