The beach Praia Formosa, situated in the capital Funchal, just 10 minutes drive from the city centre, offers visitors three small sandy beaches. In the summer, this beach attracts all kinds of sea and beach lovers, not only because of the sea and the sun, but also because of the sports activities, contests and nightlife that it offers.
The water quality is certified by the ?Blue Flag? and a team of lifeguards is watching over the safety of the bathers.
Whatever you do whilst in Madeira you must take time to drive inland from the coast. The scenery is totally breathtaking, so are some of the bends in the roads!!!, fabulous villages seem to sit in the valley', at every turn there is something awesome to see.
- Road Trip
One of Madeira's hidden secrets, Rabacal is a one-house town at the eastern end of the Ribiera da Janela. If you decide to g take a picnic as it is quite remote. It is an adventurous drive down a steep and winding single lane ( without crash barriers!!) that decends into a vivid green revine for just over a mile.It is a marvellous opportunity to samplethe unspoilt interior of Madeira and to appreciate the unique pleasures of levada walking.
- Hiking and Walking
The Vicentes Photographic Museum was the first photographic studio to open in Portugal. The photographs on display allow us to witness an island and its society through the lens of a camera which includes subject matters such as the great industrial and social changes, cultural revolutions, hunger revolts, wars, and political and economic upheavals of the years that spanned more than 100 years across two centuries.
Santa Quiteria, start levada walk
Visiting Madeira island is enjoying walking along levadas. And even just in or near Funchal you can find nice areas for walking.
One of the levada walks starts in Santa Quiteria, not far from the viewpoint Pico dos Barcelos, west of the road to Curral das Freiras.
You can take bus nr. 8 or 16 to Santa Quiteria or come by car.
From the busstop you have to take a road down and will find the levada after 10 minutes. Turn right an after following the levada zig-zag along some houses and gardens entrances you will reach the wonderful Socorridos Valley after 25 minutes.
It is amazing, just outside Funchal and in allready in the middle of the rough nature.
- Hiking and Walking
We really enjoyed our short walk of nearly two hours from Santa Quiteria to the Socorridos Valley and back. The valley is rough and scenic.
You can take another way, but we prefered the same path back, because we parked our car in Santa Quiteria. The views inland were totally different of the views towards the ocean, so we didn't regret to take the same route again.
- Hiking and Walking
Farmers Market tiles
This is a centre point for the town. It typifies the architectural period known as the New State (Estado Novo). The facade has a panel of tiles in a semi-circle, two tiled panels at the main entrance and several others in the section devoted to fish.
Wander through the gardens to the Babosas panoramic view point stopping along the way at the famous Monte church where the last Austrian-Hungarian emperor, Karl I lies buried. His name is intimately linked to the neighbourhood, because he lived for a number of years at Monte Villa (Quinta do Monte).
Quinta das Cruzes museum
Quinta da Cruzes museum collection includes Portuguese and foreign furniture from the 16th to 19th centuries. Porcelain from the Portuguese East India Company and from Europe. Portuguese painted dishware from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Indo-Portuguese and European ivory objects. Flemish and Portuguese sculpture from the 15th to the 18th century. Nativity scenes or cribs from the 18th and 19th centuries and paintings from the 16th to 19th centuries.
The Old Town
The old neighbourhood of Santa Maria is where the settlement of the island started more than five centuries ago, in the area today known as the Old Town. Its narrow streets are paved with cobblestones and lined with the ancient facades of the picturesque houses.
This is not really off the beaten path as its right on the main road going into Funchal but I was surprised to hear that not many people noticed the Toyota car showroom. Whats so special about it - well its all the lovely blue and white tiles decorating its walls - inside and out - depictiing scenes of old Maderian life. Definitely worth a look before you cross the road to Blandy's wine shop and lodge.
Saint Peter's Church
This church dates originally from the 16th century. Although much of the building was actually completed during the 17th and 18th centuries, the church as we see it today is impressive, with its "mannerist" door, chairs dating from 1633 and a beautiful set of azulejo tiles from 17th and 18th centuries.
Also take the chance to visit Saint Peter's historical area.
From the municipal town square, stand with you back to the town hall and head for the far right hand side corner. Walk up Rua C Pestana and along to Rua da Carreira at the next junction. in this street you will find many elegant original balconies on the upper storeys of the buildings- a real old part of Funchal. This pic shows the one at number 155 - one of the most detailed.
This lovely church of St Peters church is found at the top of Rua do Sturdo - a side road off Rua da Carreira. It had more appeal to me that the cathedral of Funchal.
And no there isn't a tree growing out of the spire its just the way the pic was taken!
It's part of the Madeira Wine Institute building, visitors can see here an exhibition of prints, photography, objects and machines picturing the different phases of Madeira wine growing and production.
The Building has a wonderfull architecture.