This is a report from two good friends from the Netherlands (Wim and Bas) who visited Madeira this last Easter. They share their views of the island and also a few tips for other visitors.
We went to Madeira to spend Easter with our friend who lives there for almost 3 years. We had our flights from Amsterdam to Funchal with TAP, and had to transfer in Lisbon. It was a good experience, lots of legroom, leather chairs, and we had 2 meals, going out and going back!
Our first impression was that Madeira was very green and had huge mountains. We went from the airport to our hotel, and decided that we want to go visit Funchal. But due to heavy rain we went to our friend’s apartment, where it was sunny. That is Madeira, on site can be cloudy or with heavy rain, the other site can e hot and sunny. And in the mountains you have a lot of clouds that cover the tops of the mountains, so driving in that is like driving in thick mist.
The next day we drove around the island with them, and got a good impression of the Island. The last 2 days we made the West tour and the East tour. That was a great way to see a lot of Madeira in a short time.
Madeira is the sunshine Island, well … we had 4 days of heavy rain! But still we like the Island and will come back for sure.
Some points to keep in mind:
1. Always be prepared for rain, when it comes down, it sure comes down! so bring your umbrella and a coat, because there is always some wind
2. If you want to hire a car, the roads are excellent. strong>ONLY: all the roads are very steep up and down, so if you are afraid to stop and pull up on a steep hill, don’t drive a car. Also, you have a lot of (dark) tunnels, so if you are afraid of that, don’t drive a car. Also keep in mind that going up and down the mountain, the roads have a lot of hairpin curves, are very steep and you may have to pass big buses. But otherwise it is no problem to drive. If you are not sure, take a taxi instead!
3. Prices vary, some things are the same as in other European countries, and others are expensive or cheap. The best way to find out is go and look for things you want to have, and then decide if it is cheap or expensive.
4. You can get all kinds of food. Just try the local food also. We don’t eat fish, but it seems to be very good. But also the meat can be very good. We had Espetada, a kind of meat stick with a lot of garlic, we loved it!
5. Keep your patience when things go slow, that is the way of life in Madeira.
We had an excellent 4 day stay, and we are sure we want to come back to Madeira!!