I took the amazing opportunity to visit the island of Madeira. Although part of Portugal and currently one of the most visited places in the country, I have never had the chance to visit it before, the plane tickets are expensive in the holidays and during the low season I was always too busy, but now there have been some major advancements in transportation that managed to take me, and much more people, to this gorgeous island with ease.
The plane was for a long time the only means of transportation from the mainland to Madeira, but recently it was made a deal with the canarian ferry ship Volcan de Tijarafe to make weekly trips between Portimão (Algarve) and Madeira during the summer months, at a lower price than the average plane ticket at this time. So this was opportunity I took the see the island, and since it is such an integral part of getting more people to see Madeira, I thought it would be important to mention in this first article.
The ferry trip does take much longer than the plane, taking almost 24 hours against the only 2 hours it takes by plane, so be sure to bring something to do or you’ll stock watching the movies they screen on the small tv’s. There is a bar and even a small poll on the top floor but it can became tiresome if you have nothing else to do. You can bring a vehicle on the boat, which is also good to leave your luggage in case you don’t want a room, since it’s payed separate, but there are many spaces with comfortable sits that are just as good for a nap.
The best part of the whole trip is to see the islands emerge in the horizon, to travel between Porto Santo and the Desertas Islands and go around the main island of Madeira, seeing the city of Funchal unravel it self. You are greeted by the port of Funchal, immediately seeing the city’s movement and life. Madeira has a highly step terrain, which can be exhausting for walks but will never disappoints in the amazing views and scenery.
I will elaborate more on Funchal in the next article but since it was my very first contact with the island I will write about my first look of the city. Next to the docks, you have the Parque de Santa Catarina, a big garden with a beautiful lake, and follow the big avenue Avenida do Mar, you’ll see Praça do Povo, newly made square/garden that is a must for a night time walk. Funchal is really full of thing to see, in my first day here I couldn’t really see it all, I managed to take a walk through the Municipal Garden and the Natural History Museum to learn more about Madeira, and also seeing the Market and the older streets for a feel of the original structure form which this magnificent city was built.
This first article was merely an introduction to my trip since I considered important to mention the trip to the Island. I have only just arrived and there is so many thing to see! A more detailed look at Funchal is right next!
The usual Madeira citizens.
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