Madeira is an island with incredible nature, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This is a romantic place where you can get lost in a small village, glorified in legends or in a small beach resort, hidden from the eyes of tourists. Madeira is also called the “gastronomic resort”. The island abounds with a selection of fresh tropical fruits, fish, shellfish and crab, and the restaurants serve the famous kebab skewers of laurel wood. Just coming to the island is not enough. It is definitely worth renting a car, so that you don’t get attached to the place and time, take a ride through ancient and mythical places, as well as see the main attractions, which sometimes require more than a dozen kilometers. When leaving, make sure that you not only saw popular tourist sites, but also mastered a paraglider,
The international airport of Madeira ( Madeira International, Airport then )
IATA code: FNC
Location: 16 km from Madeira
Official website: https://www.aeroportomadeira.pt
Information: +351 291 520 700
The following companies provide car rental services at Madeira Airport: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Goldcar, Guerin, Hertz, Rodavante, Sixt, Madeira Rent. Rental car racks are located at the entrance to the parking area. There are 5 parking zones near the airport, which can be booked on the airport website.
Caminho do Monte, 174 http://montepalace.com/desktop/
Having rented a car, set off to look at a truly heavenly place on the island. Monte Palace is an oasis of exotic trees, bushes, flowers from around the world. In the center of the man-made attraction is a lake in which swimming ducks and swans are pleasing to the eye. In the palace itself, an exhibition space is equipped with unique expositions on three floors. During the tour you can see a collection of minerals brought from Brazil, North America, South Africa, Peru, Zambia, Canada. More than 1000 different samples convey the beauty and diversity of our planet. Two floors are dedicated to sculpture. Moving from room to room, you can see how over time the fashion has changed for those or other elements and how the work of the masters has improved.
Rua do Aljube 13, Funchal
One of the most memorable places on the island is the Funchal Cathedral, built in the 15th century. It is amazing how several generations managed to keep the shrine in its original form: it still looks stern and massive, while the facade is extremely elegant. The interior is made in the style of manueline, which was named after the king. He presented the cathedral with an altar decorated with images of prophets, apostles and a high cedar ceiling, skillfully decorated with carvings.
Sitio do Pe do Passo, 9240-039 Sao Vicente http://www.grutasecentrodovulcanismo.com/
One of the main attractions of Madeira, where hundreds of tourists flock here and there, is lava caves of volcanic origin, whose age is estimated at several millennia. Unusual arches and grottoes, underground sources and the scale of formations amazes the mind. At numerous viewing platforms equipped with 3D-devices, which in all colors tell the story of the origin of the caves and the island.
Avenida Arriaga, 28 http://www.blandyswinelodge.com/
Another interesting place to visit when traveling by rental car is the Blandy´s Museum. During the tour, it will be possible to inspect the ancient premises in which barrels of wine are stored, to witness the cooking process, learn some secrets, and at the end taste a few varieties. The museum also houses some of the first vats, where the first wine and unique items related to the history of the island were made.
Rua Portao de Sao Tiago 21 http://cultura.madeira-edu.pt
The fortress of San Tiago was built at the beginning of the XVII century to defend the island from pirates. Walls, towers, gates are preserved in their original form. A few decades ago, a military base was located here, and now a modern art museum is equipped on the territory of the fortress, where the works of local artists are presented. Interestingly, the canvases were donated to the museum. Now every tourist has the opportunity to get acquainted with the works of Portuguese creators, and after that, having lingered on the observation deck, take some bewitching pictures.
40 kilometers from Madeira is the picturesque island of Porto Santo, which is worth a day to visit or stay longer. The main attractions of the island are the Columbus House Museum and the Botanical Garden. The museum is located in two buildings, in one of which the famous sailor once lived. Here you can see some documents containing information about preparing for a world tour, copies of old maps on which the routes of Columbus are traced and realistic models of ships. In the botanical garden you can see a huge collection of birds, the conditions for which for 15 years have been diligently created by Carlos Alfonso.
Rent a car and drive 50 kilometers from the capital to Pico Ruiva Mountain. This is the highest mountain in Madeira, the top of which rests in the clouds, and beauty drowning in a milky haze. The only way to see the whole mesmerizing panorama is to have patience, strength and step by step to climb the laid paths. It’s not worth worrying about safety: the most risky areas are equipped with handrails, and tunnels are laid through the rocks of the mountains. During the ascent to the mountain, various grasses, relict ferns, finches and blackbirds will be found along the way. The closer to the top, the smaller the plants will become, and then completely pieces of ice will meet on the way. Mount Piku Ruiva is often called the best viewing platform. Not everyone can get to the top
Rabasal Waterfall and Rishko Waterfall is a tourist route for those who like long walks in natural sites and for those who want to get acquainted with the main levades of Madeira. The length of the route is 4 kilometers. During the tour, tourists will be able to walk along the numerous irrigation canals and get to the waterfalls hidden in the gorges. In total, 25 sources will meet along the way, and from inaccessible at first glance sites, bewitching views of the surroundings will open.
Selvaženš Islands - perhaps one of the most inaccessible places. To get at least one island will need to make an effort. To this day, these territories are little explored and uninhabited. Fans of untouched nature and bewitching species should definitely visit here. Sitting on the shore, you can enjoy the sound of the wind, the smell of waves and birdsong in complete silence. Somewhere nearby there will surely be a fish popping up from time to time, and deciduous girls swinging, they will sing duet songs for you. If you still get to the islands, be sure to take a walk on land. Perhaps you will be able to find the famous treasures of Captain Kidd.
When you rent a car, go to the small village of Curral dash Freiras (which means “nun’s refuge”), located 19 kilometers from the island’s capital. The history of the place began in the middle of the XVI century. Then the thug pirates attacked the island, and desperate nuns decided to flee. They stopped in a valley that was hidden from the eyes of strangers, and over time a whole community formed here. Years passed, new buildings appeared in the valley, and life went on as usual. If you are planning to explore the area, it is better to start the journey from the town of Ayra do Serrada. At an altitude of 1000 meters there is an observation deck from where the most fascinating views of the valley open.
Avenida Infante 28 https://www.facebook.com/confeitariamc/
One of the best coffee houses where you can enjoy a huge selection of fresh pastries is A Confeitaria. Melting cheesecakes, flavored pastries, spicy buns will definitely appeal to every lover of desserts. Those who are indifferent to sweets will be able to order a hearty sandwich of their choice. From 7 in the morning until late in the evening, doors are open for tourists in this establishment, and smiling staff offers freshly brewed coffee and even warm cookies.
Rua Dom Carlos IN 20 https://www.facebook.com/gigisumos
For those who strictly monitor their diet and are especially choosy about the choice of establishments, Gigi Sumos is suitable. A huge assortment of freshly squeezed juices and cocktails definitely makes an impression. It seems that no matter how many times a day you come to this cafe, you won’t be able to try all the healthy drinks during your vacation on the island. The menu also has a good selection of soups, which the locals claim are the tastiest in the area. Having studied the entire range, be sure to order an unfamiliar dish to diversify your diet.
Beco Ataide 1 http://www.casaldapenha.com/
For the freshest seafood on a rental car, head to Casal Da Penha. In appearance the place does not attract attention, however, the cozy atmosphere inside has a pleasant meal. Almost all year round there is a terrace on the top floor, which offers excellent views of the city. The friendly staff will help to sort out the assortment of dishes and recommend something special. If you are not used to choosing for a long time, feel free to order grilled sea bass and seafood soup.
Rua Velha da Ajuda, 12 https://www.facebook.com/PubArgentinoLaVacaNegra/
La Vaca Negra is perhaps the best meat restaurant where you can enjoy a real Argentinean steak. If you can not make a choice, follow the advice of the owner of the institution, who will probably advise something like that. Large portions will allow you to feel full, and quick service will make a pleasant impression. By the way, in addition to juicy steak, you can order a glass of dry wine, which will be organically combined with meat.
Avenida Zarco 2A
Looking for a place to spend your evening in the evening? Then feel free to book a table at Theo´s Bazar Cafe. It is worth trying fresh pasta with basil, beef steak with fried shrimp, smoked salmon appetizer, cod - bacallao with red pepper and strudel for dessert. The chef prepares dishes according to original recipes, which allows to achieve a unique taste. In the evening, the cozy atmosphere in the institution is complemented by the skillful performance of works on the piano.
Rua da Casa Branca, 7
+351 291 700 770 http://www.quintacasabranca.com/ double room - from € 160
If you plan to rent a car and are looking for a comfortable hotel with all the amenities, opt for the Quinta da Casa Branca. It offers spacious rooms and a private patio with sun lounger. The hotel area is strewn with vegetation, which gives the impression that you are far from the bustle of the city. Here you can endlessly walk through gardens and levadas, taste expensive wines and breathe in the ocean breeze.
Rua Gorgulho 15-17
+351 291 709 200 http://www.pestana.com/en/hotel/pestana-palms double room - from € 84
Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel is a great value-for-money option. It offers spacious rooms with panoramic windows. It seems that you can enjoy the views from the window endlessly, and do not go out of the hotel throughout your vacation. Each room has a balcony with tables and armchairs, where you can have breakfast or in the evening with a glass of wine to enjoy your vacation on the island.
Rua Gorgulho 2
+351 291 709 700 https://www.portobay.com/en/hotels/portugal/madeira-island-portugal/suite-hotel-eden-mar/ double room - from € 146
Want to spend a carefree holiday surrounded by riot of colors of nature and the ocean? Suite Hotel Eden Mar is perfect. The main advantage of the hotel is its good location. On the territory there are trails for the evening promenade, you can see the ocean from the windows, and a supermarket is nearby. The competent staff will ensure that throughout your stay a sense of calm and lightness does not leave you.
Rua da Levada de Sao Joao, 4
+351 291 740 920 http://www.quintinhasaojoao.com/ double room - from € 130
For those who want to stay in the city center, Quintinha Sao Joao is a good choice. The interior is made in Portuguese style, there are many colors in the halls, and the rooms have access to balconies, from where you can see a beautiful garden. The competent staff tries to please every guest, fulfilling any requests. It offers a swimming pool, restaurant, room-service, spa and fitness center. Parking is available for rental cars. Couples will be able to entrust their child to a professional nanny.
Estrada Monumental 147
+351 291 707 700 https://www.portobay.com/en/hotels/portugal/madeira-island-portugal/the-cliff-bay/ double room - from € 192
If you want to plunge into the world of luxurious relaxation, opt for Hotel The Cliff Bay. The rooms on the upper floors offer enchanting views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. High-quality service, French cuisine with original dishes from the chef, a stylish interior will guarantee a wonderful stay. An elegant garden is equipped on site, walks through which will be a particular pleasure.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2016