Off the beaten track: My favourite places and food in Madeira

Madeira is a Portuguese island in the Atlantic ocean, a 4 hour flight from the U.K. It has breathtaking scenery, hidden places to explore and varying micro climates due to a mountain range in the centre. There are so many touristic places, I want to introduce a few other hidden gems in this magnificent paradise because I want fellow travellers to discover, explore and admire what I have come across.

Camara dos Lobos

Forget your worries and unwind in this sleepy, fishing village located around 11km from the capital city of Funchal. A great place to try local drinks like Poncha, brandy sugar cane, lemon and honey or a Nikita, beer and white wine mixed with ice cream. Sounds so wrong, but give it a try – it works.

Ponta do Sol

Located 18km from Funchal, this is one of my favourite places. The clue is in the name – Point of the sun. Great for stopping for lunch and trying lapas, grilled mussels with bolo de caco, local bread. In addition to the food, have a quick dip in the sea to cool off.

Waterfalls in the road

When you leave Ponta do Sol take the old road that connects to Maddalena do Mar. I day dream about this place. It is full of roadside waterfalls and tunnels. Perfect for stopping, however find somewhere safe of course, and taking time to close your eyes and admire the view.

Monte

Get there via the scenic route in a cable car from Old Town Funchal. A truly mesmerising place with views out to the ocean, tropical gardens to wander in, beautiful church, and if you are feeling adventurous – try a toboggan ride in a wicker basket here.

Faial

This little village is off the beaten track, nestled near the better known town of Santana, in the north east of the island. Breathtaking scenery and the ideal place to simply escape to for a few hours.

Adventurers can lunch in the clouds

If you enjoy hiking, then you are in for a treat, with the abundance of walking trails on offer. My pick would be Pico do Ariero, Madeira’s third highest mountain peak, as when you reach the top you are rewarded with heavenly views and can lunch in the clouds – bliss. Alternatively you can go there by car. I found that the best route is from Eira do Serado viewpoint. Take the road (open 9am-7pm), located on the left hand side just before the crossroad near Curral das Freiras tunnel. Another bit of advice is to take layers of clothing as the temperature drops quite significantly, therefore be prepared for this.

To conclude, these are a handful of places that I love to visit, for more information on events, walking trails and places of interest have a look at www.visitmadeira.pt

Useful Words

Obrigada – Thank you
Tudo bem – How are you/Everything ok
Desculpa -Sorry
Eu gosto -I like
Boa Dia – Good Morning
Boa Noite – Good Night

Written by @mumonschoolrun

Find me and follow on Twitter @mumonschoolrun

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