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We arrived to Funchal Airport on a TAP flight the 26 May. We had reservation to the ”Do Centro Hotel”. The information given by the tourist information at the Airport was useful. The top of our experience was a full day tour called “ Porto Moniz “ including visit to the following Places: Lobos – Ribeira Brava then through the valley to the mountain pass of Encumeada at 1007 mt’. The wonderful views all over the day made a strong impression on us. Next we continue to the north coast to Porto Moniz. We pass by Sao Vicente, Seixal, Paul do Serra, Calhita, Ponto do Sol and finally Cabo Girao and back to Funchal.
We were impressed that the people of Madeira settled in almost every piece of land: on the mountains and in the valley no matter the topographic difficulties, every where they could built !!! If we had more time we should choose the second full day excursion to Santana to see the “ other part “ of this terrific Island of Madeira. There is 2 or more organization that conducts those tours.
There are many attractions that impressed us such as the Funchal Gardens spread in many places even downtown. The Botanico ( 3 Euro p/p ) The Palheiro gardens ( 8.5 Euro p/p ) that definitely are not one more garden !! The Orquidea Jardin ( 5 Euro p/p ) , the descent with the Telefericos ( 4.75 Euro p/p ).
The only Museum that we visited was the Madeira Story Centre that is unique in his kind ( 8.5 Euro p/p ). The afternoons along the Avenida Do Mar and the Marina with all the interesting restaurants were a nice habits that we try to enjoy almost each evening.
The visit on a morning hour to the municipal market known as the “Farmer’s Market” is a real must !! ( not far from the Praca de Autonomia ). We were lucky to participate on an evening on the Contest for Miss Madeira in the municipal garden and enjoyed the warm welcome of the audience. Parallel in those days were a kind of festivity between the narrow streets of downtown with decorations and some band that played before the people in the small restaurants.
It was very fun in Madeira, and we wish to be able to return for more than 5 days as there are a lot to see. We must state that we found very pleasant to strole in the streets of Funchal to see all the pleasant citizen and the happy face of the tourists.
Madeira is not only Funchal, there are many other interesting places to explore !! …and this first visit was only an appetizer !!