Madeira Cabo Girão Protected Area

Madeira Cabo Girão Protected Area

Cabo Girão Protected Area

Cabo Girao is one of the highest cliffs in the World and the highest European cape.  Above all, it is famous for its suspended glass platform.  For instance, here is an intersting fact. Did you know that: It owes its name to the fact that it was the starting and ended point of the first island recognition expedition or spin around.

Cabo Girao Viewpoitn Madeira Portugal

Due to its uniqueness, its natural diversity and scenic value, Madeira set up a Protected Area Cabo Girão.  Thus, four years ago, an additional protected area emerged on 09 March 2017. This recent protected area comprises three areas: the marine area, the coastal area and the cliff area.

To access this nature reserve, one can follow a foot path or take the Rancho Cable Car.

Activity Guide

An Activity Guide of the Protected Area of ​​Cabo Girão is available here.  The guide walks the visitors through the various leisure activities on offer.   It focuses on the nautical activities, panoramic spots, cultural heritage, diving spots on the artificial reef, surf spots, and bird observation, among others. This guide thus aims to harmonize the use of protected space with the objectives of valuing and conserving the rich biodiversity of Cabo Girão.

Cabo Girao Activities on Madeira

The Marine Area

Scientists worked to create Madeira first habitat map after the establishment of the Cabo Girão natural marine park.  They identified five major different habits.  Two of them were completely unknown to Madeira before the start of the study.  These two are: Avrainvillea Canariensis meadows and maerl beds.  Furthermore, marine biologists identified 132 marine taxa encompassing fauna, flora, and fishes.  Hence, this important marine mapping is a major tool for conversation and management of this special area.

Cabo Girao Madeira - Above ar some of the main habitats found inside the study area. a: Avrainvillea canariensis meadow; b: Cymodocea nodosa patch; c: Garden eel colony; d: maërl bed; e: rocky reef; f: “barren” rocky reef
Source

Above ar some of the main habitats found inside the study area. a: Avrainvillea canariensis meadow; b: Cymodocea nodosa patch; c: Garden eel colony; d: maërl bed; e: rocky reef; f: “barren” rocky reef

In addition to Marine Mapping, the “Institute of Forest and Nature Conservation”, designed the project Corceira.  It involves the sinking of the Corvette NRP Afonso Cerqueira as an artificial reef in September of 2018.  Recent monitoring shows that the artificial reef creates favorable conditions for the development of the local biodiversity.  Furthermore, it attracts new species from nearby areas.  Project Corceira seems positive and shows high potential for amateur diving activities and excursions.

Corvette Reef Cabo Girao Madeira
Evolution of the reef over the years

Lastly, a brand new website was inaugurated in December 2020.