Monday, 1 March 2010

Madeira by Annie Clougherty

Madeira lies in the Atlantic and has natural beauty and lush plantations of flora and fauna.
I visited in December when the average temperature is 18 degrees centigrade, which is very pleasant. The flowers were in bloom and the landscape was a feast for the eyes because of its pleasant sub-tropical climate. It is mild during the winter, and during the summer it never gets very hot (rarely above 30 degrees). I would like to go back for New Year because of the mild climate and to see the firework display in Funchal which is apparently amongst the best in the world. Funchal is a bustling town with many cobbled streets with pavement cafes, bars and restaurants. The thing I found the best about Madeira are the views from the hillside. Take a cable car from Funchal to Monte and admire the views. Then come back down again in a traditional toboggan — a unique experience!
I would recommend a stay in the Cliff Bay Hotel, which has wonderful views, food and staff. If you prefer something smaller, the 18th Century Quinta, Jardin do Lago would be a luxury and charming option.

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