Madeira adventure

Suzanne Barney on 05 July 2021
We had assumed that our trip would be cancelled so when Madeira was put on the 'green list ' we realised we would be travelling and had 9 days to prepare.Travel in covid times is a little different there are tests to book and forms to fill in . So we started to get organised! Madeira was one of the few destinations open for travel in 2020 so things were in place . We are double vaccinated so didn't need a PCR test on arrival and also were given a free test in resort before we took our return flight. Birmingham airport was quiet so check in was quick and there were very little queues through security and passport control . In Madeira it was the same it looked a lot worse than it was from landing to hotel was about 75 mins. There is no time difference so we arrived at the hotel to be greeted with a drink and we went straight to our room . It was a lovely room at the Pestana Carlton sea view junior suite with two balconies and wicker sunbeds on our balcony on the second floor . We set off straight away into town to explore it was humid and warm and it was nice to walk around and get our bearings . It had been a few years since I had visited the island probably 15 years and I also worked as a rep here 30 years ago! We had loads planned and also needed to fit in the England football games too into our evening schedule. So every minute counted . Day 2 We went on the cable car up to Monte visiting the Botanical Gardens which were stunning. Monte is where you find the toboggans so that is how we descended They don't go all the way down to Funchal so we walked the remainder of the way ( which was a killer as it was 90 degrees in part) . That evening we watched England play in an Indian restaurant having the screen to ourselves as we had our Indian banquet! Day 3 We did a tour of Funchal by tuk tuk . That was fabulous as the roads are quite narrow so the best way to do it especially the old town. Day 4 We did a Jeep Safari which was in a Land Rover which took us to the north of Madeira which was amazing . Getting a closer look at those ancient forests and high peaks Day 5 We chilled Day 6 We had afternoon tea at Reids ( and suffered the England game in the evening in a Craft beer bar) DAY 7 We did the 9km coastal walk from Camera do Lobos. The place made famous by Winston Churchill who use to paint there . We did so many miles of walking on this trip and have so many wonderful memories. Over the last few years we have gone all inclusive when we have been away not on this occasion. We were on a bed and breakfast basis which gives you the flexibility to choose where you want to eat and when you want to eat! Madeira is perfect for this . There are plenty of options and a good variety from Michelin star to more traditional. I tried the local scabbard fish with banana, and the Espetada ( huge meat skewer) . We ate at a wonderful restaurant called Avista which was Michelin star and close to where we were staying . We also ate in the old town too where it was more traditional . We were on a bed and breakfast basis which gives you the flexibility to choose where you want to eat and when you want to eat! Breakfast had everything egg station, pastries, salmon, full english , cereal but I stuck to having fresh fruit grown on the island and wonderful coffee ( just as good as starbucks). In the evening we drank lots of giant g&t's and it felt great to be away in such a beautiful place. We did a little bit of sunbathing but it wasnt our priority exploring was so I could show you what a wonderful destination this is . There are black sand beaches along the coast and various lidos so the pool is the main sunbathing area if you prefer to chillout the climate is pretty constant all years around