Engenho da Calheta

Museum in Calheta (Madeira)

Engenho-Calheta
© 2024 Andrew Ashton

Exploring the sugar-producing history of Madeira is akin to journeying through the cultural and historical tapestry of the archipelago. A vital part of this exploration is a visit to the Engenho da Calheta, a landmark emblematic of Madeira’s sugarcane heritage. This visit is a must for anyone traveling along the island’s west coast.

The Sociedade dos Engenhos da Calheta emerged during a period of significant industrial advancement, around the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This era marks the second sugar cycle of Madeira, with sugar once being referred to as ‘white gold’.

Engenho da Calheta, with a history spanning over fifty years, stands as one of the island’s oldest sugarcane mills. It is renowned for producing Madeira rum, known globally for its quality derived from controlled fermentation and meticulous distillation processes. Additionally, the mill produces distinctive sugar cane honey, made by steaming the ‘garapa’.

Located in the heart of Calheta town, Engenho da Calheta operates as a living museum. The mill runs annually, typically after the Easter celebrations, offering a unique glimpse into the past. The facility, which includes a tasting room and wine bar, welcomes visitors throughout the year, providing a comprehensive and immersive experience into Madeira’s rich sugarcane legacy.


The Engenho da Calheta appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Calheta (Madeira)!

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Visiting Engenho da Calheta

Duration: 30 minutes

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Tours and Activities from Calheta (Madeira)