Don’t you dare to visit Madeira!

Madeira is Magic by Hugo Travel

Madeira Island is in my opinion one of the most awful places to go on holidays. Who wants to go to a beautiful island with a gorgeous nature environment situated in the Atlantic Ocean? I have heard many visitors of Madeira saying that it is a great holiday destination … and this is unfortunately true. Madeira has majestic mountains, a wonderful climate, and beautiful views … all in one, for goodness sake! Now lets be honest … do you really want to go to such a place?? Come on! Who does that?

Can you believe that there are travelers who prefer to go to Madeira instead of going to the Dominican Republic or the Caribbean? And why? …. because Madeira has breathtakingly views? Well I got news for you … these views are just what they are … breathtaking! They are too beautiful! I do not believe anyone would want to experience that? Do you?

A few years ago I thought the lack of sand beaches here on Madeira was a good thing …. but then I saw the neighbouring island of Porto Santo … and unfortunately …. it has more than a 8 km long sandy golden beach. Aaarrggh!! The horror!! A paradise-like island with a tropical waterfront that is washed by warm, crystalline ocean-waters. Blehh! Such a place is only for those who wants to refuge to a quiet location for a nauseous relaxing holiday.

Warning! If you visit Madeira you will lose all your precious stress!

But hey … there is still more! Are you sure you want to continue reading this? If you do … then it is at your own risk!

One of the things I do not understand is … why the Madeira Islands are such a popular tourist destination?

The number of cruise-ships that comes to port of Funchal, the capital of Madeira, … has increased the last few years. These ships are on their way to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean …. but why, for heaven sake, do they stop at Madeira?

And why do all these travelers bother to visit city of Funchal? They go to that awful colorful market called Mercado do Lavradores … and they are even crazy to take a ride on the abhorrent toboggan. And those smiles on their faces …. I just do not understand why they are enjoying. Have these people not seen enough of the picturesque amphitheater city?

The most annoying part is that the island has loads of natural beauties …. and it is not possible to see it all in one day … not even in one week!

The island is not very large (thank goodness!) …. it is 36 miles (58 km) long and 15 miles (23 km) wide, … but because it is so mountainous, with deeply gouged cliffs and lush, steep valleys … it makes traveling on the island slow and therefore you get the impression that you are on a very large island. I can not imagine anyone who wants to spend time watching the green back country and precipitous valleys all day long. Plus when you drive through the island … that each area has a different scenery.

Amazing views? Perfect weather? Beautiful nature? Unfortunately the island has it all.

And another thing …. the so called ‘Levadas‘. Gosh! … what a mistake is that! Who’s idea was it to build these things? Most of the island visitors and even the locals are doing hiking trips using the footpaths of the levadas to explore the island. There are hundreds of miles of walking trails along these levadas. An infrastructure of veins that goes through that awful amazing Laurisilva forest and other horrible sub-tropical regions of the island.

Because Madeira lies on the Gulf Stream, it unfortunately has a very mild climate. Both the water and air temperature averages between 16-23 degrees Centigrade (60 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit) all year-round. So be warned …. on this island you will miss all the wonderful cold and bad weather that we all love. The sunny weather here is one of the greatest disadvantages this island has, and that is why they call it the ‘Islands of Eternal Spring‘? Bah! Humbug! Do you really want that kind of weather? I don’t think so!

And another thing … these stupid micro climates! Due to the mountain infrastructure, the temperature can vary significantly from one side of the island to the other. Funchal and the rest of the southern coast are usually warmer and sunnier than the northern side of Madeira. I believe Mother Nature got somewhat confused here.

This causes that each season has it variety of flowers and fruits. Bah, these are the f-words I do not like to hear. Bananas …. are in season all year-round (talking about going bananas!) … grapes are harvested from August through October (for what? and why all those grapes?).

And these locals …. the Madeirans … all very helpful and friendly. With their repulsive feasts and events .. almost on each month of the year. Plus … who wants to live on a place that has a very low crime? The newspapers here are not filled with bad news. Instead other issues such as island events get more prominence than bad news. Can you believe that?

Therefore I do not recommend you to visit Madeira. No … stay away from it! You will be disappointed … with all its amazing green mountains, … perfect weather, and beautiful flora. Not worth it!

Instead I will sacrifice myself and stay here on Madeira …. I will bite the bullet for you … someone has to suffer and it better be me! :mrgreen:

What visitors really want?

The German television company WDR has broadcast at the beginning of this month in their weekly travel program Wunderschön! (Beautiful!), a 90 minutes report of Madeira “Blumeninsel im Atlantik” (Island of Flowers), presented by Tamina Kallert.

WebTV Madeira “Blumeninsel im Atlantik” (90 min. German)

Although it is in German and 1 hour and a half long … it is worth to watch this webTV program.

One thing I noticed when watching this German travel report ….. from it you can learn what visitors want to see and visit. Remember, this is a 1 hour and a half long TV program, so it should cover the most important attractions and things-to-do that a German traveler will be looking for in Madeira. I got a good impression of what that is … but I leave it up to you to find it out yourself. I am curious if you come to the same conclusion as I did.

After watching the TV report one will learn that all the attractions that were covered by the German Wunderschön! group had one thing in common …. they all missed one characteristic …. namely “modern”. Talking in Internet-terms … if you could tag all the attractions mentioned in the TV program … the word “modern”, “new-flanged” or “futuristic” would not be one of them. In the German travel coverage I missed things like modern entities such as Story Center, Casa das Mudas, Madeira Magic, Santana Theme park, trip with one of the catamarans, double deck buses, shopping malls/centers, and also none of the modern hotels were mentioned.

My conclusion is that visitors prefer to experience the old-fashioned. Searching for old traditions and typical things that they do not get to see in their home country or have been lost during the modernization. Just ask a Madeira visitor to name the characteristics of Madeira …. and you will hear most of them mentioning the same subjects that were covered in the German TV program. This is a lesson that one can learn from.

My advice to (future) entrepreneurs on Madeira: learn first the Madeiran (old) culture …. search for images of (lost) traditions …. and if you can restore (part of it) back …. then you will be a winner in the area of tourism.

Do you know a secret about Funchal?

Do you know the best garden to visit? Where the best Madeirense food can be found? Or do you fancy trying something new?

Well … we just created a Facebook page for all curious and underground things that can be found in Funchal (capital of Madeira). It is called Secret Funchal (on Facebook)

Secret Funchal invites everyone to share the hidden, and also “not-so-hidden”, gems of the city. The objective is that all Funchalenses that are active in Facebook joins and share their knowledge of the city. However … FB-ers from outside the city are also most welcome.

Lots of people that are visiting Madeira are looking for new things to do in Funchal. Experience is that they are always searching online for different things … that normally one would not find out about.

Join Secret Funchal …. but don’t forget to keep it a secret ….

Heroes of Madeira

Two photo galleries (a maybe more will come) to honor all the rescuers, police personnel, firemen, civil workers, emergency personnel, soldiers, victims and others for their great effort in rescue, support and restoring back the island as it was.

There is a real sense of unity and dedication as the community here on Madeira works together to overcome the recent events. The rate at which this being achieved is quite phenomenal.

All these people are the real heroes of Madeira

Click on the image to go to the photo gallery.