In October 2019 I flew out to the beautiful island of Madeira. Based in the capital Funchal, but exploring the rest of the island taking plenty photos along the way.
The capital of Madeira is Funchal. We were based at Pestana Carlton Madeira hotel, a well situated hotel on the sea front and a short walk from the port and city centre. Madeira stays warm all year round so we made full use of the all the hotels facilities, even in October.
Swimming by the sea
Madeira is characterised by it's hills, which rise up from the sea, and this adds to the character of the hotel. At the lowest level you have salt water pools, secluded from the city bussle and looking out to the ocean.
Pool by the sea
The port features a homage to possibly it's most famous export, Christino Ronaldo and plenty of opportunities to indulge in an ice-cream or coffee.
On the promenade
Mederia's harbour make a great focal point for the city and you will find boats of all sizes. We hopped on a catamaran in the hope of finding dolphins and whales but not this time. We'll have to come back next year and try again...
There's usually a cruise ship or two docked in the harbour.
As we explored the city there was plenty going on, including the Madeira Roller Marathon taking place on the main roads.
Walking through the many parks and gardens of Madeira there are lizards bathing in the sun.
We hopped on a cable car, which takes you high over the city to the hills of Monte.
If you don't fancy the cable car coming back down you can try out the toboggan run...
We hired a car and drove to the unspoiled North side of the island where mountains fall sheer in the sea. You wont find many sandy beaches due to the rocky nature of the coast but the man-made natural pools found up and down the coast offer a beaufitul setting for a swim.
A series of tunnels through the island make most of it accessible by road and views are breathtaking.
Seixal offers natural sandy beaches with stunning scenery and a great location for a spot of fishing.
In the far North West tip of the island Porto Moniz is a charning little town, which features a large natural pool carved out into the natural lava pools. Filled by these sea, these pools are teaming with fish. As temperatures soared this was a great place to sit, take in the views and go for a cooling swim.
We stayed overnight at Quinta Do Arco, an elegant villa complex hidden away in the hills amongst fruit trees and gardens.
Swimming Quinta Do Arco
Located away from the coast and high in the mountaints this was a great place to get away from it all.
Quinta Do Arco
The Quinta do Arco rose garden is one of the largest in Portugal and features over a thousand different species of roses.
Madeira is a big producer of bananas and you will find trees all over the island.