Madeira

This Portuguese island, my family and I decided to visit in the month of November, several years ago when we decided to seek some Winter sun.

The island is a walker’s paradise, with levadas running all through the mountain range, they provide a perfect path through tunnels and past waterfalls for all the budding trekkers to enjoy.

madeira 032.jpg

madeira 024.jpg

If you do decide to check out these walks, be prepared for sharp drops and narrow paths and wear layered clothes.  It can change from hot to cold.   You’ll also need good hiking boots and waterproof’s and don’t forget a torch.  If you go through a tunnel they are pitch black.

madeira 030.jpg

madeira 029.jpg

If hiking isn’t you’re thing, there’s still plenty to do if you are keen to explore and are happy to hire a car.  Waterfalls can be found on many of the routes around the island and in some cases even fall onto the road.

PB190936.JPG

madeira 021.jpg

Due to the mountainous terrain and the abundance of high sea cliffs, there are quite a few cable cars on the island.  The main one that many may know, takes you from the centre of Funchal and up over the city into the hills to Monte where a pretty church sits and you can take a ride part way down in a toboggan.

PB100029.JPG

But explore further afield and you’ll find some fantastic and reasonably priced cable car rides down steep cliffs to secluded beaches.

madeira 011.jpg

PB110264.JPG

PB190984.JPG

PB190994.JPG

We stayed on the outskirts of Funchal, which was a short walk into the town, but also many hotels offer free buses into the centre.  It has an intriguing market where fish and fruit can be bought, and a fort by the sea. Also many houses are decorated in amazing art work.

PB100091.JPGPB100090.JPG

 

PB100097.JPG

 

PB100105.JPG

 

PB100107.JPG

On the other side of the island, which is rich with lush vegetation and farmland, you can find traditional Maderian houses that are still lived in and well cared for.

PB120319.JPG

PB190896.JPG

PB190903.JPG

Cuisine wasn’t great for me as I’m a fussy eater and prefer vegetarian food, which wasn’t in abundance here.  But even my carnivorous family didn’t find the meals that great in the restaurants around Funchal.  However, they did have a great steak sandwich at an incredibly low price in a small cafe we found out on a road on the North of the island. Pitched alone on the cliff with the grey sea tumbling behind us, it was a gem to discover.

PB190946.JPG

If you fancy an island with stunning scenery and winding roads to take you through and over every mountain and valley, than I’d recommend Madeira.  It’s not you’re typical sunbathing, karaoke Brit and sports bar location, and also not somewhere you can fully appreciate if you pop in on a cruise.  To fully explore the island, a fortnight trip would be perfect.

madeira 014.jpg

PB110250.JPG

PB140464.JPG

PB120380.JPG

PB170723.JPG

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s