Madeira Holiday page.This is Funchal, Madeira. We were here for one week from the 28th August 2006. Madeira, known originally to the Romans as the Purple Islands, was rediscovered accidentally by Portuguese sailors and settled by Portugal in 1418. It is a popular year-round resort, famed worldwide for its Madeira wine, a perfect climate, striking scenery, flowers, embroidery artisans, and New Years' Eve celebrations with a spectacular fireworks show.
Had a really lovely weeks stay in the Girassol Hotel although Madeira is definately not somewhere for the young (50's plus), so I fitted in well!!
Our first cable car ride. Funchal’s passenger ropeway was designed for tourists wishing to travel between the lower area of the city and Monte. The Ropeway concept was planned and developed so that the passenger would enjoy several aspects of Funchal, among which are the beauty of the gondola passenger ropeway system itself, the aerial trip and its panoramic views, the visit to the various gardens and points of interest in Monte as well as the natural beauty of Babosas and João Gomes valleys. The Monte station is situated near Monte Palace Tropical Garden, at Caminho das Babosas.
Since it's acquisition the "Monte Palace Tropical Garden" has been re-established, with both exotic plants native to various countries (Cycads and Protea from South Africa, azaleas from Belgium, heather from Scotland, etc) and indigenous plants from the Madeira forest namely, "Laurissilva", such as ferns, cedars, laurels, Canary Laurels, etc. The garden was also enriched with the introduction of Koi fish into the existing lakes. Two more lakes with a capacity of 300,000 litres of water were also built. These incorporate a sophisticated filtering system and water purifier, without the use of chemicals that ensure a healthy habitat for the fish, which provide an enjoyable display of colours for our visitors.
This stray cat eats absolutely anything!
Who's looking at who?
One of the several unusual statues alone the sea front at Funchal. See the slideshow for more examples.
The Levada "Walks" are walking trails along the maintenance paths beside the Levadas. The one we completed was the Hidden Corners (São Jorge) - Herbal and Medicinal Plants and was 13Km long. This walk is situated in the beautiful valleys of São Jorge and takes you into the lushest places to be found on the island. We walk through Madeira's rain forest and experience a profusion of herbs and medicinal plants that abound in these valleys, and at the same time learn about the healing properties of these ancient remedies. We then walked behind a waterfall and arrive at a true paradise on earth. The sheer beauty of this place where the silence reigns supreme, took your breath away. It is without description and truly a mystical paradise.
Valley of the Nuns. Madeira's Hidden Valley is my favourite off the beaten path destination and you can see where the nuns fled from their convent in Funchal to escape from maurading french pirates.
Among the islands most famous visitors was Sir Winson Churchill who painted and wrote here while convalescing. He was impressed with Camâra de Lobos, where he painted various pictorial images of the village.
Oh well - best foot forward until our next holiday!!
Created Wed Oct 29 19:11:58 2003