Month: March 2016

16 Do’s and Don’ts in Madeira

16 Do’s and Don’ts in Madeira 1. Do bring your best walking shoes. Madeira is a volcanic island with many hills, you will walk better in flats or sneakers. 2. Do bring a jacket. We are known as the Island of the “eternal Spring”, which means it’s mostly sunny here and you can certainly get 16ºC in Winter. However, we cannot guarantee that the week you’re here it will never rain or get chilly (specially at night or at 500 meters of altitude). 3. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen. Yes, please! Even if it’s cloudy, we’re in close distance to Africa so sun really ‘gets under your skin’. 4. Do join good guided tours. I have joined many amazing tours in Madeira and the insight and knowledge of some of these guides are well worth the investment. My advice is: start your holiday with a tour and then discover it at your own rhythm, knowing where you’d like to explore further. 5. Do hire a car, but only if you enjoy driving and like to …

Porto

A family adventure in Oporto

A Family Adventure in Oporto Oporto is one of my favorite Portuguese cities, not only for its authenticity but also for the memories it brings back to me. My older brother studied in Oporto, so I have a few friends from those times. Also in my college days, it was customary to visit the Madeiran friends distributed by the Portuguese Universities. Coimbra and Porto were a reference, especially at the time of “Queima das Fitas” Festival. The last times I went there, Oporto proved to be a city full of creativity and ability to reinvent itself. Walk along the street of Flores, the area of ​ Clérigos tower, in Miguel Bombarda Street without forgetting of course, the colourful houses of Ribeira, the crossing of the river Douro in Dom Luis Bridge and the walk by the river to the sea. Despite its serious look, this city is not at all dull, on the contrary, it is full of life and adventures to be discovered. This was our family adventure in Porto: – The more I …

Marina do Funchal

How would you describe the perfect day in Funchal?

The other day I heard someone describing their ideal day in Funchal. It included a trip to the beach, swimming in the sea followed by a lunch with limpets, ‘bolo do caco’ and coral beer. My ideal day passes by the Funchal Marina, in a walk through the Avenida do Mar and to the pier, on my way to the Old Town. There’s something about this location, which makes me feel at home. I can’t identify what it is, precisely, but I think it has to do with the emotional connection and stimuli I get when I’m there. As a child, I remember going for walks on Sunday mornings, to the pier, to see the boats floating by (it was preceded by grass races on the Santa Catarina Park). I remember the sound of the waves, pebbles rolling, the black sand beach and the Beatles boat, the benches on the pier and the wind blowing strong when it comes to an end. Already in my days of teenager, the Funchal Marina was the highlight of …

Palheiro Gardens

The walk of Spring in Palheiro Gardens

Palheiro Gardens I’ve been told that, in the times that Portugal was ruled by a dictator named Salazar, these gardens were the perfect getaway to meet your lover, away from the crouds and surrounded by the most dreamy sceneries. I was pleased to find out that the outstanding variety of flowers, such as magnolias, camellias, roses and exquisite trees are very well looked after, inspiring and well worth a visit, even if not for romantic purposes. You can easily spend a nice afternoon there, sitting under the trees, reading a book or admiring the beauty of this place. Palheiro gardens used to be a hunting resort for the Carvalhal Count in the 19th century. This property was bought in 1885 by the Blandy’s Family, remaining in this family throughout generations until the present days. Here you can also find a golf course and a stunning Hotel, Casa Velha do Palheiro, which belongs to the chain of Hotels Relais and Chateaux. The views over the bay of Funchal are simply beautiful and the atmosphere at 500 …