Guide: Madeira


GENERAL

💸Currency: EURO (EUR)
🌞Average Temperature: 31°C (annual average high) 25°C (annual average low)
💦Humidity: 64 – 96% Daily
🗓Most Humid Month: June
🛬International Airport: Madeira Airport – Christiano Ronaldo (FNC)
🚇Public Transport: Buses (Rodoeste, SAM)
*Bus ride from Estreito do Camara do Lobos – Funchal (40min – 2.2€ one-way)
🚕Other transport: Rent-a-Car

SIGHTSEEING

🏙Funchal – the capital of Madeira, endless maze of tiny streets, beautiful parks and long boardwalk.
🏘Typical Houses in Santana – Triangular houses built out of wood, which date from the 15th century, it can be your stop over after finishing the Pico Ruivo hike, or simply if you are exploring the North-East part of the island.
🌺Jardim do Mar – while exploring what to visit, this town was mentioned only as a surfing spot, it was my absolute favourite, it was giving an impression as the whole place is one huge garden. And all the cars are parked at the entrance. Basically like a free visit to a botanical garden.
🌊Paul do Mar – second favourite, again found as a surfing spot, it is very traditional, and you will have the impression that nothing happens here, but there are a few restaurants with sunset view, endless amounts of Croton plants. The Pub at the end of the city is a must.
🏄🏻‍♀Seixal – walking on a black sand beach, while enjoying mountains and tiny waterfalls. I guess you need to see it yourself.

Hiking

🎒Ponta de São Lourenço – the eastern most point of the island. The hike is an easy one, and about 7km long. The rewards on the way are constant blue-brown mix of hills and ocean, and the last one is the view towards the Cevada island. There is a possibility of going back by boat, to the closest town/village – Canical.
🏔Pico Ruivo – the roof of the Island (1862m) – accessible as one hour hike from Santana (Achada do Teixeria) or the real deal as a 2.5-3.5 hour one way from Pico Areiro (6.1km). Starts downhill and just at the moment when you think can’t get easier than this, the first set of 80 stairs appears, afterthat i forgot my name. 🙂 I had an extreme personal guides and we finished it in under 5 hours, tea at the top included)
🏔Pico do Areiro – the thirs highest summit of the island (1818m), Easiest is to access it by car :D, but a way better option is to start from Pico Ruivo, just the other way around.
🌿25 Fontes Falls – Levadas are irrigational systems existing all over Madeira, since 15th century. They make sure the island has water supply throughout the year. The levada walks are very scenic, there are so many trails to choose from. The 25 Fontess Falls hike is easy, and a bit crowded hike, the first stop is the Risco Waterfall and afterwards you can choose your way.
💦Risco Waterfall – The first stop on the Levadas Tour. There is a very nice nature cafe very close by, if you feel like enjoying the nature from another perspective.

FOOD

🍖Espetada – beef cubes grilled on a skewer
🥖Bolo do Caco – round bread cake with butter and garlic
🍍Maracuja – mostly pudding and maracuja variations with other fruits
🌽Milho Frito – fried corn
🐟Tuna
🐙Octopus – try it in a salad
🐚Lapas – limpets, type of sea shells ( I was expecting richer flavour)
🥓Picadinho – Meat, goulash style served with fries
🦈Espada – Scabbard Fillet with Banana (scabbard fish is one of the most famous for Madeira)
🍹Poncha – (punch) Drink Mixture of Rum and tropical juice

Restaurants

🍖Restaurante Santo Antonio – the classic for Espetada. We were lucky it was 5 minutes walk from our hotel. They only have Espetada on their menu in a few different variations, and all the side dishes.
João Gonçalves Zarco n 656, 9325-087 Estreito De Câmara do Lobos
🥗O Ideal – a very small place with sunset and ocean view. The Menu is everything that you see on the picture in front of it. And the owner was the best. I am not an octopus fan, but that salad was top of the tops. And the orange-maracuja juice for while you are waiting.
Rua do Cais 16, 9370-510 Paúl do Mar
🐟Restaurante Villa do Peixe – this fish restaurant was not on my initial list, but we found it as the half-way spot of meeting our friends. Turned out really nice, as you can choose your fish directly from the counter. We went for Papagai Fish (Mediterranean Parrot Fish).
Rua Dr. João Abel de Freitas, Câmara de Lobos
🦐Mak Tub Pub – A full of good vibe restaurant. We experienced only the bar-part, as they were serving food starting from the late afternoon and reservation only. I got the impression I must return to the island, only to have dinner here.
Avenida dos pescadores paulenses nº 160, 9370-545 Paúl do Mar
🍌Restaurante Caravela – on the North-West route, this is the spot for the Banana-Scabbard fillet. I would say order the island classics, because sometimes a tomato salad might arrive with cream cheese and walnuts 🙂
Avenida Marcos Marques Rosa, n°62, Calhau, São Vicente
🍴Armazem do Sal – and address in case you want to go the extra mile (and have the proper clothing for it). It is located in one of the tiny streets of Funchal.
Rua da Alfândega 135 Funchal

BARS

🍹Mak Tub Pub – I already said everything about this place above.

COFFEE

UauCacau – praline shop, that serves Nespresso ( so far Portugal and coffee did not go well for me).
Rua da Queimada de Baixo, 11, Funchal
Confeitaria – traditional pastry shop with modern feel, but speaking of tradition I believe that every bakery/pastry serves the country’s trademark Delta coffee.
R. Hospital Velho 4, 9060-129 Funchal, Portugal

ACCOMMODATION

🏨Quinta do Estreito Vintage House – We stayed in this 5star vintage house, I think it has the 5 star due the good old days, i do not have major complaints, just about some of the facilities that were mentioned but actually they were referring to their other hotel in Funchal, which you can use, but you need to travel to get there. The breakfast was continental with small daily varieties, and nice to be enjoyed on the big hotel terrace.
R. José Joaquim da Costa, 9325-034 Câmara de Lobos
🏨Saccharum Resort & Spa – 5 Stars Hotel in Calheta directly on the beach. It is a location of a former Sugar Factory, and everything is “sugar related”. Our friends stayed in this hotel, and they were amazed by the design, breakfast buffet, the rooftop pool and the view.
Rua da Serra D’Água, nº1, 9370-087 Arco da Calheta

These are my most loved places, for the full overview check out the map.

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