We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Madeira? What do you think?

Level Contributor
448 posts
30 reviews
Save Topic
Madeira? What do you think?

Hi, we are planning way ahead and today were excited about booking the Porto Mare for one week, May 5-12, 2014. We will fly from the US, spend a week there, then a week in Lisbon and environs before heading onto Normandy, France. I was thrilled to get this timeshare at Porto Mare--and now, misgivings? All I have read about Madeira makes it seem like paradise--flowers, kind people, sea views, cobbled streets, good restaurants, etc. We chose it for what we thought would be a place of great beauty. The home videos on YouTube, though, hmmm......congested, a bit frantic....We want to enjoy levada walks offered by tour companies (no car rental for us), the pleasure of strolling through small villages, enjoying the beauty of flowers. Good food; good drink. Loveliness. We chose to avoid the Algarve because it reminded us too much (on paper) of what Cancun in Mexico was--a created tourist area. So...tell me, should I have some wine and banish the YouTube videos and keep looking forward to Madeira? or maybe just spend a week in Lisbon and areas north? (I think I was picturing the small villages of Italy when I chose Madeira; is it really awfully crowded? We travel for charm and calm!) Many thanks, as always, to our TA friends, who have enriched every single journey we've taken. Sharon

Gateshead, United...
Level Contributor
129 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

madeira is everything you say cobbled streets lovely people etc but when on holiday the world moves at your pace.

as with everywhere in europe madeira is like everywhere around the mediteranean but different, my next visit is in june i have nothing planned except to enjoy it.

i have never found madeira congested or frantic quite the opposite i find when i return home it takes me weeks to get back into normal life.

go with an open mind am sure you'll love it

Level Contributor
4,650 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

"is like everywhere around the Mediteranean" has Madeira moved ? last time I looked it was in the middle of The Atlantic!,

Gateshead, United...
Level Contributor
129 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

"is like" I never said it was

Try scoring points elsewhere I am just trying to help

Level Contributor
448 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

Steve, I so appreciate your endorsement of Madeira as what I first thought it to be....many thanks. AND I did read the word "like"--no confusion there.

Leuven, Belgium
Level Contributor
1,047 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

porto mare is about 2 km outside de centrum of funchal.you can walk of take a bus.But near a nice seapromenade with palmtrees,flowers and restaurants.

Funchal is a old,cozy, nice city. the island is very mountainous and some levadas can be difficult;Is a lovely destination but without sandbeaches,just stone beaches of swimingpools .

Level Contributor
1,400 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

Here you get some reasons to make you to decide

1) The Madeira nature is unique in the world

2) Its Climat is very pleasant and pleasant temperature (14 º to 22 º)

3) The hikes

4) The Food... Is probably one of the best places in the world for a good meat and a faboulus fish.

5) The Drinks....The Madeira wine and Madeira Poncha are very famous world wide.

6) The Madeira people ....Friendly and helpfull.

7) The organization of excursions with very profissionels guides

8) Swimming on the sea (water 18 º to 22 º

9) Tropical fruits

10) Flowers Specialy packed to take home (Madeira the island of a thousand flowers)

11) Carnival Event (February-March)

12) The Flower Festival

13) The Festival of the Atlantic (June every weekend)

14) Religious festivities in every villages (May to September)

15) Wine Festival (September)

16) Christmas

17) New Year's Eve (December 31)

18) Boat trips to see the tartules, the doulfins and whales all year but specialy fromMay to November

19) The famous honey cake (you can keep it during one year)

20) The "Bolo do Caco" with garlic´s butter

21) The meat speciality "Espetada" and the Fish especiality "Espada Fillet With banana Flambé

22) The public and private gardens

23) The orchids

24) The Big game fishing

25) The very famouse Hand made Embroiderys

26) The Tapestrys (goblins)

27) The wicker baskets and moubles

28) The Museums

29) The cablecars

30) The old town of Funchal

31) Orego Special with coral beer for a good price

32) Very good hotels , Bed & Breakfast and Madeira Rural Accomodation

33) Very good Tourist appartments

34) Only 3 hours from Paris by plane

35) Only 1:30 minutes by plane from Lisbon

36) 55 minutes by plane from the Canary Islands

37) Gabo Girao (580 metters above de sea)

38) Only 3 hours from England

39) Only 2:30 h from Spain

40) Only 1:40 h from Azores

41) Only 120 -230 £ P/Day for 2 Pax in somme good 5* Hotel in B&B

42) Only 43 -45 £ P/Day in a good Selfcatering touristic appartement

43) Safe place Day and night to walk and for holidays

44) Levada walks and pad walks.

45) Landscapes

46) Laurissilva

47) Parks

48) Toboggan ride

49) Loca Folk dances

50) Night life

51) Funchal and its Monoments

52) Madeira the most desired Harbour for lovers of Cruise Ships.

53) Only 15 minutes by plane to Porto Santo and 2:30 h by boat

Old Portsmouth...
Level Contributor
129 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

Don't forget the stunningly beautiful Jacaranda Trees when in bloom (April/May) and 'chilling out' drinking coffee outside the Golden Gate or Ritz whilst watching the world go by, lovely.

Wrexham, United...
Level Contributor
2,547 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

Madeira is beautiful and you have chosen a great hotel complex .

I have not found it congested like many other tourist destinations , so go and enjoy .

Hemel Hempstead...
Level Contributor
720 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

Fission_Chips: You almost took the words out of my mouth, except that we would be supping wine or beer and not coffee..

We go to Madeira to chill out, no rushing around, no frenetic activity. Just ambling around from here to there, stopping now and then to have a drink and watch the world go by.

You've made a good choice, Singingintherain.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Madeira? What do you think?

You will love it!!! We go 4 times a year and always at New Year. We have just booked for next Monday... can't wait! We always go to the same hotel and are welcomed like old friends.

We spend our days walking the levadas, strolling the prom and spending lunchtimes in the Old Town . We go on the local buses up to Monte and to the Nuns Valley and go walking to Camera de Lobras along the beach walk way....heaven......

Edited: 4:30 pm, March 12, 2013