With an area measuring roughly 116 km2 (corresponding to about 15% of the Island), Calheta is the largest municipality on the Archipelago. Situated on the far south western part of the Island, it was among the first regions to be populated.
There are 8 civil parishes with a current population of about 11,521 inhabitants (Censos 2011). Calheta was perhaps the birthplace of a great portion of emigrants forming the Madeiran diaspora.
According to a decision made by the Municipal Assembly the municipal holiday of Calheta is celebrated on the 24th of June, feast day of Saint John the Baptist. The annual municipal festival is also held during this period, and for a week, many different activities take place from exhibitions to concerts to sporting events.