Nuns Valley (Curral Des Freiras) is a small village located on the island of Madeira. Nestled at the foot of a deep basin in the heart of Madeira, the village is surrounded by almost perpendicular mountains. This isolated village was once only accessible by foot or by donkey but can now be reached by road. It is believed that the deep ravine in which Nuns Valley sits was formed as a result of volcanic activity or gradual erosion which has taken place over hundreds of years.
Nuns Valley is the central point for many of the islands scenic walks and hikes thus attracting visitors looking for a quiet relaxing retreat set in beautiful rural scenery of lush green forests and jagged mountain peaks. The hotels and guesthouses in the valley offer amazing views and a tranquil atmosphere. The many walking and hiking trails that criss-cross the surrounding countryside take walkers through some beautiful scenery.
It is believed that the village was formed in the 16th century by nuns from the Santa Clara convent in Funchal who were seeking refuge from attacking pirates. The fertile soil in the valley enabled the nuns to be self-sufficient, even today the valley is still known for it’s cherries and chestnuts which are used in many local dishes and drinks. On November 1st every year the ‘Chestnut Festival’, which dates back to the time when the nuns had a surplus of chestnuts, is still celebrated in Nuns Valley.
When you want a change of pace the capital city of Funchal is just 20 minutes from Nuns Valley. Here you will find restaurants, shops, museums and botanical gardens. A trip to Funchal Beach during the summer months
will see warm waters of 22C, even out of the peak season the water is still around 17C making holiday packages to Madeira a perfect choice at any time of the year.
Nuns Valley enjoys long hot summers and short mild winters. The sheltering mountains make the valley a sun trap with summer temperatures often exceeding 30C with 300 dry sunny days a year. The average annual temperature is around 20C with July and August seeing temperatures above 25C and around eight hours of sunshine a day. Spring and autumn are ideal times for package holidays to Madeira as the weather is comfortable with temperatures around 20C. At this time of the year the islands countryside is in full bloom and the warm breeze makes walking or hiking easier than in the hot summer months. If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday in an isolated location then Nuns Valley is just the place for you.