Interview with the makers of ‘WalkMe’

What is WalkMe?

WalkMeWalkMe is an iOS and Android mobile application that aims to be a guide to all hikers in Madeira Island and Porto Santo, providing useful information about the levada walks such as photos, description, map, ways to get to the levada and much more. You can use this application either for planning or during the levada walk.

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Is Madeira just for oldies?

Those who says that “Madeira is just for oldies” have not yet discovered the real Madeira! On the other hand it could be that they are our loyal visitors that are saying this in order to keep this beloved destination a secret :mrgreen:

Watch the promotional video of Rui Martins (RumaVideo) and make your own conclusion:

By the way … most the oldies are relaxing in the city … while others are on adventure elsewhere on the islands.

Festival do Atlantico, Funchal, Madeira Island

Festival do Atlantico, Funchal, Madeira Island
Festival do Atlantico, Funchal, Madeira Island

The Atlantic Festival is an event organized by the Regional Secretariat of Culture, Tourism and Transport which combines entertainment and culture.

This festival sets the beginning of the summer season in Madeira and includes a miscellaneous of initiatives which extend throughout the month of June: the Madeira Music Festival, the Regional Arts Week and musical fireworks shows. These nightly shows combine fireworks and music, and occur on the pier at Pontinha (Port of Funchal) at 10.30pm on all four Saturdays of the month – the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th.

The Madeira Music Festival takes place during the first half of June and its programme is comprised of various genres, styles and repertoires in order to appeal to all types of audiences with performances by Portuguese and international performers.

The Regional Arts Week, organized by the Coordination Office of Arts Education | SREC, offers a series of events that take place in the central squares of Avenida Arriaga, at InfoArt of the SRT/DRT an in the Auditorium of the Municipal Gardens, such at the Garden Party, Regional Artistic Encounters, the Regional Exhibition of Artistic Expression and MÚSICAebs.

Source: Turismo da Madeira

Madeira Flower Festival – Festa da Flor 2012

With the arrival of spring, the city of Funchal turns into a inebriating floral stage filled with enchantment.

The magic of this event starts on Saturday morning, with the Children’s Parade, on which, hundreds of children dressed for the occasion event to the Municipio Square where a beautiful flower mural is built, that is symbolically named “The Wall of Hope” (Muro da Esperança).

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Carnival – Mardi Gras – Carnaval

Madeira Carnival, Madeira Mardi Gras or Madeira Carnaval 2012 is the next main event here on the island. Many people believe that this is Europe’s best Carnival event.

Madeira CarnavalMadeira Carnaval

You have not seen the Carnival of Madeira yet? … then I suggest you come over and experience the unique atmosphere that resembles the Brazilian Carnival … only more closer to your home.

There are two main parades, namely the Allegoric Parade and ‘Cortejo Trapalhão‘ (Fun Parade).

The Grand Carnival Float Pageant or Allegoric Parade takes place on this weekend. A total of 1,500 participants … members of numerous Samba groups which will compete against each in a friendly battle for the best performance and show on the streets of Funchal.

Madeira CarnavalMadeira Carnaval

Colours, music, dancing, laughter, singing, erotic and mind-dazzling costumes are a few of the ‘weapons’ they will be using to achieve their goal … which is getting the bystanders and tourists also to dance.

On (Shrove) Tuesday is the second parade called ‘o Trapalhão‘ … the Fun Parade. A parade that everybody can take part in and it creates an atmosphere of effusive revelry. Surprising examples of creativity and imagination are finally displaying themselves after a year of waiting for this moment … and there is no shortage of daring caricatures, exciting costumes, and crazy creations. You will be amazed to discover an unknown side of the Madeira locals and wonder ‘are these the same people I run into each day here on Madeira?‘ …. however you wonder with a big smile.

Madeira CarnavalMadeira Carnaval

Both parades will take place in the center of Funchal. For the exact route information consult the local newspapers, Madeira Tourism Board channels, hotel reception or your travel hostess.

Click on the images for larger version. Carnival images are courtesy of MadeiraArchipelago.com

Christmas Traditions on Madeira Island

The month of December can be a very busy one … especially for those who are preparing for the holidays festivities and Madeiran traditions. One of these traditions is the Presépio …. which is set up starting from 8th of December. It is the Christmas Nativity with all the usual figurines. You will find it in most homes here on Madeira and also in hotels and restaurants.

A hint: when you come across a Presépio … take a few minutes to contemplate the work and if you see the owner/maker of it, praise their work. If you do this before ordering dinner … you might get a discount.

Presépio

Apart from the Presépio, Madeira also has other Christmas customs … such as Lapinha. Lapinha is a display with the figure of baby Jesus on top of what looks like a miniature mountain. In the middle they usually display fruits and the bottom there are small pots of freshly sprouted wheat. The believe is that the seeds are potted between 1st and 8th of December …. and if the wheat is later planted and grows well, a good harvest is assured. Most Lapinha’s are extended with all kind of toys, miniature village, wooden trunks, stones and plastic animals. Some more elaborate constructions boast even mountains made of hardened, dark paper, and water in form of ponds or even a stream. Sapatinhos (Ladies Shoes orchids) and other flowers are also used.

Other tradition is that on the nine days before 24th of December, devoted Madeirans go to mass (very early) in the morning …. to pray for Mary’s nine months of pregnancy, … and each service is finished with a small get-together in front of the church …. most of the times chanting songs, music and enjoying home-made liquor.

But that is not all ….
The traditional-conscious Madeiran, on New Year’s Eve, carries something borrowed, some coins … and 12 raisins in hand. Equipped with these …. at the stroke of midnight … he/she can make 12 wishes … that might be granted until next December.

These are the traditions I could come up with. If I missed any, then please tell us which one in the comments. Obrigado!

Madeira Nature … a Festival of Colors and Biodiversity

Madeira … a Portuguese archipelago, that is the outermost region of the European Union, has a very high green biodiversity, and in combination with the ocean, mountains and sky it creates a real festival of colors.

Rainbow at BalcoesRainbow at Balcões (Photo by Alan)

Madeira is known as the “Flower Island“, but instead it would be more fitting to call it “The Green Pearl of the Atlantic Ocean” with its 13,010,405,091,801 type of green colors it holds. If you do not believe it, then come over to Madeira and count the colors green yourself.

Cascadas en la levada do Caldeirao VerdeCascades of the Levada do Caldeirao Verde (Photo by Rafael Fresno)

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Arriving at Madeira … what is the first thing you do?

You have booked a holiday to the island of Madeira. At the arrival at the Madeira airport … you go and collect your bags/suitcases … head out with your partner where you are welcomed by your hostess or you are going to the car rental desk. Afterwards you leave the airport building where you might need to wait a while for the transfer bus or car. Then my question to you is the following …. What is the first thing you do while you wait?

  • To look at your watch and wondering how long it will take;
  • You are checking your bags if they have sustained any damage;
  • You discuss with your partner where you are going to eat tonight … hotel or in the city;
  • You are wondering what time the return flight is;
  • You hope that your hotel room will be ready and whether you will get sea-view;
  • You are wondering what the weather today is, … and what is the forecast for tomorrow and the rest of the week;
  • You check if your mobile is still working and send an SMS to the home front;

OR

While you are waiting, … together with your partner, you look to the South and admire the vast ocean. You realize that you are in the middle of the Atlantic. You can see the Islands Desertas (deserted islands) and more to the East you see the peninsula Ponta de São Lourenço, that has a completely different structure from the rest of Madeira. Furthermore you look to the North and you will notice how mountainous the island is … and that it even extends beyond the clouds. You will see the steep slopes of the West Coast displaying the various colorful villages.

In other words …

Madeira is Magic by Hugo Travel

  • You look around and enjoy the environment.

What do you do?

What is an Arraial?

Madeira has various ‘Arraiais‘ all year round. Arraiais are traditional regional festivities that is celebrated with street processions, flower carpets, churches and street decorations with lights, colorful flags, music, traditional folklore, food and drink. Each town/parish has its own Arraial and they can differ one from another. To give you an impression of such an Arraial …. check out the following videos made by resp. Rui Martins and ‘Berdades’.