6 things to do in Madeira
Madeira is a vibrant pearl of the Atlantic, one of the oldest elite resorts in the world. Excellent conditions for a relaxed and active holiday are combined here with the rich gifts of pristine nature. Following our tips, you will explore the archipelago far and wide and return home with a baggage of positive and colorful photographs.
1. STAND ABOUT THE VOID
Take a bus or rent a car and go to the highest cape of Europe – Cape Girao. The Atlantic Ocean will be literally at your feet. The route from Funchal lies through the picturesque village of Camara de Lobos. On the way, you will meet wine cellars, an old church, banana plantations.
Climbing the mountains along a winding serpentine, you will find yourself on the observation deck. To step on it, courage is required, because only a glass floor separates you from the abyss extending below. From a height of almost 600 meters, discover the vast Atlantic Ocean and like the toy landscapes of Madeira. Enjoy the cleanest air with eucalyptus notes coming from nearby forests.
2. Make a visit to Columbus House
Climb aboard the ship, which departs from Madeira every morning to sail to the islet of Porto Santo. Will have to sail only 40 km. As soon as you go down the ramp, you will be surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere, which is strikingly different from the busy life of ordinary resorts. Go to the beach right away and you will be delighted with the gentle coastal strip strewn with golden sand. The dry climate and the steadily warm temperature of water and air in Porto Santo allow swimming all year round. Diversify your passive vacation on the beach with scuba diving, catamarans and water skiing.
Having plenty of fun and sunbathing, go to Vila Baleira. Here you will see two buildings, one of which was built in 1480. Once upon a time, the discoverer of America Christopher Columbus lived in this house, and now a museum is open in it. Among his exhibits are documents relating to the preparation of Columbus for a world tour, as a result of which he discovered the New World. There are also models of legendary sailing ships, ancient maps and portraits on display.
3. TOUCH THE BLACK SWAN
Next to Funchal on a hill stands the Monte Palace, surrounded by a lush garden. Plants were brought here from all over the world, and now Scottish heather, Belgian azaleas, giant ferns, proud laurels, high cedars and many other flora representatives grow on the same territory.
Walking along the shady paths, you will meet beautiful peacocks and fighting Indonesian roosters. Go to the central lake, where black and white swans swim. They are almost tame and perhaps you can touch their soft plumage. Then go to the Monte Palace. Built in the 18th century, today it plays the role of a museum. View mineral collections from all over the world, climb to the observation deck and admire Madeira’s capital and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean from a height of 600 meters.
4. WALK IN THE BREAKFAST
On a vast territory stretches Madeira Natural Park with the famous laurel forests, or laurisilva. Take a walk along the shady alleys, admiring the sparkling foliage and enjoying the spicy healing aromas. Many trees in this park are endemic and are not found anywhere else in the natural environment. Only in Madeira you will see Barbosano, Loureiro, Vinatico – all from the Laurel family. Among them there are giants, reaching 40 meters in height. Along with laurels, hundreds of species of other subtropical plants, including palm trees and orchids, grow in the park.
5. ENJOY THE MADE
In the homeland of one of the most exquisite fortified drinks in the world, tasting is indispensable. You can drink a glass of the famous Madeira in any restaurant on the island, but to find out its history and the manufacturing process, go to the Madera Wine Museum. It is located in the center of Funchal and is famous for its rich collection. Here you will see barrels, vats and even a press that is more than 300 years old. When you go to the tasting room and your glass is filled with Madeira, pay attention to its bright amber color. Having taken a sip, appreciate the caramel and nutty shades in the aroma and aftertaste.
6. MEET WRITERS
Until the middle of the 20th century, whale hunting flourished in Madeira, and the unofficial capital of the whalers was the town of Canisal. Today, the water area of the archipelago is a reserve, where there is a strict ban on the killing of all marine mammals. However, Kanisal still has a special atmosphere, and you can meet former whalers on the street. Be sure to go to the whaling museum – look at the exhibits and find out how the whaling ships looked and how the carcasses of marine giants were handled. After the museum, head to the local beach to sunbathe on the blue-black sand.