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3 Carnival Parties in Madeira

3 Carnival Parties in Madeira


So it’s that crazy time of the year again and Madeira Island is ready to party.

Here are my 3 favourite carnival parties in Madeira:



Travesties Night

From snowhite and the seven dwarfs to a football team of ladies dressed as CR7, one thing is certain – creativity knows no limits. So dress up as you wish, have fun and enjoy the nightlife.

Where is this party?

In most of the discos and pubs in Funchal. If you go for a late walk in the old town and you’ll certainly bump into interesting costumes.

Saturday –

Carnival Float Parade


About 1900 people dance on streets with colourful costumes, samba moves and loud music. Sing and dance along and fun is garanteeed! (Of course you can bring your own outfit as well!).

The Carnival Float Parade begins at 8 p.m.

Where is the Funchal Carnival Float Parade?

Starts nearby CR7 statue, goes all the way through Avenida do Mar e das Comunidades Madeirenses to finish near the Autonomy statue.


Batucada in Câmara de Lobos

At 9 p.m. there’s a parade in Câmara de Lobos central streets and afterwards around 11:30 pm some elements of the groups gather to play drums and dance on the stage. It’s very exciting and fun to watch them perform, don’t miss it!

Where is the batucada in Câmara de Lobos?

Nearby Câmara de Lobos harbour, in Rua Nossa Senhora da Conceição.

I leave you with my favourite carnival tunes.

Happy Carnival!

Looking for things to do in Madeira? Find it here:

Don’t forget to taste “Sonhos” – the typical Carnival dessert  in Madeira.

Have fun!

Travel tips to visit Madeira

Free Travel tips To Madeira

Great places to eat, see and enjoy - travel guide to Madeira, 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 in 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.


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 favorites.

LUNCH: 9,50 € -12 € deals – Café Museu, Latada do Doutor, Il Vivaldi etc

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.


VEGETARIAN food – read this article.

BUDGET bites to eat,  check this list.


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.


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 traveling with children? Check this article and 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 center. Reach Socorro Church and have a break at Barreirinha.  Take the cable car to Monte, and enjoy the ride up the hills. There are 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).


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 do like Vila do Peixe, Ponta do Sol – 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 favorite locations. Calheta – the marina has a nice Italian restaurant and ice cream parlor. 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, Cantinho da Serra or Casa de Palha.

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 center, 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 favorites.


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 airplanes. Although you have much more options in the wine cellars, just make sure you can carry it on the airplane. For food and souvenirs there are shops with Portuguese brands, here are some stores – read this.


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

DTOX & LIVING ROOM start late around midnight/1 am.

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 below.

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

PS- Cover images from the photographer @Benjamin_artwork.

Family holidays (all inclusive) – Barceló Punta Umbria

Family holidays – Barceló Punta Umbria

Last summer vacations we spend a week at the Hotel Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort.

– “Where are we going this year?” The kids ask. There are many ideas, one of the dreams was to take them on a train trip through Europe. I could visit some friends in the south of France, and I get to know better Provence. Another solution was to return to Tenerife, because it is an island that I love and where I have great memories.  Costa Brava is always in my heart, I close my eyes and I am there. And, there’s so much left to see …

But weighing the pros and cons, the costs, the convenience, the absence of stress / work and extras, we decided to go back to the hotel where we were last year – the Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort Hotel.

Why? What’s so special about Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort?

I think you can only understand the experience, after spending a week there. If at first glance it may seem like a huge resort, (it’s the largest hotel with Congress Center in Europe) it has everything we need for a family holiday with no worries or stress. That kind of vacation that allows us to read a book, have fun, eat well, take naps in the afternoon and go for beautiful walks along the beach.

Here are some highlights of this hotel:

  • The food is excellent. I did not think it was possible to put together such quality and service in an all-inclusive resort. It was really surprising. Buffet stands with great presentation and lots of variety. Every day we changed restaurant – there are 4 in total: the food in the world (Compass) had a bit of everything, Indian, Turkish, Chinese etc. The Italian food restaurant (El Calé) had great pizzas and pasta and the American food restaurant Tex-Mex (Cormoranes) had tacos, hamburgers, hot dogs and the like. The Andalusian food restaurant (El Estero) simulated a Spanish market, where the enormous prawns and the typical paella were in plain sight. There is also a restaurant à la Carte (Camarina) but I did not get to go. At breakfast we highlight the natural orange juice and the typical churros. You can also choose half-board (you can choose to have lunch or dinner). And yes, in view of this delicious scenario, I strongly recommend the all inclusive scheme (bracelet).
  • The entertainment program for the kids surpassed all expectations. From shows alluding to Disney movies, mini-disco, magic shows in the garden, treasure hunt, teenagers’ social lounge, water park, inflatables in the pool … the animation team does not stop for adults or for adults. children! The nights ended with everyone dancing in the amphitheater.
  • The SPA of the Hotel Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort is spectacular – they are 2500 m2 of relax! It has a huge pool with several massage jets, jazuzzis and a hydrotherapy circuit. There is a specific time for the children (according to their ages) and another schedule for adults only (I found it great). Unlike some SPA’s I’ve visited, this is allowed children to enter, as long as accompanied by adults – needless to say we loved it. As for the massages the service is personalized and very professional. I did an incredible full-body massage, “Lomi Lomi” and how well I knew.
  • The gym is TOP. Cycling equipment, paddle tennis or tennis courts, teachers, cross-fit circuit … I loved outdoor bodybalance classes in the morning – what a great way to start the day. And yes, bodybalance and zumba classes are free for guests. For those who like jogging / jogging, cycling there is a huge avenue by the sea.
  • When opening the balcony of the room, the view is amazing. The beach is huge (just to have an idea, it is bigger than Porto Santo). It is a very sunny area (3200 hours per year), which heats us without delay. The green of the trees, the blue of the sky and the sea always accompany us and the birds are heard in the trees.
⇒ See the bedroom view in the instastories

How are the rooms in Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort Hotel?

The rooms have immense light with a very modern decor and luxurious details. The beds and pillows are comfortable, all white as I like. There is minibar in the room, flat screen TV and good wardrobe. The bathroom is spacious and modern.

⇒ See the Hotel Photos

What to do around Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort?

Punta Umbria is a charming fishing village with some picturesque houses, from the time of the miners, especially by the river. There are beautiful walks on foot or by boat. It was here that I had the best homemade ice cream I have ever tasted, at the level of the best in Rome! Suggestion: the ice cream thousand leaves. Seville is only 1 hour away, and it is a city with lots to see.

How is the beach next to the Hotel Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort? And the pools?

It has a giant pool area for adults and children (4000 m2 of area) and many green areas around. Also, it is on the first line of the beach, just across the road. The beach is yellow sand and the water is not too cold. It has one of the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. I did not explore the beach much, but there is a chance to do SUP, kayaks or sailing. There are also lots of bars with music in the evening and they say it has a good atmosphere. The pools are really huge and there are lots of poolside bars with cocktails, snacks, ice cream and fresh fruit already cut into sticks and served in small glasses.



How to get to the Hotel Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort?

The locality is called “Paraje de los Enebrales” a natural park of Punta Umbria, with protected species, like chameleons. It is 15 km from Huelva and 45 km from Seville (1 hour by car on the A 49). To facilitate logistics, we chose to rent a car in Lisbon (we came by the A 22), but we could also have gone by plane to Faro and rent a car in the Algarve. There is a cheap car park nearby, 1 week was priced at € 7.


Why is the Hotel Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort a good option?

Because parents also need vacations and the hotel takes care of everything for us … with great taste, friendliness, professionalism and quality. All done thinking about children, or in other words:

Happy children – Relaxed Parents.

So that’s the suggestion !! Maybe we’ll meet there 🙂

 Online Booking ⇒ Barceló Punta Umbria Beach Resort.

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Why rent a car in Madeira ?

Why rent a car in Madeira?

If you’re wondering about renting a car in Madeira or what’s the best way to get around the island, this post is a must-read.

*Information in January 2019

 Reasons to rent a car in Madeira:

1. See more in less time

At first sight, Madeira may seem like a small island with a length of 57 km (east to west) and a width of 22 km. However, when you take a closer look, you realise that it takes about 3-4 hours to get from Funchal to Porto Moniz, by public transport, but only about 1 hour to get there by private car.

Why? Due to its mountainous terrain. The public bus itinerary is generally longer because it includes a few stops which serve the locals that live along the route. By car, you can drive through roads and tunnels to reach the destination more quickly.

Driving through the clouds in the beautiful scenic road to Pico do Areeiro

2. Enjoy well signed roads

Most roads in Madeira are well signed. The fastest routes are  VR1 (motorway) and Via Expresso: VE1, VE2, VE3 and VE4 that interconnect the main locations in the island.

3. Drive on incredible scenic roads

Madeira offers about 170 km of coastline, with spectacular roads by the sea and the cliffs. On some trails, you can see beautiful waterfalls along the road, especially on the north and south-west coast.

4. Travel at your own pace

On holidays, nobody likes to be in a hurry. I would rather have the “stop whenever you feel like it” kind of trip. When renting a car, you can obviously travel at your own pace, as you do not have to follow the bus schedule. Note that in some parts of Madeira, there are only 2-4 bus trips per day.

Take your photos with no rush.

5. Go to the beach and the mountains in one day

One of the things I enjoy the most when driving a car in Madeira, is to go from the sea to the peaks on the same day. I can start my morning by soaking up the sun at the beach, then have lunch somewhere in the misty mountains. Afterwards, I can go for a Levada walk and finish off my day,  watching the most amazing sunset at one of Madeira’s highest peaks.

Last week, I rented a car at Why Not Car Rental in Madeira. I hope this article can help you clarify some of the most frequently asked questions, regarding car rental.

1. Which is the best car to drive in Madeira?

I was looking for an economical car option, so I went for a class  B – a Fiat 500, gasoline. The car was in good condition (plus it came with some nice free extras like a fixed glass roof, USB charger and Bluetooth to connect your phone). I had no issues while driving it, even when I drove up the steep and hilly road to Pico do Areeiro. However, make the best decision according to your budget. If you’re more than two passengers, carrying extra luggage or if you plan to drive out of the main roads, it’s better to go for a more powerful engine.


When choosing the type of car, also take into consideration that in Madeira there are cliffs, steep and narrow roads. We drive on the right-hand side, and you’ll need to use the clutch quite often. Drive carefully and respect the speed limits.  Remember to check in advance, if you have free parking in your accommodation, otherwise consider that extra cost on your rental budget.



2. Which documents do you need to rent a car at Why Not Car Rental?

You need a valid ID/Passport, plus a driving license which is valid in Portugal/EU.

3. How to book a car rental reservation at Why Not Car Rental? And how much can it cost?

You can book on their website, by phone +351 969 528 916 (WhatsApp available) or by email.

This was my experience in 5 steps:

STEP 1 I sent an EMAIL to 
with the following info:
  • Name and age
  • Type of vehicle – You can visit the website to see the type of vehicles available as well as their prices.
  • Pick up/drop off location (Funchal office / Airport Office – Santa Cruz).
  • Pick up/drop off dates and times – Regular opening times are 8h30 to 18:30h. (Outside this schedule there’s an out of hour fee)

If you plan to pick up/drop off your car at Madeira’s Airport, the Why Not Car Rental Office is in Rua do Cano 9, Santa Cruz (about 3 minutes drive from the airport). So, their van will pick you up at the airport arrivals (you can send them your flight number in advance). You can also ask for hotel deliveries/collection, but there’s an extra fee according to the location.

STEP 2 ⇒ I received an EMAIL with 2 price options:
with or without full coverage.  

The price is variable according to the number of days you rent the car (1-2 days, 3-6 days or 7+ days). For rentals of 7 + days, the daily rate for my Fiat 500 was 24,00 euros* / day. 

* Information valid in 22/01/2019  Check the full terms and conditions by clicking here.

STEP 3  Choose the car rental option that suits
your needs to get an email with the reservation number.

 Click here to the see prices and what’s included in the full coverage option.

Be sure to save the reservation number to present at the pickup.


I picked up the car at the Why Not Car Rental -Funchal Office. It’s centrally located in Funchal, on the north side of the Municipal Garden, nearby Madeira Tourism Office.
Address: Rua Ivens, 12, 13-B 9000-046 Funchal.

We handled the documentation quickly, and I got a copy of the contract. The parking is next to the office. After checking for any external damages in the car, I was ready to leave the garage. The staff was very polite, friendly and helpful.

Rua Ivens

Funchal Office

Why Not Car Rental Parking


I drove back to the garage in Rua Ivens. They checked the car to see if there were any damages and keys were delivered. P.S- Don’t forget to refill the car before dropping it off. It happened to a friend of mine, and he almost lost the flight rushing to find the nearest gas station!

Why Not Car Rental delivered a great service, the car did not disappoint, and the staff was friendly and professional. For more information about this Car Rental in Madeira click here.

So, here are some of the highlights of my experience of renting a car in Madeira. I hope it helps you to plan the next road trip on the island 😉

Disclaimer: This blog post was supported by Why Not Car Rental but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Where to watch the New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Funchal?

Where to watch the New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Funchal?

Most people would agree that the best spot to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Funchal is from the sea. And, even though it is quite spetacular, there are many other great alternatives in the city.

Funchal Bay from the sea

Here are a few suggestions of viewpoints where you can get (for free), a nice perpective of Funchal fireworks!

Palheiro Ferreiro

Pico dos Barcelos
Parque de Santa Catarina
Fortaleza do Pico
Rua dos EUA
Miradouro das Cruzes

Garajau is just outside the city, but the perspective is beautiful as well.


So get together with your loved one, grab your bottle of champagne and keep those New Year’s wishes flowing – let’s make it a good one!

Where are you watching the fireworks this year? Please leave your comment below. 🙂

Happy New Year 2019 ❤︎

Vereda do Pico Branco e Terra Chã

Porto Santo trails – Vereda do Pico Branco e Terra Chã

Porto Santo trails – Vereda do Pico Branco and Terra Chã

Last weekend, we took a trip to Porto Santo. We were in need of its peace.

Porto Santo

We walked from the boat to the hotel Praia Dourada – 40 minutes walk by the sea. We could see the reflection of the moon in the ocean, listen to the waves and see stars in the sky. We even sang along a few Queen songs (since we recently saw the Bohemian Rhapsody movie).

On the next morning, our deserved rest arrived. We were deep in sleep after a busy week. Despite the 19ºC outside, there was wind and some rain, so we thought twice if we would do the Vereda do Pico Branco and Terra Chã – and I’m happy we went.

How to get to Pico Branco and Terra Chã?

To get at the trail’s beginning, you can drive to the path’s entrance, via Portela. It is easy to find – you’ll see a sign and place for parking. To get there from the centre of Vila Baleira, it´s about 15 minutes drive by car and by taxi it costs about 14 euros.
The Pico Branco and Terra Chã are both accessible by this path. It takes about 2 hours to get to Pico Branco, and then we go back to reach the house of Terra Chã (400 meters). We then take the same return route to the parking lot.

It is not easy to find adjectives that do justice to the beauty of this place – charming, irreverent, unexpected, magical …
Enchanting because the trail surrounds the peak and we get glimpses of the mountains, the cliffs, the beach, the sea, and the beautiful hills.
Irreverent, because it is a tour of contrasts. There are some ascents and descents, which are made either with light tracks or tough steps. It’s like life (somebody said). It has the shade from trees and offers strong emotions, overwhelmed by the contours of the rocks, unexpected sights and vertiginous passages where your heart beats faster. Although it’s not too difficult overall, it has some unprotected areas, which deserve special care – we went with a guide.
Magical – because Porto Santo has this ability to calm your soul.

 I leave you with some photos of the Vereda do Pico Branco and Terra Chã:

Vereda do Pico Branco Porto Santo

Vereda do Pico Branco Porto SantoVereda do Pico Branco Porto Santo e terra chã

There was still time for a stroll around the center and a walk on the beach.

Vila Baleira Porto SAntoPraia do Porto SantoAs a friend of mine said a few years ago, no one should visit Madeira without discovering Porto Santo’s nature.

Here’s the tip – a getaway to Porto Santo in November;)

40 Photos that will make you want to visit Porto Santo
Book your hotel here.

Levada Rabaçal Madeira

The day I went chasing Rabaçal waterfalls – a Levada walk in Madeira

The day I went chasing Rabaçal waterfalls – a Levada walk in Madeira

Last September, Hit the road Madeira launched a new walk to Rabaçal, in the west part of Madeira. Their goal was to show visitors the beautiful waterfalls of Rabaçal, away from the busy, best-known Levada of the 25 fountains.

Let me tell you more about Rabaçal Waterfalls Hike…

PICK UP was at 8:45. The meeting point was in Funchal old town, near the cable car. There were 4 of us plus the driver Vitor and mountain guide Lisa. First, we stopped at Ponta do Sol to buy lunch in a cosy bakery with affordable prices, but you can also bring a “picnic” lunch if you prefer.

The Levada hike was 14 km and lasted about 5 h 30 m. As we were walking in Levada trails, these are often irregular with roots, rocks and slippery puddles. You can also find tree branches right above your head. So, you need to be careful and pay attention to the security instructions. Luckily we had Lisa, who was always warning us in advance, so we could be more secure and enjoy the views. As for equipment, you also need mountain boots, waterproof jackets and trousers (in case it rains), backpack, gloves, beanie/hat and sun blocker. Mountain sticks can be helpful. There were some wood sticks available in the car that they lend us, which was an attentive detail. We were fortunate with the weather: a sunny day, blue skies and almost no wind.

Trekking begun in Levada do Alecrim towards the beautiful spot called Fonte do Lajeado (also known as Dona Beija Lagoon).

We then walked down to Lagoa Do Vento, where the path became a bit more challenging with steps and some slipping trails. But, OH so worth it, since we finally saw this huge, 100 meters waterfall and lagoon – Lagoa do Vento – what a marvellous sight. There were a few couples already there, enjoying the sunshine, the green peace and the blue skies, while listening to the powerful, yet calming sound of water. We found a nice corner to have a lunch picnic and had some extra time to relax.

After climbing back up, we kept walking towards a beautiful spot, that used to be the forest guards house of Rabaçal – Rabaçal Nature Spot Café. Besides being able to visit this unique location, we took a little break for tea and cake. Tip: Try the delicious Queijada cake, made from Madeiran cottage cheese.

The last part of the Rabaçal Waterfalls hike was towards the 800 meters Cavaleiro tunnel. Lisa gave us some flashlights to cross the tunnel, which is wide enough to be comfortably crossed, but, in some parts, you must be careful to lower your head, as Lisa pointed out. In the end, it opens in an unforgettable viewpoint. After a few more minutes walk, we could see Vitor’s car. We were back to Funchal around 17h15.

What was special about this walk?

It’s a beautiful, diverse and well-picked up route in Rabaçal. Although the trail is challenging in some parts,  it was overall relaxing.
The path wasn’t crowded (we could actually hear the silence of the forest, endemic birds like the chaffinch, and the water running in the Levada channel).
Since it was a small group of people, we had plenty of opportunities to take photographs and chat away, while being looked after by Lisa. She is a caring, passionate mountain guide with a lot of knowledge in Botanics. We saw outstanding mountain views, waterfalls and lagoons, right in the heart of the Madeiran laurel forest.

Here are my photos from the Rabaçal Waterfalls hike:

Rabaçal Levada

Lagoa do Vento Lagoa do Vento
Lagoa do Vento Lagoa do Vento

Levada Walk Madeira

Rabaçal Nature Spot Café Rabaçal Nature Spot Café

Levada do Alecrim detail Levada Walk

Levada do Alecrim | Lagoa Dona Beija ou Fonte do Lajeado
Levada walk Not bad for a November day…;)

mountain boots levada walk #fromwhereistand
Túnel do Cavaleiro, Madeira Túnel do Cavaleiro

Flowers in Madeira Levada walk

Levada do Alecrim Levada do Alecrim
Lagoa do Vento, Madeira Lagoa do Vento
Levada do Alecrim Tour Our guide Lisa – Hit the Road Madeira Tours
Lagoa do Vento, Madeira Can you spot the waterfall?

If you’re interested in this tour, click here book the Rabaçal Waterfalls Hike.
You can use the code MARS to get a 10% discount.

This tour was courtesy of Hit the road Madeira but the views expressed are my own.

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Photo Sessions in Madeira

Photo Sessions in Madeira

A couple of months ago I was looking at my Instagram feed, and I began to see these photos in Madeira that captured my attention.
There was something different about them, the light, the composition, the style, even the citation underneath! 🙂


As I scrolled the whole feed I loved every one of them, so I said to myself;
Who is Benjamin Begin?


View this post on Instagram

As always, pic by @kennylkemp

A post shared by Benjamin Begin | Photography (@benjamin_artwork) on

The bio linked to his website and there I found he did photo sessions.
I was looking for new pictures of my Airbnb, plus I wanted to capture the neighboorhood as well (plus I just had my new Walkingframe From Madeira to Mars t-shirt), so these photo sessions in Madeira, looked like the perfect match.



I sent Ben a direct message on Instagram, and that’s how we met and booked the photo session.
We got together for a coffee afterwards ( the pre-interview), and I told him what I was looking for. We picked the locations, time and date for the photo session. I also showed him some examples of photos that I liked. He asked me exactly what I wanted from the pictures, regarding mood, style and scenery and even how comfortable I was with being in front of the camera.
I picked two outfits and sent him the locations in advance to plan our time.
I agreed to do the half day session, and you can check here for prices.
Benjamin was very easygoing and chilled. We just took it one location at a time, with no rush but trying to make the most of it. Most importantly we both enjoyed the session and had a fun morning out. The meeting ended up with coffee at Legs Eleven (love this place and their logo btw) and exchanging ideas about social media.


When I received my pictures, I was very happy with the result.
Click here to see the Photos of the Airbnb
My Airbnb guests say that the photos and the comments were the things that matter the most when booking my apartment.
As for the outdoor photos, despite helping me promote the neighbourhood of the apartment, my blog, and Funchal in general, it was also a great way to create good memories of life.
Sometimes we forget that we can be a traveller in our city.

Photography is one of my passions but it’s nice to be on the other side of the camera too, and share those moments with people who think alike.

Allow me to introduce you to Ben:

“I’m Ben, born in 1985 in Strasbourg, the seven biggest cities in France, very traditional with his city centre classify to UNESCO program. I studied marketing, and always had a step into art, but more about paintings when I was living in France. I was doing graffiti, and canvas paintings before I’ve crossed the road of photography while living in Madeira Island. I came for a job, as my best friend created his company here in 2009 and requested my help in the marketing area. I started photography 5 years ago, as a pleasure, but it quickly took lots of space in my life.

Your favourite place to photograph in Madeira?

I would say fanal, pico do Areeiro, and north coast in general.  But the place doesn’t really matter. In photography, all is about light. And the light in Madeira is pretty awesome, especially in those months (September, October, November) so I love to shoot in any place at the moment the light is special.

Your favourite local food/restaurant?

The prego from Restaurante Balcony, the wellcom bar in town, and the seafood.
I was not into seafood before to come in Madeira, but this island changed my mind in lots of senses.

Your meeting point?

Mini Eco Bar in Funchal. I love so much to be there that I can even go alone to do nothing or enjoy a good cocktail, but most of the time, I know I’ll find someone I know there.

If a friend comes over to visit you, where would you take him?

Sunrise in Pico do Arieiro, for sure. Then one-day surfing in Porto da Cruz, best experience to appreciate Madeira is an unusual way, and the surf school are pretty good, friendly and professional in same time. And to do the Levada of Caldeirão Verde, which is for me the most “wow” Levada I did until now. I also like Fajã dos Padres, which I think still is an underrated place here. Time stop there, it’s a special place that I love a lot for many reasons.

What do you like the most about living here?

For sure the quality of life, the weather and the fact I realised one of my oldest dreams (a fantasy I can even say): being a surfer. So I would say that it’s my relationship with the ocean. I was living far away from the sea when I was living in Strasbourg, it was only for the summer holidays, and I always saw that as a privilege. So, to have it in front of me every day, it’s something I can’t get rid off.

What do you miss the most about France?

Food, and more specifically, CHEESE!

Your dream trip?

Bali with no hesitation, and all Asia in general. The dream of the dream would be a long road trip in all of Asia.
Iceland, just after.

Your motto?

My motto is not to have one. I don’t like too much fixing on one idea. I like to change my opinion when needed. But if I had to have one, is listen to your intuition more than people. Intuition is something very powerful. Intuition, and intention. I can see it in photography. My first intuition always gave me the best pictures. If you listen too much to people or try to please them, you’ll never do anything.

So, besides giving useful tips about Madeira, 🙂 I believe that Ben is a great photographer, reliable and professional, plus a good person to meet. Go ahead and book a photo session in Madeira with him. You can also follow his work on Instagram.


Thanks, Ben and good luck! 😉

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The L nights are back to Ponta do Sol!

The L Concerts return to Estalagem da Ponta do Sol! This Independent Music Festival officially started ten years ago, although, well before that, small concerts were already held. Personally, I remember with great joy the gigs I had the opportunity to attend.

Fotografia gentilmente cedida por Concertos L

I love the ambience … the worship, the relaxation and the sound that echoes in the wind, the sea and the perfect amphitheatre that is the Ponta do Sol.

Why should you go to these concerts?
Nuno Barcelos, responsible for this festival, gave us the answers:


L. L Concerts Why?

The name Concertos L appeared from an existing concept in the Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, the L – Community (community of members of the inn). L comes from Lifestyle, Leisure, among others …

What do you like most about this Festival?

The artistic freedom, its public and the place…

Not depending on brands, sponsorships or fashions, allows you to create a schedule free of pressures of any kind, and bring something different and innovative…

The audience, because we have the best attendance of Madeira, interested, respectful, of various ages and groups…

It happens in an unlikely place (for a music festival): a garden 80 meters high, with a bar, restaurant and hotel… Madeira at its best, on the scenery level.

What was the concert that impressed you the most so far?

I can not say “The concert” because we have already brought so many great names that it becomes very difficult. Remembering only a few, I can say that I was genuinely impressed with Sevdaliza, Tcheka, Jambinai, Ricardo Ribeiro, First Breath After Coma, among many others …

Fotografia gentilmente cedida por Concertos L

Which band are you most looking forward to seeing this year?

Once again it becomes difficult to tell a band but undoubtedly Kristoffer Lo, for the unique form as it presents its almost sensorial sound, Aisha Badru by the incredible voice, Edmar Castaneda for its genius in the instrument. Each artist was chosen because it is unique in their area. I am very curious to see everyone live and check how it works.

Good reasons to attend concerts L?

Several. Above all, the opportunity to attend an entirely different program, a program that has been well studied and that intend to bring new music and provoke new ways of feeling the music. As I mentioned before, it’s the unique venue, and your audience makes the L Concerts an always challenging and enriching experience.

Thank you, Nuno!

Fotografia gentilmente cedida por Concertos L

At the top of the Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, time stops. It’s just you, the night and the island, united by music. See you at L.
Until then,

Fotografia gentilmente cedida por Concertos L

Check out this article to know more about where to find live music in Madeira.

How to make “Sonhos” – My father’s Recipe

‘Sonhos’ are one of Madeira’s Carnival typical sweets. “Sonhos”also means dreams in Portuguese, so you can get an idea of what it tastes like…

In this post, I share my father’s recipe with you.

1 cup flour (125 gr)
1/2 cup of milk (125 ml) + 1/2 cup of water (125ml)
1 tablespoon salt coffee
1 tablespoon sugar coffee
2 lemon peels
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon of butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking tea

Preparation mode:

In a saucepan pour the milk, water, salt, sugar, lemon peels, cinnamon and bring to a boil. At the end add the butter.

Then add in the flour (sifted) with the baking powder, mix well and set aside.

Once it cools down, beat the dough adding the eggs one at a time.

Baking mode:

In a pan pour oil making up to a height of 6-8 cm. Heat it and once it’s hot add a spoonful of dough. Once it begins to come to surface, you can add one by one the other spoonfuls of dough. Try to keep the oil temperature to avoid overheating. The portions of dough, bake, grow and turn on each other, until they are cooked / browned.

In the end, with the help of a fork withdraw it from the pan and place it over a surface lined with paper to cool down.

Curiosity: The sugar cane was introduced in Madeira around 1425, imported from Sicily, on the orders of Prince Henry. Currently most of the production is directed to the production of sugar cane honey.


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