There is a whole load of Island in Madeira to unearth, so why not cruise around with your very own private chauffeur (thanks, Dad!). A full tank of petrol; a carefully curated playlist at the ready; and of course the mandatory bag full of snacks.
The first stop along our west coast cruise; Ribeira Brava – this place is a popular destination for casual strolls along the seafront and the pick of many fresh fish restaurants (yum). The beach is rocky, so fans of laying in the sun on sand may want to keep exploring.
The gem in this sleepy town would be the Igreja de Sao Bento, with its blue and white checked bell tower which dawns over the church square. This area is the host to many of the towns festivals and activities, of which it was filled with children on the day of our visit.
Ponta do Sol
The peaceful fishing town of Ponta do Sol was our next port of call. Again with it’s rocky beaches, fresh fish restaurants and ample amounts of coffee shops to sit and people watch throughout the day. I would most certainly recommend this place for a mid afternoon walk along the shore, peruse the many traditional & tourist shops, and relax in the sun with a cool beverage.
For the sun worshipers in all of us, Calheta offers a coastline of golden sand and crystal clear water. The marina offers boat trips and whale watching which unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to take a trip this time. It is also said that Calheta offers the best poncha (traditional alcoholic beverage) in the whole of Madeira – sadly, this has yet to be confirmed on this visit..!
Ponta do Pargo
This is the most western point of Madeira and the highlight of Ponta do Pargo is the Casa de Cha O Fio restaurant. This tea house doesn’t only host stunning views out onto the ocean, but grows its own herbs for it’s signature herbal teas. Casa de Cha is a real gem and a must visit. The food is fresh and flavourful, and the hospitality for the team was impeccable – truly 5* service!
Travelling with kids, or just fancy a day out at Madeira’s biggest lido, then Porto Moniz is the spot for you. The lido is the main attraction here which during the summer seasons is filled to the brim of families. Being the most northern point of the Island, it is perfect for surfers.
However, if the lido isn’t your cuppa tea, then why note visit the Aquarium or enjoy one of Porto Moniz fine dining fish restaurants along the shore.
Cobbled roads, old caves, stunning scenery and traditional buildings, this is just a taste of what Sao Vicente has to offer. This place is great for a good wander through the old village and peruse the market street. If it’s a food festival you’re looking for, than look no further – more often than not, Sao Vicente hosts foodie festivals every weekend to delight your appetite.
Next we plan to tackle the east coast of Madeira – please comment with your favourite road-trip songs/albums/playlists to cruise along to.
With Kindest Regards,