Madeira's history goes back several millennia. The Cavalum Caves, in the municipality of Machico, are a valuable testimony to this. Therefore, discovering this site is an unmissable journey into the past of this volcanic island.
This set of four caves, also known as 'Furnas do Cavalum', is an extremely important geological heritage. We should note that the formation of this pearl of the Atlantic dates back to the Neogene period, and the last known volcanic eruption occurred 'only' about 6000 years ago, near the Paul da Serra plateau.
However, there are few known lava tubes on the island of Madeira. The Cavalum Caves are a paradigmatic example of this. These structures are formed as a result of the faster cooling of the lava that, after an eruption, remains on the surface. Their interior, which retains liquidity for a longer period of time, becomes hollow, thus forming the underground channels we can still see today.
The Cavalum Caves, whose name refers to a legendary figure shaped as a horse with bat wings, have four cavities. These geological formations, with different sizes and altitudes, host a very diverse cave fauna. Some species are only found in Madeira.
The Cavalum Caves are located in the parish of Machico. This set of lava channels is a key piece of geological heritage to understanding the millenary history of this volcanic island.