|Calheta Beach Resort in Madeira|
Madeira is a floating sub-tropical garden in the Atlantic Ocean, for a far view this volcanic mountains with vertiginous cliff look or resemble to me an old sailor ship waiting to be aboard for many adventures like discovering their many treasures. All year around have a good climate (average 20ºc) to visit, even now in Christmas and New Year you can enjoy of fantastic fireworks displays ( Guinness World of Records) and is the perfect spot for have a break for the winter and the people will let you feel like home, plus is easy to communicate in English, German, Spanish and of course with the local Portuguese language.
|Banana plantation around Claheta|
Calheta is just 30-40 minutes from Funchal following the well-constructed roads with hundreds of tunnels that cross the mountains. Calheta is just not a hotel resort, the area offers beside the beach, a little Marina, and nice walk beside the cliff. I highly recommend you to be a little adventurous and have a sunset walk from Calheta to Arco da Calheta taking the 101 road for discover the banana plantation and have stunning views of the ocean and of boats passing on the horizon.
|Calheta Art Centre|
In the Calheta next top hill, you will find the art centre Casa das Mudas , and international awarded new building for the perfect integration with the landscape designed by Paulo David. Inside you can visit one of the most complete and impressive collection of Art Deco in the world!
A day in Funchal
|View of Funchal and harbour|
|Santa Catarina Gardens|
After the market is always good idea to stroll around in the Santa Maria street where always something artistic is happening.
Then is time to have a ride in the cable railway for have a complete view of the city, and harbour. In the top you can go to the Tropical Gardens, where local flora share a place with ceramic tiles, art, palaces, views, pilgrimage church and even a Oriental Garden. Another cable railway will carry you to the also beautiful and more quite Botanical gardens and the controversial parrot park. Please people with vertigo avoid this last ride.
|Funchal Botanic Garden|
Already in Funchal a good place to have a rest is the coffee bar terrace of the Praça do Carmo, one of the squares chosen by the university students surrounded by nice stretch alleys to discover local shops.
Another Main Visit in Madeira.
|Sao Vicente streets|
2. Cabo Girao. A view point over the second taller cliff in the world. In your way up you can see high altitude vineyards plantations
3. Parque das Queimadas, visit the only remains of the madeira indigenous forest and their laurel forest.
4. São Vicente. Between the many charming towns in the island Sao Vicente with their White houses with orange roofs and volcanic pebbles streets surrounding the local church is my favourite. Not far to the town are the caves and the amazing cliff waterfall on the way to Seixal. Be aware that in the north of the island the weather can be more rainy.
5. Porto Moniz. In this part of the north coast line the rougher Atlantic ocean has created natural pools in the volcanic rock where you can swim and have a very nice seafood lunch at Cachalote restaurant.
6. The Levadas, once part of the ingenious island irrigation system to bring water for the mountains, today the Levadas are walkways to explore in the heart of the island. Find your trekking level with your local tourist advisor.
What to Eat.
|Dry cod to sell in a Funchal Shop|
Swordfish and tuna steaks and any local sea-food like octopus , fresh and tasty served in a simple way to enjoy .
Beef kebab made with the cattle that graze in the high planes of Madeira. Delicious meat.
Bolo-do-caco a local bread with garlic butter, work very well like anti-pasti or side dish.
For dessert any dish that has the local tropical fruits like passion fruit, papaya, guava and mango.
Like the rest of the Portugal the cream tartlet are a must.
Where we Stay (by David Pring)
|Calheta Beach Hotel|
The food there was superb. Calheta in November is relatively quiet but the weather was warm and sunny most of the time. The hotel has excellent amenities including both indoor and outdoor pools, a gym, sauna and steam room. Nothing was too much trouble and we would stay here again. There is a sandy beach in front of the hotel and two great local attractions- the cliff top museum which houses an amazing art deco exhibition and a nearby working rum distillery. Getting further afield into Funchal or around the island is also easy as the hotel can organise a variety of trips. There is a well-stocked supermarket across the road for buying anything you might need from fresh fruit to Madeira wines.
I can thoroughly recommend this hotel for a reasonably priced short break on a tranquil and glorious part of the island.