Beaches and Nightlife

What is the best time of the year to go to Madeira? To go to the beach. And how is the nightlife on Madeira? Where in Madeira can you do all this?

During the whole year it is a good time to go to Madeira. Only during the first months of the year I have experienced some periods with showers, wind and rain. Assuming you are looking for beaches … Madeira does not actually have a beach scene what most sunbathing beach lovers are used to. Natural sandy beaches you will not find here easily. Great deal of the natural beaches is rocky. There are however a few (new) man-made beaches, such as Calheta Beach, and the sea pool complexes in Porto Moniz and in Funchal. BUT … when you are on Madeira you can always visit its little sister-island Porto Santo … which has 8km beautiful golden sand beach. The Porto Santo ferry line Lobo Marino sails frequently between the two islands.

For nightlife the best place is the city of Funchal. There are a great deal of activity going on that tourists and people from outside the island does not know of … because it is locally advertised (thus often in Portuguese) however everybody is welcome to participate. My advice is … just to ask! When you are in Funchal … ask any Madeiran (at the restaurant, hotel, taxi driver, personnel at the shop etc.) where and when is the next nightlife activity. The trick is to ask where they would go themselves when going out. You will be surprised the options that are here.

Route Planner

The website of ViaMichelin offers a very comprehensive and highly accurate route-planning service. By giving a specific location (address, station, zip code, city or airport) for both your departure and destination, it determines your route. Additional is also offers several extra choices to improve the accuracy of your generated map. This is one of the most popular route planners online.

If you think that the Michelin’s route planner does not have an island such as Madeira in its database … then you thought wrong. I have managed to generate a few routes with the airport of Madeira Airport as the starting departure point to several destinations on the island. I must confess that you need to know the exact name of the location and that the stipulated route is not as detailed and accurate as I thought it would be …. but it gives you an idea the time and distance between the two places.

For those who arrive at the airport and have arranged a rental car for the first time here on Madeira, they can use the following driving directions to calculate and plan their route to their hotel, casa, apartment, quinta or holiday villa …. however I advise to always follow the official driving instructions you received when booking the accommodation.

Click the next lines for the ViaMichelin’s route planner from Madeira International Airport ….

To Calheta
To Porto Moniz
To Santana
To Curral das Freiras (‘Nuns Valley’)

    The author of this blog or article can not be held responsible for anyone who uses the above links and gets lost when driving on Madeira. Nor is the author of this blog responsible for any damage or losing time or any discomfort caused by using the information from these links. You hereby acknowledge that any reliance upon any of the above shall be at your sole risk.

Funchal 500 Regatta

Falmouth will host the Funchal 500 Regatta tall ships event … that will take place on September 10 till 13 year 2008.

It is anticipated that up to eight of the large A Class vessels will assemble in Falmouth for the start of the race providing a magnificent sight. The Regatta will be the centre piece of year long celebrations commemorating the 500th anniversary of the founding of Funchal, in Madeira and the race will start from Falmouth on Sunday 13 September heading to the Port of Aveiro in Ilhavo, Portugal, … before a second race to Funchal, Madeira.

    Falmouth is a seaport on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England, UK. It is famous for its harbour. Together with Carrick Roads, it forms the third deepest natural harbour in the world. It is also famous for being the start or finish point of various round-the-world record-breaking voyages, such as those of Sir Francis Chichester and Dame Ellen MacArthur. (source: Wikipedia)

Daylight Saving Time

Sunday daylight savings time changeDon’t forget … on Madeira the Daylight Saving Time starts this Sunday (25 Mar 2007 – 01:00).

Especially island visitors who has booked a tour on this Sunday … please be aware of the time change. Tip: ask the reception of your hotel to give you a wake-up call. But also keep in mind that it can happen that the bus driver or taxi-driver might forgot to change their clock. The most important thing is to … keep your calm … and be patience … after all you are here on to relax and mentally discharge.

Madeira Island Open … dance

The 2007 edition of the Madeira Island Golf Open has started today …
Over 100 competitors from the PGA European Tour will be competing for the 700,000 euro prize money at the Santo da Serra Golf Club. But as my father would say ‘enough talking …. let me see you dance!‘ ….. and so lets watch those golfers ‘dance‘ on the green ….

Madeira Island Open – Preview 1
Madeira Island Open – Preview 2

    Videos are property of the – Official Website of the PGA European Tour

For those who can not be present at the ongoing Madeira Island Open …. you can keep track of the scores on the PGA European Tour – Live Leader Board page.

Funchal Balloon down

Those who are visiting today Funchal (the capital city of Madeira) will notice that something is missing. One of the latest landmarks of the city vanished today into the thin air. Actually it lost all its air!

No, this is not a 1st April joke … because it is to soon yet.

Funchal Cable BalloonThe panoramic balloon of Balloon Vision was destroyed by the strong winds that are taking place these days on the island of Madeira. The cable balloon started its first lift to the sky on June 2004 and was located at Avenida do Mar, next to the pier and the ex-Beatles yacht The Vagrant. It went up about 150 meters of height, offering a panoramic sight on the city of Funchal.

Due to the winds the cable balloon was not operational and it was anchored by cables and ropes fasten around the balloon. Unfortunately the wind got worse this morning, making the balloon to swing in such a way that caused to break a few of the cables, destroying the balloon.

Strong Winds

Please be advised that for the next period till Wednesday we will be expecting strong winds on the island. According to the Portuguese Instituto de Meteorologia there will be very strong winds relatively to maximum gust speed up to 100km/h on the higher regions of the island.

While writing this I have experienced part of these winds in the morning (Calheta, southwest coast), but now it suddenly became calm and sunny. Talking about a micro climate place.

To keep track of the weather situation here on Madeira, visit the following:

Our weather page
Watch and warnings

Travellers Complaints

Though hotels, travel agencies, transportation companies, travel guides and reps try their best to fulfill the customer needs …. unfortunately this is not always 100% guaranteed. Result …. in most cases the tour operators receive complaints from the “˜victimized” travellers. These complaints are serious …. although there are few ones that makes you wonder …..

Customer booked a hotel room with sea view:
“I could not sleep because of the noise of the sea!”

Complaint after a holiday on Madeira:
“We did not expect to be surrounded by so many Portuguese and very few English people?”

Complaint after taking the Toboggan Ride:
“It is irresponsible! They did not have any crash helmet for us!”

Complaint after first eating Espada at a restaurant and then visiting the fish-hall at Mercado dos Lavradores:
“I want to complain that the restaurant has given me that awful looking fish to eat!”

Request to a hotel:
“I have a request for Mr and Mrs xxxxx. They are both deaf and would like to be given a quiet room.”

Complaint to the cable car company:
“There were not even parachutes under the seats!”

Complaint about the performance of the local folk dancers in a hotel:
“They sang only in Portuguese!”

Complaint after visiting Madeira:
“Nobody told me the place was surrounded by an ocean!”

Another complaint after visiting Madeira:
“The locals did not wear any typical costumes, only the latest fashion and all of them drove in cars and not one sledge with an ox!”

Complaint about a restaurant:
“There are only two choices of wine at dinnertime … red and white!”

Complaint after visiting the Aqua Park:
“Nobody told us that we had to take our own towels and swimming costumes!”

Remark of a customer after visiting Funchal:
“It was shame. Taxi drivers had to push their cars to the next free parking space!”

Complaint about a flight:
“We were given two seats on the plane near the exit doors and because of the draught coming from the doors we were in bed with a cold for 8 days!”

Customer complaint after a trip on Santa Maria (and the sea was clam):
“I got sea sick! They should warn me about that!”

Complaint after visiting Funchal:
“All those men playing cards in the park. It should be forbidden!”

Complaint about the Reids hotel:
“We had to use what used to be the back entrance of the hotel! Unheard-of!”

Does anyone else know other funny complaints? Share it with us ….

Madeira Island Open Golf

This year, the Madeira Island Open Golf Tournament 2007, one of the main PGA European Tour events, will be held between 21 and 25 March, at the Santo da Serra Golf Course. This year’s event will feature 144 competitors from the PGA European Tour competing for EUR 700,000 in prize money.

Every year, this European circuit tournament brings together the best golfers for a total of 72 holes over four rounds of the course to dispute this Strokeplay tournament. The first day of the Madeira Island Open is reserved for the “Proam”, an event that draws both professionals and amateurs. The professionals’ tournament starts on 22 March, with only the 72 players that make the cut continuing into the last two days of each tournament.

Source: Madeira Regional Tourism Department

See also Madeira island Open … dance