At 1,900 feet, Cabo Girão is on one of the highest sea cliffs in the world, and a new observation platform—with a clear glass bottom so you can see straight beneath you—gives you a bird's-eye view down to the coast. Totally uninhabited, the cliff top allows you to see ribbons of terraces carved out of steep slopes, where farmers daringly cultivate grapes and garden vegetables. Through centuries, thousands upon thousands of poios (terraces) have been built in Madeira. The poios rise from sea level up the mountainsides, and the mind boggles at the dangers involved and sheer labor that went into constructing the retaining walls that hold the terraces together. In the past, neither machines nor animals were used on Madeiran farms because the plots are so small and difficult to reach. Not long ago, farmers blew into conch shells as a means of communication with neighbors across the deep ravines.
Cabo Girão is an easy drive off the main west coast highway, and there's plenty of parking close to the cliff top. Rodoeste buses make a stop here and run approximately hourly Monday to Friday (€2.75 one way, 50 minutes), but the last bus back to Funchal leaves at 6 pm, and the service is more limited on weekends. It's 16 km (10 miles) west of Câmara de Lobos.