MADEIRA TRAVEL GUIDE - PORTUGAL
If you are looking for a holiday hotel or apartment in Madeira, the following information may help by giving you an overview on the island of Madeira.
Landscape and climate combine on Madeira to create an island of all-year-round appeal. In winter, southerly Madeira is basking in sunshine. In summer, the island remains a green semi-tropical paradise, the air heavy with the scent of flowers.
To travel around Madeira is to encounter breathtaking views at every turn, whether sheet rock cliffs, burnt volcanic rocks, or valleys carved into tiny fields, forming a patchwork of stepped terraces.LOCATION OF MADEIRA:
Set in the eastern Atlantic, the island of Madeira lies roughly 1,000km from Lisbon and 600km from Morocco, the nearest mainland.
Madeira’s nearest neighbour is the island of Porto Santo which lies 37km to the northeast. Also part of the Madeiran archipelago are 2 groups of uninhabited islands; the three Ilhas Desertas [Desert Isles], which are 16km to the southeast of Madeira, and the Ilhas Selvagens [Savaged Isles], which lie 216km to the south.SERVING AIRPORTS:
Funchal [FNC] - Flight time from the UK: approximately 4 hours. SHOPPING IN MADEIRA:
Shopping in Madeira is mainly centred around the capital - Funchal. The late 1990s saw a rash of new shopping malls being built here. The biggest [with a huge supermarket in the basement] is the Anadia Shopping Centre. The smartest with upmarket boutiques is the Galerias São Lourenço, opposite the tourist office on Avenida Arriaga.
We have listed below just a few of the shops you may like to visit:Bazar Oliveiras - Funchal
. Everything from honey cake [bolo de mel
] to videos of Madeira - everything is on sale here.Casa do Turista - Funchal
. Offering a comprehensive selection of Madeiran and Portuguese products under one roof. The shop occupies an elegant townhouse in the centre of Funchal, and products such as lace, embroidery and furniture are displayed beneath ornate plastered ceilings, and fine paintings are displayed on the walls.Eden Mar Shopping Centre
. Situated right in the heart of the Hotel Zone in Funchal, this modern shopping centre, which includes a supermarket, clothing shops, banks, art gallery and wine shops, is the place where most visitors to the island come to do their shopping.Funchal Market
. Many people still shop for daily necessities in the local covered market in Funchal which operates all day, every day except Sunday.Shopping for embroidery
. Funchal has many embroidery factories where the designs are pricked out on to fine linen before it is sent to be embroidered. Casa Regional
in Avenida Zarco, Funchal is a store featuring fine embroidery and a range of Madeiran souvenirs.Shopping for wine and liquers
. Visitors entering Artur de Barros e Souza
are greeted by the warm evocative smells of old wood and rich wine at this old cobbled-floor wine lodge. Diogos Wine Shops
in Evenida Arriaga, Funchal, not only has a comprehensive stock of Madeiran and Portuguese wines, but also a Columbus Museum alongside!EATING OUT IN MADEIRA:
Madeira cooking is deliciously simple: fish and meat grilled over a charcoal fire and flavoured with garlic and herbs. Eaten with warm bread, straight from the oven, this is food to be savoured.
Madeira’s specialities are espada
, two totally different dishes with confusingly similar names. Fish-lovers should opt for espada
, the grilled or fried meat of the scabbard fish is marinated in lemon juice or vinegar before cooking, and may be served with split grilled bananas. Upmarket restaurants also flambé the fish in Madeira wine and add imported seafood, such as shrimps and mussels to the sauce. On special occasions, Madeirans eat kebabs - called espetada
- made from cubes of prime beef, rubbed in sea salt and minced garlic and skewered on a fresh bay twig.
Many restaurants on Madeira specialise in seafood, though most is imported and a seafood platter can be expensive. Fish soup [caldeirada
] is delicious and cheap, being based on stock made from the heads and bones of locally caught fish, such as sea-bream, black-tail, barracuda and tuna. Also popular is arroz de marisco
- seafood rice made from saffron rice, squid, prawns and clams. Try caldo verde
, made from finely shredded cabbage, potatoes, garlic and spicy chouriço sausages, or açorda
, a bread-based soup fragrant with garlic and olive oil and topped with a poached egg.
Madeira wine goes very well with desserts, such a the popular pudim
[cream caramel], or queijadas da Madeira
[a delicious Madeiran cheesecake].
Few Madeirans would drink fortified Madeiran wine with their food, preferring something lighter such as semi-sparking vinho verde, imported from mainland Portugal, or locally produced red and white wines, which are drunk young and fruity. Also popular as a pick-me-up is poncha
, a cocktail of sugar-cane spirit, called aguardente
mixed with honey and fresh lemon juice.
Telephone us, send an enquiry
, or search online for discount flights, hotels, apartments and villas in the holiday destination of Madeira in Portugal
By its very nature much of the information in our travel guides is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they are relying with the relevant authorities. Corona Holidays [UK] Limited cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.