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Holidays in Dubai | 4 days itinerary

4 days of holiday in Dubai

I just got back from Dubai. It was a last minute travel, without much planning or preparation.

The reason for a trip to Dubai? A direct and cheap flight from Emirates from Lisbon to Dubai, my niece’s residency in Dubai and travel to an unknown destination were more than enough reasons for me to get going.

Arriving in Dubai was exciting, seeing family we have not seen for a long time, for me, is always good. We arrived at Dubai Airport at 1 am and as the metro no longer works at that hour we booked a transfer from Dubai Airport to our apartment.

We stayed in the Dubai Marina area in this apartment. It has an excellent location and is a spacious apartment with capacity for 8 people. Good value for money.

Greetings from Dubai. Let’s see what the living the luxury means…💫

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November is a great time to visit Dubai. The lower temperatures (average 25º C) allow you to walk comfortably in the street and enjoy the beach without stinging in the sun.

First impressions of Dubai?

Dubai smells good. It is a vast, clean, safe city, great for kids and adults, organised, easy to like at first glance. There are incredible buildings, including the world’s most massive tower (the Burj Khalifa), gold markets, spices, perfumes, many hotels and shopping centres. There is good taste in architecture, in restaurants, in cars and even in gyms. There are lots of plastic surgery clinics, tanning centres (unbelievably), countless Rolls Royce, Tesla, Lamborghinis and Ferraris that fill the first row of shopping malls. The cars registration numbers are paid, the lower the number the higher the prestige. Registration number 1 is from the Sheikh. Taxis and cars are very cheap and the apartments expensive. The taxes are low but the fines are high (that’s what we were told). Fines are paid for crossing the traffic light in the yellow light or crossing the street on foot, without being at the crosswalk.

I did not see many dogs on the street, but I saw some cats moving around the city. On the roads and walks you cannot see many bicycles or children walking, however, the shopping centres are full of families. There is also a vast seafront promenade with fabulous views and the marinas are filled with yachts of all sizes and shapes. Knowing that this city was built in the desert, it is impressive its size and infrastructures. The construction never stops, whether day or night but at what price? Will there be an offer for so much development? It seems so. Dubai is active in tourism.

Simultaneously, Dubai is an Islamic city with several traditions. There are many times of the day where the chants echo loudly from the loudspeakers of the city mosques. At first it’s strange then it becomes comforting.

What does Dubai look like?

Dubai is a city like I’ve never seen before. It welcomes people from all over the world, looking for better opportunities in life.

It has a frenetic pace, a lot of traffic, a lot of work and a lot of fun. It has a World Trade Center similar to New York, several leisure parks, many restaurants and beaches that resemble a Caribbean postcard.

There is luxury and ostentation. There is also friendliness, good morning smiles and thank you  greetings, excellent hospitality and good restaurants. There is security and rules to comply with the penalty of paying hefty fines. There is no alcohol for sale in supermarkets or restaurants, and there are specific places to smoke. It is a city of stars, lights, fireworks, bright and colourful fountains.

Dubai is a city that makes us believe that there is nothing impossible. In Dubai anything is possible, that’s what, in my opinion, is this city’s identity card.
What are the attractions not to miss in Dubai?

Going to Dubai without seeing the Palm Tree is like not going to Dubai at all… Try the Hop in-Hop Off bus circuit.

Take a guided tour of Abu Dhabi – Be fascinated by the Mosque and the Louvre of Abu Dhabi.

Visit something different like the Global Village and the Miracle Garden.

Take the instagram photo in Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab Hotel.

Where to go shopping in Dubai?

Dubai Mall, Emirates Mall ,Dubai Outlet Mall, Box ParkSouk Deira and Kitesurf Beach.

Where can you go to the beach in Dubai?

La mer e Kitesurf beach.

la mer dubai

La mer dubai La mer dubai La mer beach Dubai

Where to stay in Dubai?

Luxury  – Jumeirah Beach Hotel, One&Only, Burj Al Arab, Versace Hotel.

Jumeirah hotel

Accomodation with good value for money: Atana HotelApartaments to rent no Dubai.Dubai

As one friend of mine used to say; “Dubai is the Euro Disney of the adults”. I agree.

The Euro Disney smile…:)

streetartfunchal

Where to find street art in Funchal?

Street art in Funchal. Street art is one of the things I love the most while travelling in cities like Athens, Copenhagen, ParisPorto and Lisbon.

I love the way street art blends into the buildings of a city and fills each nook and corner with colours and unexpected food for thoughts…

#paris #latergram #pigalle

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Street art in Funchal is another great attraction of the Island. Besides findind street art in the painted doors of Rua de Santa Maria in the old town, there are other excellent pieces scattered around the city.




The other day I took my new camera for a walk. Yes, I forgot to mention to you, that I won a new camera in a competition in FNAC MADEIRA, and I couldn’t be happier. Check my Instagram pictures to see the winning shots.
Back to the street art, here are 5 of my favourite street art spots in Funchal:

Marcos Milewski, a baleia. 2017

streetartfunchal

Love ❤️

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Find it! Auto-silo do Campo da Barca.

Bárbara Gil:

Zapruder 2015

streetartfunchal

Find it! Auto-silo do Almirante Reis
“The Chef” 2016
Find it! Estrada Monumental, Hotel Baía Azul

Olliemoonsta, 2012

Find it! Porto do Funchal

Tiago Machado e Wolfgang Lass, 2011/2012

streetartfunchal

Find it! Rua de Santa Maria 105

Kim Hana, 2012

Find it! Rua de Santa Maria nº 247

Lígia Gonçalves, 2011

Curious… #cy365august

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Find it! Rua de Santa Maria nº 220

Gabriel Motta, 2011

Find it! Travessa das Torres nº1

If you’re visiting If you’re visiting the Island, check my tips about Madeira 😉



Enjoy!

10 Getaways in Madeira

10 Getaways in Madeira

 

Back to work and already missing the holidays? The feeling is mutual … 🙂

Madeira Island is such a great holiday destination with lots of excellent locations all over the Island.

I leave you 10 places to stay in Madeira. Some I’ve tried myself, others I can’t wait to try.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Vila Cais da Gaivota – Caniçal
  2. Solar da Bica – São Vicente
  3. Porto Bay Serra Golf– Santo da Serra
  4. Quinta das Vinhas – Calheta
  5. Saccharum Hotel Resort & SPA– CalhetaSaccharum Hotel
  6. Atrio – Estreito da Calheta
  7. Aqua Sea House – Madalena do Mar
  8. Hotel Quinta da Serra – Jardim da SerraHotel Quinta da serra
  9. Casa do Velho Dragoeiro – Porto Santo
  10. Barracão 23 – Porto Santo

Wishing you a happy getaway!

travelguidetomadeira

Travel Guide to Madeira for my AIRBNB guests | 2017

 



Free Travel tips To Madeira

Great places to eat, see and enjoy - tips from a local!

(I did this guide once for one of my Airbnb guests that came to Madeira for the first time. They wanted some good recommendations for hiking locations, spots by the sea, must see’s, must eat and must do’s on the Island. Also some tips for Funchal. This choice was based on my personal preferences and on the feedback I get from my Airbnb guests. I’ve decided to share it on the blog so that you can use it, save it and share it, as an extra help to planning your stay. Hope you enjoy it and find it useful. )

Obs: there are no pictures so that you can print it without running out of ink on your printer 🙂 But please do check my Instagram account frommadeiratomars for inspiration.

If you’re coming to Funchal, you should allow yourself at least three nights stay. There’s so much to see, taste and enjoy, you’ll leave with the will to come back for more, or at least I hope you do, with my tips :). If you want to explore the full Island, then come for at least six nights and make the most of your time. I usually recommend that you rent a car unless you don’t enjoy driving. In that case, you can book tours, explore by bus or make arrangements with a private taxi.

From the airport to Funchal, unless you rent a car, do book a taxi previously, or take the Aerobus – it’s usually the cheaper options.

But before we start, there are three things you should know about Madeira:

  • First, we love tourists, and we’re used to having their company all year, so most people speak a foreign language, mostly English.
  • Second, check the weather. It could be a sunny day in Funchal and rain in the West part of the Island. We are a tropical Island, and we can reach 500 mt above sea level in 30′ drive which means it can get cold up there, and although we’re very close to Africa, we can have all seasons in one day. ” Carry a jacket, just in case. Also, check the weather at this site which displays live webcams from different parts of the island. Also if the weather is not okay for some reason, check this post for rainy days inspiration.
  • Third, be prepared to relax.Whether it’s the climate, the sea, the friendly people, the food, the wine or the natural beauty, you’ll figure it out. Don’t pack too many attractions in one day, and please don’t go all around the Island in one day. The roads are full of curves; you ‘ll get car sickness! I´ll try to be more convincing by telling you a secret, I live here for over 30 years, and there are places I’ve never been, so keep this in your mind while planning your stay; just because it’s an Island doesn’t mean you have to see it all on one visit.

WHAT TO EAT/DRINK



Remember these words or print them. 🙂

“Bolo do caco” typical bread with garlic butter, “Brisa Maracuja”passion fruit, local fizzy drink, “Coral”, local beer, “poncha” is strong but deliciously sweet  rum drink, (try the flavour passion fruit).

Tomato soup with poached egg,  “milho frito”, fried corn in little cubes, “lapas”, limpets.

“Bolo e broas de mel”, honey cake and biscuits, “rebucados de funcho” fennel sweets and “queijada”, cottage cheese cake, they sell in coffee shops (I like the one from La vie shopping, top floor near the piano, btw the pasteis de nata are very good too).

If you’re not vegetarian, you can also try “espetada” beef cubes on a stick, “peixe espada”scabbard fish, and “bife de atum” tuna steak.

And of course, the unforgettable Madeira wine,  have a visit to the wine cellars for a tasting session, check this article for inspiration. If you go to Câmara de Lobos area, try the Nikita at Farol Verde (ice cream with beer, I know it’s weird, but it tastes good and guess what it’s based on the Elton John song…”Nikita”… you’ll never know…)

And the cocktails at PUKIKI BAR in Estreito da Calheta are also damn good.!

You can also read this article about the six most typical dishes.

Restaurants in Funchal? Here are some of my favourites.

LUNCH: 9,50 € deals – BOHO BISTRO, CAFÉ MUSEU, 1811 Bistro & Wine Bar.

DINNER: Fine Dining in Madeira – read this article. Another good option is NINI DESIGN CENTRE/RISO for outstanding views/romantic night. In Lido: Basilico for Italian.

TYPICAL Madeiran Food – O TASCO, TABERNA MADEIRA, A BICA, OS COMBATENTES.

VEGETARIAN food – read this article.

BUDGET bites to eat,  check this list.

HIKING:



Oh, this is an endless journey to write about…

There are 2000 km of Levada walks (you know, those awesome water channels dig on the rocks ages ago) They will take you to an amazing forest called Laurissilva which is rare in the world because it disappeared in Europe during the ice age. Madeira has it. It’s green, magical, mystic and full of fresh air, century old trees and pure nature, nothing quite like this elsewhere in the world.

My favourites are Fanal/Rabaçal (25fontes)/Ponta de São Lourenço – chech miradouro PONTA DO ROSTRO! /Pico do Areeiro/Pico Ruivo/ Caldeirão Verde/Castelejo/Portela/Ribeiro Frio/ Balcões + For food try FAÍSCA .

Be careful while doing these walks, the weather can change dramatically, so I recommend this site for more information.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO?



Hidden gems in Funchal.

Best spots in Madeira.

Like Museums.

Prefer Gardens.

Beach lovers.  I LOVE Praia Formosa in Funchal, especially by sunset/sunrise when there’s hardly anyone at the beach. You can walk along promenade do Lido all the way to Câmara de Lobos.

Just to feel like a local.

Are you travelling with children? Check this map for points of interest.

Need a therapeutic retreat.

A day in Funchal: Start at the city park Santa Catarina, walk along Avenida Arriaga, see the Theatre and Visit the Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Farmers Market.  Walk into the old town and enjoy the painted doors by local artists check out the gallery Caravel art centre. Reach Socorro Church and have a break at Barreirinha.  Take the cable car to Monte, and enjoy the ride up the hills. There is a beautiful Monte church and tropical garden to visit there. When you come down you have two options back on the cable car again or on the toboggan rides, wicker cars pushed by man “carreiros”, a classic. From the stop point at Livramento you can walk all the way down to Funchal, it’s about 30 minutes walk. Check the Praça do Mar with all the CR7 buzz and have an ice cream at one of the cafes or a pizza at CR7 hotel, they’re kind of good.  At night the old town is the busiest spot.

CHECK OUT THE NEW MAP USE-IT plus the app for the phone is pretty good too. (no wifi required).

SPOTS BY THE SEA:



Northwest Coast: Sao Vicente (with its lava caves),  via Serra d’agua/Encumeada, and Seixal ( the mini eco bar is a nice spot there to relax) and Porto Moniz and its beautiful natural lava pools. To eat, try the limpets rice at Seixal or the romaria soup at Porto Moniz.

Southwest Coast: Camara de Lobos(beautiful fisherman town) Restaurants there? I like Vila do Peixe, Ponta do Sol and ZION BAR (nice beach bar) Restaurants there? I like the Old Pharmacy, Jardim do Mar (for food try Joe’s bar or the grilled squid at Portinho), and Paul do Mar – Maktub (for sunset and mojitos), are some of my favourite locations. Calheta – the marina has a nice italian restaurant and icecream parlour. Mudas art museum is a must visit if you love architecture.

Northeast Coast – Take the cable car to the nature reserve Rocha do Navio in Santana – magic spot. Food? Try Quinta do Furão.

South East Coast: Machico (an artificial golden sand beach, this is a town located in the biggest valley of  Madeira) See the art door around the centre, far less crowded than Funchal and has some very cool art scenes). Porto da Cruz (Food: A PIPA, check the sugar cane factory next door)  and Caniçal (see the new bar in town – Ritual do Sal – Praia da Ribeira do Natal) Restaurants? Tasquinha do Pescador e Amarelo are some of my favourites.

SHOPPING



Madeira has three main Shopping Malls, 2 of them with a cinema (movies are mostly shown in the original language), many international brands are there. If you’re looking for souvenirs here are my tips: For wine, I would advise buying it at the airport, because of the liquid carrying restrictions in aeroplanes. Although you have much more options in the wine cellars, just make sure you can carry it on the aeroplane. For food and souvenirs there are shops with Portuguese brands, here are some stores – read this.

NIGHTLIFE



My favourite spots are Barreirinha Bar Café, Copacabana Garden, hole in one (typical Irish bar) and Vintage bar in the old town. As for discos: Marginal, jam and Vespas for late night dancing.

DTOX AND LIVING ROOM start late around midnight/1 am but are also cool.

So many choices so little time, leave something for next time and come back again 🙂

Have a lovely Holiday! 

P.S. If you’re a beach lover, please include a day trip or a night stays in Porto Santo Island, in one word: Paradise! Check this article on things to do and places to stay in Porto Santo.

(In Madeira Island, you’ll find pebbles “calhau” beaches or black sand which is beautiful, unique and typical of its volcanic origin. It might not be very comfortable to reach water (wearing neoprene shoes might be a good solution) that’s why in most beaches, there are piers with ladders to the sea. However there are a few of beaches with sand in Madeira which I really like such as Porto do Seixal beach, Banda d’Além Beach and Prainha.)

You can always reach me on Facebook or Instagram, feel free to ask for tips. Have fun. 🙂



Send me your tips for the next article – what did you like and dislike?

Please leave a comment bellow.

Obrigada! ( that’s what you say if you’re a girl, if you’re a boy you say obrigado).

 

Madeira for Kids, 44 Fun Tips

44 tips for a fun Family holiday in Madeira.

Diner (2)

Kid-friendly hotels and restaurantes, guided tours for children, levada walks, shops, beaches and theme parks. Madeira is Fun for Families!

To see:

1. Praça do Mar 

Praca do Mar strip is perfect for long walks , runs in the breeze and watching the cruise ships dock and then leave port.

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2. Cabo Girão

The largest cable in Europe seen from a balcony with a glass bottom. Superb views over Funchal and the Ocean. Not to be missed!

3. Rua de Santa Maria “Painted doors Street”

The Rua de Santa Maria is one of the oldest streets of Funchal. It has been restored and recovered, bringing a new dynamic to this area of the city. There are also the doors painted by artists who bring color, joy and art to this circuit. Must see! Check the link for more information.

Beaches and Pools:

4. Machico Beach

This beach is made of artificial sand and with easy access to the water. The beach is close to the airport, so the kids will love watching the planes go by!

5. Formosa Beach

One of the most popular beaches in Funchal, with a promenade that allows you to walk by the sea to Câmara de Lobos. The beach has pebbles and black sand areas with easier access to the sea. Perfect for jogging or to have a drink by the sea in one of the Terrace bars.

6. Ponta do Sol Beach

The beach of Ponta do Sol has pebbles, which makes it a little more challenging to get into the water. Enjoy this cozi village and walk its pedestrian streets.

7. Natural Pools at Porto Moniz

These pools are charming and unique in Madeira. The entry cost is 1.5 euros for over three years. For Kids 0-3 years is free.

8. Aquaparque

Madeira’s water park offers an exciting day with water slides, lazy rapid rivers, Aqualandia, terraces and bars.

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Museums and Parks

9. Museum CR7

For football lovers! In the Museum of Cristiano Ronaldo (born in Madeira) we can see emblematic photographs of his career, videos and a wax statue. In the museum you can see all trophies won by him. The biggest attractions are the Golden Ball as well as three Golden Boots.

10. Whale Museum

The Whale Museum is one of my favorites. You can peek through binoculars towards the ocean, hear the story of the fur seal, travel in a submarine and hear the sounds that whales make. Located in Caniçal it allows you to explore the sea and learn about marine animals.

11. Toy Museum / Armazém do Mercado

Are 20,000 toys from various countries. It includes a dolls room, cars, airplanes and educational games.

brinquedo

12. Farol da Ponta do Pargo

The lighthouse of Ponta do Pargo has a small museum where you can find several photographs and documents relating to the headlights of Madeira. Being the westernmost tip of the island, the view at Sunset is unforgettable.

13. Centro Ciência Viva do Porto Moniz

Leisure visit combined with science and knowledge, or in other words knowledge with pleasure!
To learn and better understand our laurel forest or to walk on an interactive mat which is a Madeiran levada.

14. Aquarium Porto Moniz

Madeira Aquarium consists of 12 display tanks, where the various “habitats” of the Madeiran marine world are represented. The largest tank has about 500 00 liters of salt water, in which it is allowed to dive.

15. Madeira Theme Park

The theme is the history and traditions of our archipelago. The enclosure has four multimedia pavilions, a replica of the Monte train, a typical Santana house, a windmill and a lake where you can float in rowing boats. The gardens, walking paths, playgrounds and restaurants, are the recipe for a day well spent. The pavilion “Fantastic Voyage in Madeira” presents a show in which a simulator follows the adventures of a couple on honeymoon on the island.

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Gardens and playgrounds

16. Parque of Santa Catarina

It is considered “The City Park” and has many good reasons.
With an area of 36,000 m2 has a chapel (Chapel of Santa Catarina), a pond, a café, a playground, worldwide plants and a lawn with one of the most beautiful views over Funchal. In this park there is also a toy library (ludoteca) where children, when accompanied by an adult, can draw pictures, play or read.

Open from 7-21h in summer and 8-19h in winter

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17. Santa Luzia Garden

It was the former sugar factory of Hinton with its huge tower.
It has 5 themed gardens: The Amphitheatre Garden, which the summer outdoor film festival takes place in , the Tropical Garden, the Water Garden, the Garden of the Terraces and Garden of Laurel, with the indigenous vegetation of Madeira, heritage of Unesco.
It has a nice coffee, 2 great playgrounds, perfect to play hide and seek … 🙂
Open from every day from 8-9h Rua 31 de Janeiro.

18. Pico Fortress Garden

Pico Fortress is the protagonist of this park.
The playground is great especially for those with little kids.
Café Fortress is just opposite … a coffee, the newspaper and the deserved rest.
It also acts as a lookout and has a view of Funchal Bay worthy to be seen.
Open every day from 8-21h (Summer) and 8-19h (winter), Rua dos Frias

Levadas / Walking tours

19. Ribeiro Frio – Balcões

It lasts for 1 hour (round trip) and allows the observation of the highest peaks of Madeira, as well as birds such as bis-bis and the rare pigeon trocaz.

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20. Rabaçal

Do not miss the Rabaçal views.

21. Pico das Pedras-Queimadas

Easy and accessible to children of all ages. It lasts about 1 hour. Complete it with a picnic in Queimadas.

Tours

22. Kayak Eco Tours / Marina Quinta do Lorde

Explore the Bay of São Lourenço with its caves and swim in the clear waters of this coast.

23. Madeira Surf Camp

The school and the instructors are professionally qualified and have many years of experience surfing and teaching. Classes have a duration of 1.5 to 2 hours (it includes: surfboard, apparel, accessories and transport). Students are required to make an annual or daily insurance.

24. Funchal Marina / Observation of Dolphins and Whales

There are several companies that offer this experience at varying prices. Trips start around 10 am and 1 pm.

25. Tukxi Eco Tours

Tukxi Eco Tours gives us a closer and more intimate perspective of Funchal without the fatigue of climbing the steep streets of the city. A fun mini-adventure!

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26. Car Basket – Tobogan

The tobogan ride is a unique experience in Madeira. It is definitely an adventure that your kids won’t forget.

27. Porto Santo

Have an unforgettable journey along the coast of Madeira to Porto Santo island. Return the same day or on separate days.

28. Funchal Cable Car

An adventure in the city, with views of Monte and the Bay of Funchal.

29. City Tour Bus Yelow

Set out to explore Funchal, the main monuments, typical streets with cobblestone and gardens. With audio guides in 8 languages. Get in and out according to your preferences.

30. History Tellers – Guided tours for children

The Academic Association of the University of Madeira intends to promote heritage, spread the culture and value the history of Madeira among children.

Every Saturday at 3 p.m., departing from Gaudeamus, Armazém do Mercado, kids can discover the adventure of the discovery of the Island. It covers the main points of the Old Town área. It’s a dynamic visit that can be adapted all ages (under 16 years). It’s always under the guidance of a college student. Registration in Gaudeamus (Penteada, Jesuit College and Armazém do Mercado)

Shopping:

31. Mall La Vie / Bookstore Bertrand

Various shops, a playground, plenty of bars and restaurants to meet your needs.
This Mall has also facilities for chaging diapers and breastfeeding babies.
In this bookstore you can find a section just for kids.
Open every day.

Lunch and Dinner:

32. Il Basilico

Located in the touristic area of Lido, this Italian restaurant offers delicious delights for the whole family.

With gluten-free meals  available and coloring sheets for children, it will be a restaurant to repeat during your stay.

33. Atlantic

A friendly restaurant with great food and a garden overlooking the sea, so that children can play while parents eat “in peace”. 🙂

34. Fajã dos Padres

The restaurant completes the visit to Fajã dos Padres, making it a unique experience. Only accessible by boat or elevator, the restaurant serves Madeiran regional cuisine, such as tuna dishes and fresh fish and desserts with locally grown products. The atmosphere is relaxed and serene.

35. The Lagar

The Lagar is a typical Madeiran restaurant food, including local meat kebabs “espetada”. The entrance to the restaurant is through a typical Santana house. On the terrace there is a playground that makes the joy of children!

36. Revolving Restaurant Quebramar

This is one of the few revolving restaurants in the World. It has a room  that provides visitors a fascinating view of the entire North Island coast, alternating views between the sea and the high mountains of St. Vincent.

Taste the “Romaria” Soup! Delicious!

37. The Portinho

Friendly restaurant on the waterfront. Serves squids with mayonnaise, limpets, ice cream and more… Relaxed atmosphere.

To Sleep:

Kid-friendly Hotels

38. Hotel Porto Mare

39. Hotel Pestana Promenade

40. Hotel Quinta do Lorde

41. Quinta do Furão

42. Hotel Savoy Saccharum Resort & SPA

43. Hotel Moniz Sol

44. 29 Madeira Hostel

Enjoy you Holiday! You deserve it!

P.S. If you’d like to get an illustrated map with some of these tips, click here.

hotels apartments Porto Santo

10 hotels & apartments to book in Porto Santo Island

Porto Santo. Sometimes finding the best hotel in Porto Santo Island can be challenging, specially if you are travelling with your family (pets included) or a group of friends.
Luckily the scenery has changed recently and there are much more options available. Whether it is an all inclusive hotel, a beach house or an apartment the most important issues to take into consideration are comfort, location, access to the beach, price and the feeling of being welcomed.

Here are some of my favourite picks of hotels, villas and apartments to book/rent in Porto Santo Island.

Hotels:

1. Casa do Velho Dragoeiro (pet-friendly)
This hotel is located in the center of Vila Baleira. Breakfast is served on the terrace overlooking the sea. The rooms are comfortable and the staff is very friendly, with great ratings.
It has a good restaurant as well as the oldest dragon tree on the island, by the pool.
Casa do Velho Dragoeiro, Porto Santo, Portugal

2. Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & SPA
Pestana Hotels offer all-inclusive resorts where you can book a room, an apartment or a villa. I’ve stayed there a few times and when booked in advanced, you can get a good deal, specially if you enjoy the all-inclusive style of resort and the luxury of having the beach a few steps away.
★★★★★ Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & SPA – All Inclusive, Porto Santo, Portugal

★★★★★ Pestana Colombos Premium Club – All Inclusive, Porto Santo, Portugal

3. Hotel Pestana Ilha Dourada & Villas
A new option in Porto Santo with a confortable stylish decoration, outdoor pool and spa.
Pestana Ilha Dourada Hotel & Villas, Porto Santo, Portugal

4. Aparthotel Luamar
This is also a good choice within apartment-hotel options. It is located a few steps away from the beach, has a nice beach bar and a great pool for adults and children. Very convenient for a family with children to stay in and although it is not in the city centre it has a great location on the beach.
★★★★ Aparthotel Luamar, Porto Santo, Portugal

Apartments & Villas:
In the centre of Vila Baleira and in close proximity to the beach:

5. Casa da Maresia
Casa da Maresia, Porto Santo, Portugal

6. Apartment Porto Santo
Apartament Porto Santo, Vila Baleira, Portugal

7. Sotavento Guest House
Sotavento Guest House, Porto Santo, Portugal

A bit more distant from the city centre but in close proximity to the beach.

8. 29 Holiday home
Casa 29 – Holiday home, Porto Santo, Portugal

9. Villa Espirito Santo (pet-friendly)
Vilas Espírito Santo, Porto Santo, Portugal

10. Golden Bird (pet-friendly)
Golden Bird, Porto Santo, Portugal

After you book your favourite accommodation, read here what are the main attractions to be visited in Porto Santo, whilst spending the most relaxing holiday in this beautiful paradisiac Island…

Enjoy!

FNAC MADEIRA

From Madeira to Mars goes to FNAC!

From Madeira to Mars goes to FNAC!

FNAC MADEIRA

FNAC and I, an old love.
I first met FNAC when I lived in Paris.
I was part of the ERASMUS program, on an internship at École Veterinaire de Maisons Alfort.One of the advantages of being ERASMUS is to have lots of free time, and get to know other professional and cultural realities. Learning to be alone in a strange country and to discover the stranger in us is perhaps the greatest advantage of all.

With free time and a roommate from Paris, Muriel, I discovered that Parisians have a delightful sense of humour which lead us to unusual places.

It was Muriel who first told me about Cirque du Soleil, who taught me how to eat macaroni with grated cheese and nutella and banana crepes. It was she, who took me to the movies to discover one of my favourite films of all time – “The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain” – yes, I was there in 2001. Walking on the streets of Paris with Muriel was like meeting a new city, running away from the tourists, perhaps as a result of having a house in the 9th arrondissement, right next to the madness of Pigalle and the Sacré Cour.

It was also in Paris that I discovered second-hand shops selling psychedelic pink lights that I hung on the curtains of my dorm room at the university residence.

It was also in Paris that I discovered that there was a guide called “Paris pas cher” that became my bible and led me to the FNAC Shop. FNAC (Fédération nationale d’achats pour cadres) was founded in an apartment in Paris in 1954 by two friends, André Essel and Max Théret. It started out as a private club and anyone who was associated could buy products with considerable discounts.

Its purpose was to make sure the pleasure of discovering new cultures and technologies was more accessible. This wonderful world of music and books where, in addition to the price (pas cher), I could spend endless hours, lying on extremely comfortable sofas, taking books off the shelves and leafing through them unashamedly. I kept waiting for the rain to stop, even if it did not rain outside. It had everything, photography, travel guides, technical books, movies, novels and horror. As for the music, they had headphones scattered around the store, with a loud and clear sound. One could just choose the last single and dance as if no one was watching.

What I liked the most about FNAC was that power and freedom of choice. The books and CDs were open, hand-sowed, waiting to be devoured, without the austerity and silence of a library. Needless to say, my Lisa Ekdahl cd purchased at FNAC from the at the time, came with me to Madeira.

Back in Portugal, CHIADO’s FNAC continues to be one of my favourite Lisbon stores. The advantages of a great city? I began to watch the concerts of FNAC, interviews and releases of singles and books. Next to the cafe, there was a sofa right next to a typical charming window, which made the perfect nook of contemplation with a coffee in hands and a book in my bag.

Oh my joy, when in 2006 the FNAC arrived in Madeira!

Oh my joy when I was invited by Bruno Olim, communication officer of FNAC Madeira, for a partnership and photography exhibition at FNAC MADEIRA!

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to visit FNAC Madeira.

Even if the sun shines outside, get lost in this world of books and music and go on a journey from Madeira to Mars, and maybe pretend to be an Erasmus in Paris 😉
The exhibition is opened on June 9 and includes some photographs of my trips and short excerpts from the blog. See you there?

FNAC MADEIRA

Madeira by a French photographer, Xavier Schneider

 

Madeira by a French photographer, Xavier Schneider

In my opinion, one of the great advantages of having a rental accommodation (Airbnb) is the opportunity to meet interesting people, from different parts of the world.

This April, I met the talented photographer Xavier Schneider, who came to spend a week’s holiday in Madeira, with his lovely partner Emilie.

Lucky me, they chose to stay in my apartment and so I had the privilege of meeting both in person.

We exchanged contacts, and upon their return to France, Xavier sent me some of his photographs, taken in Madeira.

It fascinates me to see our island, through the eyes of those who visit us.

There is always a new perspective, a new awareness, something that has escaped my sight and which I can now see, assimilate and understand better.

I grow with this new vision and value, even more, what we have here on the island.

I now have the privilege of introducing you to the photos of Xavier, through this article.

His goal as a photographer is to capture people’s emotions and magical landscapes, with sublime light. He loves to share the happiness he feels while taking these pictures.



I hope you can feel happy emotions through these pictures too.

"The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them." Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Merci Xavier!

À plus!

P.S. - I would like to thank Xavier for the opportunity and the privilege of sharing these pictures on my blog. If you would like to follow his work, please visit his website or Instagram account.

 

 

 

What's your favourite? ;)

Vila Cais da Gaivota – A hideaway by the sea, in Madeira.

Vila Cais da Gaivota – A hideaway by the sea, in Madeira.

Stop, destress and relax by the sea – this was the main purpose of this trip to Caniçal.

Caniçal – Prainha Beach

The more I live in Madeira, the more I appreciate the fact that,“we can experience a holiday, inside the island, a little micro-adventure”.

The contrasts between the north and south of the Island, plus the variety of accommodation and outdoor activities, make Madeira an ideal destination.

Location:

Vila Cais da Gaivota is situated in the south-eastern part of Madeira Island, in Caniçal, a picturesque fishing village, 20 km from Funchal and 7 km from Madeira Airport.

Caniçal

It is located between Prainha and the Caniçal Business center, on a sea cliff with superb views. It has a pontoon with direct and private access to the limpid sea of ​​Caniçal.

Private access to the sea

It has a beautiful garden with two solarium areas and private parking on site. If you choose this location it is advisable to rent a car, especially if you want to explore the rest of the island.

Goivo da Rocha – one of the endemic flowers of Madeira

Vila Rooms and Amenities

This Vila sleeps 4 people.

It has a bedroom with a comfortable double bed, a large closet and a window with a sea view. It also has a crib, a high chair and a baby bath if required.

Bedroom

The kitchen has a small electric hob, microwave, kettle, coffee machine and fridge. We were offered some local fruits on arrival, such as passion fruits and custard apples.

There is a small bathroom with shower, a cabinet mirror and a good hairdryer.

All towels are provided, including beach towels.

The living room has a flat-screen TV with cable channels, 2 sofas (1 of which is a large sofa bed), a dining table and free fast Wi-Fi.

The outdoor area is very pleasant. It has a dining area, barbecue, solarium and also has a hammock where you can relax while contemplating the sea, reading a book or watching the sunrise / sunset.

Breakfast outside

Activities:

This vila provides free bicycles and kayaks, as well as snorkelling equipment.

There are several walks that you can enjoy in this area, such as the Levada Nova (Caniçal / Feiteirinhas Tunnel), the Vereda de Ponta de São Lourenço (with several viewpoints not to be missed, such as Ponta do Rostro) or the Vereda do Pico do Facho / Ribeira Natal).

Levada Nova

View of Caniçal from the levada walk

One of the local museums not to be missed is the Whale Museum. Here you can discover all about the whales and dolphins of Madeira. You can also go for a virtual ride in a yellow submarine.

The beach, Prainha is a beautiful natural sand beach, and is located about 1 km away from the Villa.

Prainha

The marina of Quinta do Lorde is located 2,5 km away from the villa and has several services at your disposal. Hop on a boat or a sailboat to enjoy the coastline views with its seabirds, dolphins or whales. You can also dive with the support of the Blue Diving Center, whether initiated or certified diver.

Meals:

If you choose to cook at the villa, there is a Mini Market (Irmãos Vieira) 8 minutes away by car, where you can buy the necessary items. There is also a take away restaurant – O Manel, 4 minutes away by car.

If you choose a restaurant, there are several good options in this area, such as Tasquinha do Pescador, the Bar Amarelo, the Capristante and the Aquarium in Caniçal or the Maré-Alta in Machico.

What makes this Vila special?

Vila Cais da Gaivota

The location and private access to the sea, the decoration and the attention to detail, are some of the factors to highlight. The reception is warm and caring and we immediately feel at home, in our own refuge by the sea.

Unforgettable are those sunny days, where the sea shines and invites you to go for a bath on the sea. You will feel in heaven…

This is a fabulous villa with an incredible, exclusive location, highly recommended for anyone looking for a holiday away from stress, walking, cycling, snorkelling or diving in the sea.

Address: Caminho da Rochinha, 4, 9200-043 Caniçal, Machico, Madeira

Cost: From 110 € per night.

Make your reservation here.

My stay was courtesy of Vila Cais da Gaivota but opinions are my own.