If you take a walk around the town you will find the stacks of freshly cut willow canes.These are then soaked in water and stripped of their bark,then boiled which makes them pliable enough to weave.
The large shop in the town is where you will find every conceivable item made out of wicker.If you go down to the lower floor you will find the weavers working.
The walk along the coastal footpath from the Lido area to Praia Formosa beach makes for an enjoyable and interesting couple of hours.The level ground with a few steep inclines means that it is a reasonably easy walk.It is advisable to take water with you,although there are places on route to stop for a coffee or cold drink.Just before you reach Praia Formosa beach you will enter a lit pedestrian tunnel,where in a couple of places you can watch the sea below.
Probably the most interesting town on the island,as it was the landing point of the discoverers of Madeira on the 1st July 1419.
The town makes a nice starting point for a number of 'levada' walks.If you enjoy swimming and sunbathing the town also boasts one of the best sandy beaches on the island.The main income comes from agriculture,fishing and tourism.A small harbour can be found on the left of the beach.
From the car park on the peninsula at the end of the south coast road you can take a walk along the cliff footpath.The long,narrow chain of volcanic cliffs and ravines at the eastern end of Madeira is a dramatic wilderness,protected as a nature reserve.Here you will find many sea birds which nest in colonies;such as the Grebe,Black Petrel,Puffin and Tern.
The small village of Curral das Freiras (Nuns Valley) is situated between almost perpendicular mountains,and as the village is very isolated the villagers live mainly on what they grow.
The name of the valley came about when in 1566 the nuns of Santa Clara convent fled from pirates who were attacking Funchal.
The trip up to the viewpoint is via a winding road,from here you have great views looking down on the valley.
Best place to go on Madeira is Funchal. Not only is it big and has lots of tourist attractions it also has a good climat. Good place where most of the trips start. The north part of the island is far more cloudy and rainy.
Located in the northeast part of the island, this is "the capital" of golf in Madeira. A new project to protect biodiversity is the most visited highlight, in a village that is also known by its cider production.
More details in Santo da Serra
Living for (and from) tourism for decades, Funchal was carefully embellished. That, together with the natural beauty makes it... beautiful.
A good place to stay some days, travelling around in the short trips needed to visit the picturesque points of the island.
One of the highest points of the island, this is a common and easy visit from Funchal, only a few minutes distant. The views are breathtaking, sometimes with the clouds at your feet, enhancing the dramatic landscape.
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Located in the northwestern tip of the island, this is my favorite place, with a great landscape and a wise use of natural conditions to create a few pools in the sea. Not to be missed!
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A nice village in the north and wild coast of the island, it shows signs of recent development. The beach is... impossible (seixo means pebble) and people lives mainly from agriculture and... tourism, of course. The many waterfalls do help!
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Maybe the most remote location in the island, Eira do Serrado stays in a deep valley squeezed between the biggest mountains of the island. I only saw it from the distance, but that was enough to make me feel a sort of claustrophobia. How did they live before the new and practical road?
In my first visit to Madeira, we passed under a waterfall that hits the road near Seixal. I tried to show it to my friends, this time, and reading about "Véu da Noiva" - bride's veil, one of the most famous waterfalls, I thought it was it.
Wrong! It is a common waterfall, far from the road, and the one that I would like to see must be located in one of the closed segments of the old road.
Situated atop the island, in a wild area, Rabaçal is not pretty, but it seems to have the most interesting of the interesting "levadas" of the island. Unfortunately, we had no time to follow one of them.
More details in Ponta do Sol
One of the most promoted images of Madeira is the triangular facade of the typical houses that, nowadays, only exist in Santana, and, it seems, for touristy purposes. Well, they are nice.
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