Favorite thing: Very popular in Madeira,very Portugese and very delicious.They consist of crusty puff pastry,filled with sweet egg custard and caramelised on top.Have tried them in several places on Madeira,but the best ones,and the largest are found at the Barcelos restaurante,which is at the viewpoint at Pico dos Barcelos (355 meters above sea level),just outside of Funchal.
Favorite thing: The density of construction in the southern coast, from Machico to Ribeira Brava is too high. Using every possible location in the steep hills, the houses hang among trees and flowers, in a miracle of adaptation. Nature may disagree, as shown in the recent flooding, but combines well with men to compose a very nice landscape.
When you are in Madeira i recommend that you head down to the Madeir astory center as it's very interesting, but on top of that you should purchase a little booklet they are selling there called "Madeira a short illustrated history".
It has a little grey cover that is mabye not the most catching and you might think that 10 euros is a bit much to pay for it, but it's really an excellent little book about the history of Madeira written in a very nice way.
This is not a dry history lesson but a lot of nice stories from Madeira and very much about all the colorful people who have been past the island over the past 600 years like Napoleon, Winston Churcill, Charles the 1st of Austria and many more and also nice stories about the other aspects of the island such as wine production, levadas and other things.
Really an interesting and entertaining read about the island and a great introduction to the place if you are there for the first time.
You won't regret.
Madeira suffered a lot from recent flooding, but it is almost recovered.
I want to state my solidarity to the people, and my absolute confidence that, in a couple of weeks, as soon as the mud will be removed, the beauty of the island is glowing again.
PS I had the opportunity to go there again in June, for the Open Dance Contest. We were admitting to go there again this year, but the crises forced the organizers to cancel the festival. I think that we will miss Madeira this year.
The espada is the most famous fish on Madeira.
It´s caught with line in great depts in the atlantic ocean, mostly as far down as 6-700 meters.
The fish is long and mostly black and has big eyes and looks rather scary, but it tastes absolutely fantastic and i really recommmend that you try this fish while on the island.
I grew up in a fashing village myself and has been eating fish thoudans of times over the years andi must say that Espada, together with Turbot is my favorite fish in this world.
The meat is extremely tender and a true joy.
You mostly get it fried and if you want it the lo´cal Madeira way then you should get it with fried bananas.
On Madeira you can of course have your coke and your pepsi like everywhere else, but why not try the local stuff now that you are there and it´s even better tasting than the more known brands.
The local Madeira comapnay "Brisa" makes a really good tasting soda called "Brisa Maracuja" which is a passion fruit soda that you can get in just about all supermarkets and cafes.
It comes in a nice big glass bottle and tastes very refreshing and exotic compared to the carbonated drinks you normally get around the world.
You might not like it as much as i do, but you should certainly try it while you are there and i think you will agree with me that this is a very good alternative to your ordinary Coke.
Charles I of Austria was after the end of the first world war forced to flee Austria and ended up on Madeira island after a long sea voyage.
He ended up living here until the 1st of april 1922 where he died from Pneumonia.
He first lived in Funchal with his wife and children, but later moved up to the little mountain town Monte where he spend the rest of his life and was buried inside the church when he passed away.
His coffin is standing on display inside the church and can be visited and outside the church there is a statue of him.
Favorite thing: In February don´t miss carneval. The whole city is prepared with lamps and decoration. During this time you can listen to Samba- Music on "Avenida do Mar" to the late evening. Everybody looks for the great parade on Saturday, which starts normaly at 9 o ´clock, p.m.
THe collection of sites devoted for tourist attractions of Madeira is not so extensive. Apart of VT you can find several interesting pages. Preparing to visit Madeira I opened:
Madeira Web - http://www.madeira-web.com/ - the best site with variery of info. From beaches to sports, from essentials to historical guides.
Roman Garba's Madeira - http://www.garba.cz/madeira/index_e.html - detailed info in English about Czech team trekking trip across the Madeira
Madeira Islands - http://www.madeiraislands.travel/ - Madeira's Official Tourism Website
Madeira Tourist - http://www.madeira-tourist.com/ - looks OK but it is not especially full of info
The animal world of Madeira is not too rich comparing to the other regions located in the same geographical zone. Simply this is the place separated from other places by the thousends kilometres of water - the space difficult to jump over.
But the Lacertilia family is developed here wonderfully. The countless number of green, brown, 'painted' in stripes or dots lizards control the holes in walls and tunnels between roots.
Short story from small beach: I sit down on the boulder near the big rock wall. I'm hungry so I take the slice of pizza from my backpack. Sudenly strange movement directs my eyes. Hundreds of lizards - small and bigger slowly approach. I wave my hand. Lizards escape. But after the minute fabulous smell of pizza calls them again.
I'm staring at the sea horizen and forgot about lizards' invasion. Suddenly I feel that little creature is walking on my arm. Despite the lizard is not wet and slippy I order it "go out".
But after the minute brave lizards start again their patrol. And I have to give up and hide the yummy pizza from animals.
Take the advantage of your stay between these charming creatures and see how they are nice, dexterous and well-prepared to survive.
The title doesn't mean that we are tasting only marvellous wine from this island but also other natural products with ot without alcohol.
FRUITS AND JUICES: Above all Mango - totally different than in European shops - fresh and juicy. Also maracuja (passion fruit) - if you like. Madeira is famous for its bananas (big plantations on the south coast), cherries, chestnuts (Curral das Freiras) and different types of figs. Go to the market called Mercado dos Lavradores in Funchal and taste (buy) different exotic or local fruits like hybryds of banana and pineapple (yummy) or a passion fruit and orange. Madeira fruits area is a big field for your dicoveries.
DRINKS: Firstly, Madeira wine - strong and aromatic, good for dinners, desserts and for cooking (as an ingredient). Also Poncha da Madeira - excellent liquer from sugar-cane honey, lemon and sugar-cane alcohol (recipe: see separate tip). Here are many other sorts of liquers, most known are chestnut, cherry and maracuja. Try it - you will feel heavenly :)
Such highs and thinking you are suspense by a cable, made me freeze. Well, if you look to the landscape you will forget all your fears and you will start enjoying the ride. You can see all those houses that you don’t know how possible was to built them in those small places and in such highs. And the amazing views the ocean, fabulous. …
You will not regret to go …
In the very last times tunnels were made by the hand of the man to make possible crossing the mountains.
There still are some of these traditional tunnels.
There are lots of modern tunnels, and what is funny is when we cross a long tunnel, in the other side of it the weather was completely different, because there are microclimates in Madeira.
If you want to enjoy beaches you have to go to Porto Santo Island, the other island in Madeira Archipelago. In Madeira (Main Island) you will find high sea cliffs and stone beaches.
Do you ever see a stone beach?
Well, for me was the first time i saw one. I think it must be quite uncomfortable don’t you think?
renting a car for 3/4 days and you' d be able to travel the entire Madeira island, and visit the beautifull spots in the island.of course there are tourist tours around rhe island all togheter with 50 other tourists with all the inconvinience that such tours carries.so a car and travel at your own interests is sure the best way to know the island.
Fondest memory: the sights and waterfalls all along the paths through out the island.