Chão da Ribeira is, probably, the loveliest valley in Madeira. Located in the NW coast, close to Seixal, it's basically a suspended valley, about three kilometres long, and cut in the rock by the erosion forces of the Ribeira (stream) do Seixal. Contrary to most mountain valleys in Madeira (which are narrow and deep), its floor (about one kilometre wide) is flat and with good land for agriculture. Therefore, although the valley has no permanent human residents, the lands are well kept and a permanent source of potatoes and other vegetables for their owners.
Due to its altitude above sea level (about 300 meters) and because its opening to NNE, the valley has a moisty climate though all the year. However, the mountain walls around it keep it sheltered from the strong NE winds so typical in Madeira, helping, therefore, the agricultural efforts and making it at the same time one of the best spots in Madeira for a relaxed weekend among nature.
Endemic of Madeira, the Massarocos (Echium Candicans) are one of the symbols of the island and a common presence also in the Chão da Ribeira valley.
Picture taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3.
Post-processing in Adobe Photoshop CS3.