Ribeira Brava is one of the oldest settlements of the island of Madeira and is located along the southern coast, west of Câmara de Lobos. The access to the town since the construction of the two-lane motorway from Funchal is much easier than in the past. This little colourful town boasts many street cafés and shops. Some think that the name came from the wild (Brava) river (Ribeira) that used to flow in this area. There is a stream at an elevation of 327 metres and water goes down some 8 kilometres alongside the road that leads to Encumeada. By the sea but protected from the Atlantic waves for safe swimming is a man-made black sandy beach. The local church “Igreja de São Bento“ is very interesting and some paintings date back to the 16th century. The views, quirky little shops and restaurants, all it make this village inviting and relaxing and is perfect point to stop while touring the island.