Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz
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It is in this county on the east coast, situated about 18 km from the capital, that the Madeira International Airport is located.
Throughout several cultural exhibitions that display works by regional artists and others take place at Casa da Cultura de Santa Cruz (Culture House).

In addition to Santa Cruz, Camacha, Caniço, Gaula and Santo António da Serra are the parishes that make up this municipality.
Santa Cruz
The origin of the name of this parish, which is now the county seat and city, resulted from of a dry tree trunk with two branches in the shape of a cross, found in the laurel forest on the south coast.

In addition to the famous Praia das Palmeiras, of rock formation and with two pools, you can find in this town a new bathing complex near Ribeira da Boaventura with swimming pools, solariums, spas and an eating area. Between the nautical area and the pools, there is a small protected bay, which allows safe access to the sea. For open sea lovers, there is a pier beach support near the bank at the mouth of the river.

In this locality there is a fun water park, Aquaparque, which is located next to the Ribeira da Boaventura Bathing Complex. This infrastructure, with capacity for more than a thousand people, has five natural water slides, four fast slides, two swimming pools, one for children (Children Aqualândia).
Camacha
Camacha became parish in 1676 and town on 10th September 1994. It is estimated that currently 10 thousand people inhabit this parish distributed across its 1,958 hectares.

Camacha is one of the most emblematic districts of Madeira, and is one of the most visited by tourists. The parish is internationally known for its folklore (the “bailinho” of Madeira) and wicker work. In this parish you can visit the Handicraft Centre where you will find all kinds of furniture and decoration made of wicker.

It was in this parish in Largo Achada, that football was played for the first time in Portugal, in 1875.
 
Caniço
The parish of Caniço, with about 18,000 inhabitants, owes its name to a plant that abounded in that area during the time of the discoveries, which are long and thin reeds. Caniço is a town very similar to a mall city bathed by the sea and with some urban development.

This parish has an important tourist center in Caniço de Baixo. The number of beds in this city has grown greatly, making the parish the second largest concentration of hotels in the archipelago, after Funchal. Adding to this growth, the town has experienced a sharp increase in housing, which makes it a sort of dormitory of those who work in the capital.

Amongst the economic activities of the parish, highlight goes to the planting of onions, hotels and restaurants.

Sítio do Garajau, located between Funchal and Caniço, owes its name to the large amount of garajaus (shorebirds) that nest in the area. Here, one finds the Ponta do Garajau, a promontory where the statue of Christ is erected. The Natural Reserve of the Grajau was created here in 1986, which offers unique conditions for diving that, due to the biological richness and admirable clarity of the waters, is sought by divers from around the world. This is the only exclusively marine reserve in the country, and offers the opportunity to communicate with manta rays and large harmless fish.

In Caniço we find the Reis Magos beach, which has clear and clean water (Blue Flag), and the safety of bathers is ensured by two lifeguards and a first-aid station. This small beach has the necessary facilities, without apparatus, making it a point of encounter with nature.

Here we find the Lido Galomar Bathing Complex which is a private initiative of a businessman of German nationality who built a bathing area on the volcanic rocks. This bathing complex also has a diving club that offers technical expertise for training new divers.
Gaula
 
Gaula is a civil parish since 1558, and today has about 3,000 inhabitants in an area of 707 hectares. It is said that its name comes, according to the chronicles, from the influences of the Roman cavalry, especially from the novel Amadis de Gaula.

The parish has a privileged location halfway between sea and mountains, and has two parishes: Nossa Senhora da Luz and Achada de Gaula.

In the field of economic activities, highlight goes to the craftsmanship, specifically the embroidery from Madeira, traditional trade and agriculture.

This parish has the training center of the Football Association of Madeira, a project that aims to host matches of the youth system of the Madeiran team and of the National team.
Santo António da Serra
 
The parish of Santo António da Serra has about 1,000 inhabitants and lies in a very picturesque area of 1,477 hectares. Santo António da Serra is the only parish in Madeira which has split in two, with one part belonging to the municipality of Santa Cruz and the other to Machico.

The name of the parish is dedicated to Santo António, its patron saint, but is traditionally known as “Santo da Serra”. Its popularity is mainly due to the natural environment of romantic inspiration, provided by the lush greenery, the beautiful villages and farms and the mild weather that is felt during the summer, thereby attracting many visitors.

Here you can find high quality restaurants, traditional hotel units and houses of rural tourism.

In this parish we find the Santo da Serra Golf Club, which is considered one of the most spectacular golf courses in Europe, with unbelievable mountain views and waterfront. Built in 1937, the Santo da Serra Golf was redesigned by Robert Trent Jones in 1991, and is within walking distance of Funchal and less than 15 minutes away from the Madeira International Airport. This golf course has 27 holes available for play, all with generous fairways and greens and a choice of tee positions, which favours all abilities.
 
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