A Slice of Madeira - View from the Inside

"The lush gardens and beauty of Madeira is owed to the superb, year-round sub-tropical climate."

October 2014 • Thea Wall-Coomber, Product Manager

Madeira - View from the Inside

Known mainly to me before my visit to Madeira as the garden isle, it truly lived up to my expectations of an abundance of many wonderfully manicured gardens. In a short time I visited the Palheiro, Monte and Palmeira gardens all of which were very enjoyable, with some breath taking views over Funchal. My favourite garden was Monte which is now included on our Madeira tour in 2015.

The lush gardens and beauty of Madeira is owed to the superb, year-round sub-tropical climate. My short visit in February was basked in some much needed sunshine after leaving the miserable grey UK weather. Madeira has an average of 6 sunshine hours per day in February!!

A stay in madeira is not complete without a visit to the main market in Funchal, which has a colourful array of flowers, fruit, vegetables and handicrafts, and the opportunity to sample some cake called bolo de mel. Funchal gives a warm impression of a prosperous Mediterranean capital with plenty to discover in its pretty charming cobbled streets including cafés, bars and restaurants.

I was lucky enough to stay one night at the 5-star Belmond Reid’s Palace, upon arrival the hotel appears secluded, nestled within high pink walls and the entrance could be easy to miss. The hotel location commands the best views across the bay of Funchal and was specifically picked for these great views by William Reid, the son of a Scottish crofter. The staff were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and nothing was too much trouble for them. I had the feeling of being in a quaint British manor house with many antiques and traditional décor throughout. The tradition of afternoon tea is very popular on the terrace or lounge and the gardens are sub-tropical with a range of plants to discover, set in 10 acres. Attention to detail in the rooms is fantastic, all rooms offer free soft drinks from the mini-bar during the stay and I could even choose the type of pillow I slept on!

My time was very short lived in Madeira but I would gladly return in the near future as so many others do, to fully experience this magical island.”

View our Madeira tour