Year: 2016

planear viagens

How I plan my travels.

Planning trips is one of my favorite activities. Over time, and a few not so good experiences, I realized that there are some reservations sites I prefer because I find them easier and more intuitive, offering more variety and good prices. So, I decided to share here on the blog which are the sites that I use to book my flights, hotels and car rental. Regarding hotels I use Booking. I think it’s a very complete site because I can select not only the type of hotels (5 stars to apartments or hostels) but also the price I’m willing to spend per night. It also gives me the option to select extras like wifi or swimming pool and even to view only the hotels that have good reviews (eg + 8 in the 1-10 classification).I always read the comments about the hotel, sometimes the photos are very beautiful but the comments are terrible. It is also good to take into account how many people have reviewed. To have 10 very good reviews is very different …

A peek inside the new Pestana CR7 Hotel in Funchal

A peek inside peek the new Pestana CR7 Hotel Friday the 22 of June 2016. The big day had arrived – the official opening of CR7 first hotel. And what better location than his hometown – Funchal – Madeira Island. I have a big admiration and respect for Ronaldo’s accomplishments. His football achievements need no description and as a madeiran myself, my heart grows even founder. In all of my travels, whenever I mention I’m from Madeira, people always end up talking about Cristiano Ronaldo and sometimes, people know about Cristiano Ronaldo more than they know about Madeira. Some people have also heard about Madeira wine as well and some of their parents have been to Madeira and loved it! That’s also when I usually start showing pictures from my Instagram account and telling them about how passionate I am for this beautiful island… Things are changing nowadays, younger people are visiting Madeira and so are families with children. The opening of Hotels like this one are the real proof of that. Stories from the …

Costa Brava guide

One week in Costa Brava – a guide for families

One week in Costa Brava – a guide for families I disagree when people say that having kids and travelling are two opposite choices in life. I actually think that these are the best parts of my life. Having both, at the same time, feels like winning the lottery. Add to this happy mix , the perfect family holiday destination and you realise that happiness and perfection exists. Ever since I was a child, no matter what happened, my parents would always save money throughout the year to make sure we would have a family holiday. Sometimes for one week. In good years for two. Our annual ritual would always observe the following four acts; getting on an airplane, relaxing under the sun, eating good food and having fun. Lots of it. My best memories of my childhood were created during summer holidays. I want my kids to have these same memories. Memories. Simple act of packing our bags. Entering the airplane and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world for bagging the window …

An inside look at Dali’s House at Costa Brava

An inside look at Dali’s House at Costa Brava One of the highlights of my latest travel to Costa Brava was the opportunity to visit Dali’s house in Cadaqués, Portlligat. For those who never heard about Cadaqués, I can assure you that this is one of the most picturesque, beautiful cities I have ever seen… It has a little bit of Greece with white washed houses and turquoise blue doors decorated with pink bungavilleas and narrow stoned pavements. It has a little bit of France due to its proximity to the border and some dishes from the other side. It has a little bit of Portugal with some resemblance to Algarve’s fishing villages and its sunny beach coves by the sea. Cadaqués is nested in a beautiful bay with clear blue waters and lots of colorful fishing boats. Most houses have direct access to the sea, and while most locals have their siesta, visitors spend their time at the beach or enjoying a fresh beer in one of the many terraces by the sea – …

5 cool things to do when you visit Funchal

I am always happy that anyone wants to visit me and my city – Funchal. You see we (the madeirans) share this passion for the Island and we want visitors to experience the best spots. Funchal is a beautiful city. I know I’m biased since I just love living here (the more I travel the more I appreciate the benefits of this Island), but I challenge you to spend a few days in Funchal and then you can see it for yourself. Here I share 5 cool things to do when someone visits Funchal: # 1 Head to Largo do Socorro Funchal, the capital of Madeira, has three historic districts: Santa Maria (renown as Old Town), São Pedro and Sé. Santa Maria São Pedro |This photo was courtesy of Budgettraveller Sé Cathedral Many of the streets in these areas of Funchal are pedestrian, which means strolling around, photographing and discovering palaces, manor houses from the XIX century (which are now museums), viewpoints overlooking the sea, houses with flower gardens and typical Madeiran pavements made with …

Have you heard about the new PortoBay Hotel, in Lisbon?

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Lisbon and stay in the new boutique hotel of PortoBay Hotels & Resorts – Hotel PortoBay Marquês. This hotel opened doors only three weeks ago and it is already a hit. Here’s why: Location This hotel is perfectly located: 5 minutes walk from the metro at Marques de Pombal Square and a short walk from Avenida da Liberdade. Hotel PortoBay Marquês is a charming hotel set in a, not too large, historic building with a relaxed atmosphere. It displays an intimate decoration containing design pieces such as vintage radios, a library with a nice collection of books , beautiful photographs of Lisbon by Henrique Seruca and a warm welcome from the minute you step in. The Hotel has also 2 bars; Bar de baixo and Bar de cima – rooftop bar. This is the ideal place to soak up the light falling on the rooftops of Lisbon, listen to some music and have a drink by the end of the day. If you want to lay down …

A weekend in Porto with friends

Where are we going this year? That’s how this journey began … After Madrid last year, we made a statement: – A weekend just for friends, once per year! The choices were: Edinburgh or Prague, but Portugal spoke louder and we chose the city of Porto. And so it was… Where we stayed at Porto We stayed at the Gallery Hostel, Rua Miguel Bombarda. This is a street full of art galleries, alternative shops and friendly cafes. It is also a few minutes walk from the ‘Aliados’, not far from ‘Ribeira’, near the river. One of the highlights of this area is the street art and historical buildings covered in beautiful tiles. It also has a “ commerce center that is not a shopping”, the CCBombarda which offers affordable restaurants and creative shops. The Gallery Hostel is excellent. The rooms are nice, clean, spacious and so are the bathrooms. It has a very nice social area and breakfast is included. They also make dinner for 10 € with drinks included. Staff is very welcoming. What …

rota das ponchas

A route of ‘ponchas’ in Madeira

I accepted the challenge proposed by a group of friends, to write this article on the blog – A route of the best ponchas in Madeira. (Due to practical issues, the route was divided into 2 parts, this is the route 1, to be coming soon is route 2) Some of the oldest grocery stores of Madeira are called ‘ Vendas or mercearias’ . These are the symbol of our grandparents lifestyle, when life had a quiet pace; other times. At those times, the products were sold by weight, without pre-packaging or pallets. The ‘Vendas’ sold pretty much everything. Since creams, potatoes, brooms and shovels, chewing gum, candies and even string. Right beside the groceries selling area, there was always a bar, selling wine with fizzy orange juice ‘ laranjada’ and local rum drink, Poncha. It was with joy and pleasure that through this route, I was able to relive the old days, where all the bills were registered in a “list” and paid at the end of the month. We were able to glance …

5 good reasons to visit Museums in Madeira

5 good reasons to visit Museums in Madeira Museums are a big part of Madeira’s Heritage. Curious to know were we came from and who we are? Here are 5 good Reasons to get you started … 1. Discover the amazing old manor houses of Madeira ‘Quintas’ Museum Quinta das Cruzes This was once the house of the governor of Funchal, João Gonçalves da Câmara, the son of Zarco. In its gardens you can admire a stunning Manueline style window, a greenhouse of orchids and an “orquestrofone”, a wooden music instrument, which was manufactured by Limonaire Frères in France in 1900. Inside the house “Quinta” there’s a decorative arts museum with a stunning collection of ancient furniture, paintings and other unique pieces of art. Price: 3€ Monte Palace Museum Located in the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, this used to be a popular hotel in the XX century under the name of Monte Palace Hotel. Besides the romantic gardens, you’ll find a Museum with a large collection of minerals, including diamonds, sculptures from Zimbabwe and tiles, …

Saccharum Hotel

Saccharum Hotel Resort & Spa – ‘The sea inside’

Saccharum Hotel Resort & Spa – ‘The sea inside’ In Madeira there are several hotels that offer beautiful views of the sea and a good customer service. However, few are those who combine these two elements with a stunning interior design; the Saccharum Hotel Resort & Spa offers all this and more … Saccharum comes from the Latin word for sugar cane. The Resort reminds us of the history of sugar cane on the island, which takes us back to the late XIV century in which Madeira was the largest exporter of sugar in the world, so-called ‘white gold’ . The western area of ​​Madeira, including Calheta was one of the areas of greatest production of sugar cane. In the Hotel, there is even a museum “Gallery 1425” (Sugar cane was introduced in Madeira around 1425) that pays homage to its plantation. Here, one can admire several old photographs, pieces from the engine, and a video about the production and processing of this plant. This hotel project belongs to the AFA group and the building …