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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 …

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 …

Vegetarian

10 Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Madeira

‘Hi, I’m vegetarian and I would like to know which is the best Vegetarian Restaurant in Madeira?’ This is a question I get frequently asked and to be honest I don’t think Madeira is the easiest place to find exclusive Vegetarian Restaurants, however I do think Madeira has amazing vegetables and fruits which grow easily in the Island due to our fertile soil and climate, so I’m sure we can also offer delicious dishes with the help of our chefs. What’s the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan? Neither vegans nor vegetarians eat meat. However, while vegetarians may consume dairy products and eggs, a vegan excludes all animal products from their diet. Good to Know… Although one of the most typical dishes in the Island is made with beef ‘espetada’ you’ll also find in a typical Madeiran Restaurant, fried corn cubes, sweet potatoes/potatoes, rice, mixed vegetables, tomato and onion soup (my favorite), salads (we always have tomato, lettuce, cucumber and onion salads as a side dish), bolo do caco (typical bread of Madeira that …

drinks in madeira

Drinks in Madeira: Top 10 drinks to try

Drinks in Madeira are mostly famous due to the world known Madeira Wine, but there are others… Names like “Poncha”, an alcoholic typical beverage, “Coral” beer, “Laranjada” fizzy drink and even “Garoto” coffee will enrich your vocabulary and your taste of Madeira Island. Madeira Wine This is a fortified wine made in Madeira. It is produced in a variety of styles from dry to         medium dry, to sweet wines. It can be consumed with dessert or on their own as an aperitif. As a curiosity, the Declaration of Independence of USA was signed in the 4th July of 1776 and the Madeira wine was the toasting beverage of choice. We’re very proud of our wine and you can visit some of the most popular cellars in Funchal such as D’Oliveiras or Blandy’s Lodge. “Poncha” Sugar cane production was the engine of the Island’s economy back to the 15th century when the island became a major supplier of sugar, which became known as “white gold”. Therefore, Poncha is a traditional alcoholic drink …