Travel Diary: Madeira Part 109:00:00
Yesterday evening (it's July 8th now, not sure when I'll publish this), I returned from my week long holiday to the beautiful Portuguese Island of Madeira. I'm feeling the holiday blues pretty badly now and all I want to do is jet off to another fantastic location and explore all of the wonderful things on offer. I'll be heading off on my wild adventure to America in just over a month's time so hopefully, there'll be plenty to see and do when the time comes.
Traveling and exploration are absolute passions of mine, and I wish I could do more of it! Even if I am just going out to some place I've never visited before in Ireland, I still enjoy the absolute pleasure of knowing the existence of wonderful places! I've always wanted to make my blog into a place where I can share cool days out but as I don't do them as often as I would like I don't write as many travel / days out posts! However, Madeira was a place I just could not hide from you guys so today's post and a few consecutive posts will be based on my holiday to Madeira!
Since our great experience with a Crystal Summers / Thompson package holiday to the glorious Lake Garda , my mum and I have really enjoyed the idea of getting a package holiday. It is an absolutely great idea because there is absolutely no stress or any sort of burden on your shoulders as flights and accommodation are organised by these travel companies, some of who additionally offer tours and activities that make holidays that extra bit more memorable! This time around, we booked our holiday with Top Flight, a company who focuses their attention on offering superb breaks to many locations in Italian regions but also offer packages to Portugal, Madeira, and Lanzarote. Initially, we had intentions of going to Sorento which is close to Naples and would have consisted of a strongly cultured holiday visiting Pompeii and Vesuvius. Madeira seemed like an option that suited us better as a family this time around. Although the Island is pretty close to the African coast, the temperatures are not as high as you'd expect. Reaching 27 degrees celsius at a peak (an absolutely perfect temperature in my mind), the island has a wonderful gentle breeze which makes it feel not too warm! There is plenty to see and do on this island, which will be explained in this post and consecutive posts, but it is also a perfect option if you're the type of person who likes to lounge around by the pool and just relax under the beaming sun! My mum and my younger brother Christian aren't too adventurous, yet my dad and I always like to be occupied and up to some kind of adventure. I really feel like Madeira offered the best of both worlds!
On June 30th, we made an early-ish flight at 8:00 am from Dublin Airport to Madeira Airport which arrived approximately 3 and a half hours later. For me the flight felt longer than I thought it would which has made me dread my 8 and a half hour flight to Chicago a little more. I swear that is going to be the longest day! But once we landed and I saw how gorgeous Madeira looked, somehow it didn't matter anymore. As a part of our package deal with Top Flight , we were also entitled to transport from the airport to our accommodation. We met with a representative from Top Flight who led us to our bus which drove us and many others to our destinations!
We were staying at "The Four Views Baia" hotel, which was a sister hotel to the place we were originally supposed to stay! However, Top Flight encountered an over-booking in one of the hotels, so as a compromise for their errors, they offered us half-board meals for the whole week at no additional cost! The hotel is located fairly high up and overlooks the beautiful views of the city of Funchal - all mainly pastel and cream coloured houses and buildings with terrocota tiles as roofing! The hotel itself was a contrast to a lot of the architecture in Funchal. It was very dark and modern. We were given Sea View rooms which allowed us to wake up to fantastic views of Funchal every single morning of the holiday. As well as this, the Hotel had an absolutely fabulous array of divine facilities. Not only was there an outdoor pool, but there was also an indoor pool, spa facilities and even a gym to work out in! It kind of lacked the personal touches that Hotel Eden in Lake Garda had, but it had so much more on offer. For breakfast and Dinner, all-you-can-eat buffets were available with a great variety of different options to cater to each taste. The hotel also offered a lunch box service where you could make a lunch box of food for an additional price.
Our first day in Madeira, was predominantly spent in the pool and just relaxing in general. Another representative was coming later on after our arrival to speak to us about activities that Top Flight offer in Madeira and we could also ask her about things we wanted to get up to on our holiday. The representative was a very nice lady who could answer any questions we had! We arranged a few activities with her and also got information on where scuba diving, snorkeling and other cool activities were available!
The following day, we took it easy! We were on holidays after all. In Italy, somehow we ended up getting up early most days to go to Venice, Verona and other amazing places, but sometimes it is a good idea to take things slowly. Holidays are all about relaxing after all! Christian finds it difficult to adapt to holiday life quickly, so he opted to stay at the hotel for the day. My parents and I, decided to walk to town (a quick fifteen minute walk).
Glasses: The Glasses Shop (see review here)
We found these public gardens which were gorgeous and extremely exotic. It's so nice to see how different the plants are compared to the ones in Ireland. I believe these were the President's Gardens but I'm not exactly sure as I didn't ever see a sign indicating what exactly they were. All I know is that the gardens were pretty close to the Marina and the Christiano Ronaldo Museum. Afterwards we sat down for a cool drink and I couldn't help myself and got a mixture of Ice-Cream also! Yum!
We then carried on walking by the sea-front until we reached the old part of Funchal Town which is where the cable car centre is. The representative from Top Travel highly recommended taking a cable car ride. There were many different rides available. You could have bought a ticket to bring you up to Monte and back (with or without a ticket to the tropical gardens). You could have also gotten an additional cable car to go to some Botanic Gardens. We decided to just opt to go up and then down again. It didn't even matter that we hadn't tickets to enter the tropical gardens at the top as there was so much to see free of charge!
Shorts : Vero Moda
The public gardens and the long trek up the cable car had us pretty worn out so we decided to head back to the hotel to catch up with Christian.
These were how my first two days in Funchal were spent!
Are you going on Holiday this Summer or have you been already?
Feel free to tell me about it in the comments below!