Hi! This will be the first post with some tips for trips, and it will be about Madeira.
I went to Madeira island in the end of February. It is wonderful, but also a tricky island. So I leave you some tips I didn’t really find before going.
- Clothes. If you’re not going in the summer this topic is for you! In Portugal was freezing by the time we decided to travel, but fortunately we had some summer clothes in our small baggage. In Funchal and the places nearby it seemed like a Summer Day, so we were in t-shirts, walking around without shoes during the night, eating outside. I was in paradise! Until we start to travel to the other side of the island, in Porto Moniz I started putting my jacket, and by the time we arrived in Santana we’re in winter mode again. So, don’t forget to take clothes to all kinds of weather!
- Rent a car! The public transports are not that bad, but having a car will allow you to find some of the most beautiful places in the island. But try to travel with a good driver. The island can be scary for someone without experience. And try to arrive your destiny before night, you’ll be safer driving before night (and rain).
- Finding a place to sleep isn’t hard, but finding a cheap and good one is not that easy. We stayed at Phil’s Haven in Funchal, and then we chose a Pousada da Juventude in Santana, but Air Bnb it’s always a good choice. The hostel was a bit far from the center, but the walk is nice to take, and there’s also a bus directly there. Anyway, the place and the people are so nice, that soon you forget the distance. Pousadas da Juventude don’t serve breakfast, but besides that is a really nice option.
- Look for Madeira Levadas walks and chose a walk that matches how much you like to walk, and how you’re physically (but I guarantee you they’re so wonderful you’ll forget about pain!). I would recommend: Levada das 25 Fontes and Levada do Pico Ruivo.
- Eat the fruits! I love fruit, and I eat it all the time, but I never tasted fruits like in Madeira. You can find it everywhere, but the best ones I tried were in Mercado dos Lavradores, one of the main tourist attractions in Funchal (even if you don’t like mainstream places, this one is worth to try).
- Talk with the locals. Local people are really nice and helpful, and no one better to give you some advises. Couchsurfing is a good way to talk with the locals before arriving.
- If you’re not traveling at least 5 days, prepare yourself to leave with the desire to return.
There’s a lot more to say on the island, but these are really the tips no one told me before going there. If you have more questions, feel free to comment and ask.
If you’ve been there already, share your experience!
I leave you with a video made by Harmony in Nature:
And some good websites to start the research for your trip: