Author: Sofia Vasconcelos

7 Fun New Year Superstitions in Madeira

If I was spending New Year’s Eve in Madeira for the first time, I would be very excited… Why? I can mention the award-winning firework display, the joyful locals, the beauty of Funchal’s bay, the magnificent cruise ships by the harbour, the Christmas lights, the after-parties, the music concerts and so on…but it’s something that is so unique that no words can make justice to what you experience in Madeira. You have to come and see it for yourself. To help you get prepared for this evening, I thought I’d share with you some fun superstitions about this evening. Some of them you might have heard before, others not. If you do come to Madeira on New Years, here are a couple of things you can see and try… Turn on the lights of your home and open all the windows. I remember ever since I was a little girl, my mum always had this ritual. She said it would make the bay of Funchal look even prettier and it would welcome the new year …

5 Nativity Scenes of Christmas in Madeira you’ll love…

“Nowhere in the world, perhaps, celebrate and enjoy Xmas so much, and feel for it as much enthusiasm and joy as in Madeira. These are days of lively rejoicing, of  religious and mystical contentment. ” Manuel Ribeiro I’ve just came back from Costa Brava last week and it was a great pleasure to arrive in Madeira and to feel Christmas all around. We call it “Festa” since this is “the true party” for the Madeirans. I went through the avenues of Arriaga Avenue, cheered up with the Christmas lights (which I love), listened to live music performances, went to the market to eat bread with” wine and garlic meat”, tasted liqueurs and cherry from the Nun’s Valley plus the typical sugar cane honey cake. I was well accompanied by the euphoria of Christmas, the one that we drink, eat and breath in this island…celebration is everywhere. This year, I also paid special attention to the nativity scenes or “lapinhas” “that link the religious traditions of Christmas to local life and nature”. There were 5 in total, …

Family Guide to Denmark – Legoland

We finally made it to Legoland! The excitement was in the air … After spending years playing with legos, idealizing houses, cars, people, animals, planes and imaginary worlds … we were now in Billund, where it all started in 1935. The word Lego comes from the Danish words “leg” and “godt” which means “to play well.” The concept of this toy is to combine pieces, forming different structures, stimulating concentration and creativity. It was created by a carpenter from Billund, Ole Kirk Christiansen, who created these pieces (first made of wood and later of plastic) to offer toys to his son. Europe’s leading Lego factory is located in Billund, and produces around 72 million pieces daily! Here you can also discover the amazing Legoland Hotel and Legoland Theme Park. Hotel Legoland Arriving in Hotel LEGOLAND was an amazing experience. At the reception, we were greeted by Star Wars team … This 4 star hotel has needs no introduction. It is the official Lego Brand Hotel and has a private entrance to the theme park. All the …

SKAGEN & FARUP SOMMERLAND

Family guide to Denmark: Skagen and Farup Sommerland

Family Guide to Denmark – Skagen and Farup Sommerland  – If I was you I’d be very excited to go to Skagen! – said our taxi driver as he dropped us at the Europcar car rental office.   Our family holiday in Denmark continued… After leaving Aalborg, we had great expectations about visiting the nothernmost point of Denmark – Grenen along with the seaside “city of light” – Skagen. Skagen is Denmark’s main fishing port reknowned for its beaches, painting courses and bohemian lifestyle.  It became a popular holiday destination, towards the end of the 19th century when many painters came to spend their summer in this region. They were looking for inspiration on this special retreat surrounded by beautiful seaside landscapes and the perfect sun light. There’s a beautiful legacy of art in Skagen. One of my favourite painters is Peder Severin Krøyer. We could admire some of his paintings in the Skagen Art Museum such as the famous “Summer Evening at Skagen. The Artist’s Wife and Dog by the Shore” It took us a …

things to do in Madeira rainy day

12 Things to do in Madeira on a rainy day

  12 Things to do in Madeira on a rainy day “On a sunny clear day, you can improve your body; on a rainy fogy day, you can improve your mind!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan A rainy day during a holiday in Madeira can be annoying or not… Although Madeira is renowned for being a sunny island with a mild climate all year, there are days when the rain comes pouring down. It might also be raining near the sea and up above the clouds the sun is shinning or the other way around so “don’t judge a book by its cover” and try to find out where the sun is shinning. (To help you search for the best location to visit, check this site with web-cams spread all over the Island and see how it’s like out there.) To make the most of your stay in Madeira, I’ve created this list of things to do in the Island when it’s raining. #1. Visit a Museum – Get to know the local culture and feed your mind. …

“Meet the locals” – Fábio Teixeira, Machico

“Meet the locals “- Fábio Teixeira, Machico. I believe that the best way to experience a destination is through the eyes of those who live there. So, I created this entry on the blog called “Meet the locals”. The goal is to show, through short interviews with locals, the chosen destination. This time, I suggest a trip to Machico, with the tips of Fábio Teixeira, who currently lives there. I met him at my gym, the Fitness Innovation Lab as a Personal Trainer, a great professional which I highly recommend to you, plus he speaks English fluently. After a short time, I lost 3 kilos and 7% body fat. So, well worth the effort! Let me introduce you to Fábio Teixeira. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? I was born in Madeira, where I lived until the age of 18. I grew up by the sea, in Machico. I went to the University of Porto where I finished my academic training and lived very happyly! During my stay in Porto I worked as …

Aalborg

Family Guide to Denmark: Aalborg

Aalborg – art, vikings, beer and friends. We visited Aalborg, on the 4th day and 5th day of our stay in Denmark. We took the train from Aarhus and the journey took us about 1 hour. Aalborg is a developed, industrial and lively city by the sea. Among its many attractions, you’ll find an outstanding collection of urban art. When walking through the city streets, we could hear the clinking of beer mugs on the terraces and see people with white foam mustaches turning into smiles. There’s a young and vibrant atmosphere in the air. Bicycles are always present and cool shops too.   As in Aarhus, summer is the time to enjoy life outdoors, to attend concerts in the city squares, to relax and feel the blessed sun. We enjoyed the ambience and beers too! One of the breweries,  we visited was called Sogaards Bryghus. It is located in a cozy square called ‘C. W. Obels Plads’. The restautant and pub are on the top floor, the brewery is in the basement. “Missing Bell Brewpub” …

A family travel guide to Denmark – Aarhus

Part 1 – Aarhus. ‘BACK TO THE FUTURE’   Denmark. A word that always stirs up great emotions. While talking about this destination with my friends and family, I could always expect the following reactions: – Seriously! I would love to visit Denmark … “ – ‘Oh … my girlfriend’s is always begging me to go to Denmark… tell me all about it.’ But what is all this fuss about Denmark? What is so special about this country? Last month I went with my family to Denmark to investigate. I was really keen to know more about the Scandinavian culture; their daily routines and lifestyle: that was my motivation. We chose not to visit the capital, Copenhagen. We wanted to experience the ‘Denmark of the Danish’, away from the usual tourist itinerary. On a 9-day journey, we went to the east and north of Jutland, including the cities of Aarhus, Aalburg, Blokhus, Skagen (the most northerly point of mainland Europe) and Billund (the capital of the children and Legoland). Day 1- Funchal – Billund We arrived in Billund about 6:30 …

Where to find live music & festivals in Funchal

Where to find live music & festivals in Funchal Although Funchal is not the typical cosmopolitan city where you can easily find a music gig happening every night, I have compiled a list of my favourite live music bars and Summer Festivals. Whenever I go travelling I enjoy discovering hidden bars and local bands. It allows me to experience the city as a local while sharing an authentic experience. There’s something about a good live music performance that makes me feel very happy and living in the present. All my darkest memories vanish. I’m just there healing through rhythms… One of the highlights of my summer in Madeira was attending the Music Festival Nos Summer Opening in Funchal.   Plus I got the chance to meet and listen to the amazing voice of Skye Edwards! Morcheeba songs accompanied me since my days in the University in Lisbon so whenever I listen to those warm psychedelic tunes I feel those good vibes coming back. I love the mellow sounds and the wise lyrics accompanied by the most …

25 Things to do in Madeira this summer

25 Things to do in Madeira, this summer Although the last days have been terribly sad in Madeira, with the fires that unfortunately assaulted our capital city, it’s time to rise up and keep looking foward. I’m happy to say that things are slowly getting back on track. Whether alone, as a couple, with children or friends, here are some suggestions to enjoy Madeira this Summer: #1. Join a kayak tour. At Quinta do Lorde you can rent kayaks and paddle all the way to the Baía d’Abra. Book it with Esther or the Marco from the Blue Diving Center Madeira. I’ve had the opportunity to try it and loved it! #2. Enjoy a ‘Levada’ walk. Did you know that there are about 30 recommended routes in Madeira?  Hit the mountains early in the morning, take good company and join a group of tourists or a group of friends on a guided walking tour and enjoy. #3. Have fun in local summer parties ‘Arraiais’. From Machico to São Vincente there’s no lack of parties and …