Visiting Madeira – Flowers and tourism
Since several decades fully dedicated to tourism, everything in Madeira is concentrated in your appreciation of the island.
Profiting and enhancing its natural beauty, men have been extremely careful in the island development, trying to preserve its look and increase the traffic conditions.
Hotels concentrate in Lido, the southwest area of Funchal, though you may find accommodation almost everywhere.
Unfortunately, the only reasonable beaches are in the north coast, more exposed to the caprices of ocean and weather, and the hotel area is rocky.
However, all the island is now some minutes away, and driving around is becoming quicker and safer.
Travelling eastbound from Funchal, we could see Portela, Santo da Serra, Santo António, Santana, Machico and São Lourenço cape.
Westbound we had Câmara de Lobos, Estreito, Ribeira Brava, Serra de Água, São Vicente, Seixal, Porto Moniz, Paul da Serra, Rabaçal and Encumeada
Câmara de Lobos
All the island is prepared to show its beautiful spots, with men and nature combining to get the best final result.
The steep hills are very helpful to open wide views, and flowers give the final touch. However, some point have a special charm, such as Câmara de Lobos, not far from Funchal, embracing a small harbor protected by the high mountain.
We had there a very good dinner, but (silly me!) I didn’t retain the restaurant´s name.
In the hills behind Câmara de Lobos the village gets the name of Estreito, which means strait, maybe because it follows a narrow valley.
Its reputation comes from several restaurants
Fajã dos Padres
Fajã is the name given to the narrow strips of land adjacent to the sea, and created by the erosion of the slopes.
One of the most famous “Fajãs” is “Fajã dos Padres”, below Cape Girão, in Câmara de Lobos, and only accessible from the sea or by a lift.
There´s a restaurant down there, but the lift only operates during the day.
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 greatest promontories in Europe, 580 meters high, Cabo Girão, in Câmara de Lobos provides greats views over the southern coast.
It’s one of the inevitable visits.
Pico do Areeiro
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.
More details in Funchal
Memories of Madeira
Madeira suffered a lot from strong flooding, but it was almost recovered in my last visit. 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 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.
The folklore in Madeira has many contact points with the continental one (as expected) but it has a funny distinctive detail – the dancers perform always bent, with the eyes in the floor.
Tradition says that the humble workers in sugar cane plantations didn’t dare to face their masters while dancing.
PS – I saw them in Funchal, but the best photo was taken years before, in my home town.