Travel to the Island of Madeira – Episode 447

categories: europe travel

Hear about travel to the island of Madeira as the Amateur Traveler talks to Jörgen Abrahamsson who is a tour guide from Tue Nordic in this small Portuguese possession.

Madeira is volcanic archipelago about 600 km west of the African coast, about the same latitude as Casablanca, and 800 km from Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean.

Jörgen says of Madeira, “it’s a perfect island for tourists who are interested in activities like walking in the mountains, walking in the countryside, sailing and so on, and also because of the weather.”

“I would recommend a person who comes here to stay in Funchal, the major city because it’s very easy to get around the island. The city of Funchal is like and amphitheater, it’s quite hilly. I would suggest you go to Monte. It is a place up on the hillside where they have a really nice church and they also have some pintas, that’s the Portuguese word for estate, where some really famous people stayed. The last emperor of Hungary Charles II he was in exile after the first world war and he moved to Funchal and he moved into one of the pintas. Winston Churchill was here in the 1950s, it was in the years between when he wasn’t Prime Minister. I think you should go to the botanical gardens in one of the pintas. One of the famous people from Madeira was William Reed. He built the Reed’s Palace Hotel, one of the more luxurious hotels in Funchal, and that was their private home.”

Madeira gets about 1.5 million tourists a year. Half of them spend 1, 2 maybe 3 weeks but they also get a lot of tourists from cruise ships. The most hectic period for the cruise ships is New Years. Madeira has a large fireworks display at New Years and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest fireworks display in 2006.

Madeira is known for it’s wine as well as seafood like the scabbard fish. Another traditional drink is ponsha which is made with sugarcane rum, lemon juice and honey.

Funchal is on the south side, the leeward side, of the island. The north side of the island is much more rough. Before the 2nd world war the north side had many villages that could not be accessed by road but all are easy to reach now because of construction since that time. Jörgen recommends going to a small village called Porto Monis on the Northwest side where you have some really nice restaurants and natural seawater pools.

For the best hike on the island Jörgen recommends the walk between the two highest peaks which will take you most of a day. Some other interesting hikes are along the lavadas which are the old water channels with paths along side them.

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Show Notes

Madeira Guide
Paul da Serra
Botanical Gardens
Belmond Reid’s Palace
Funchal’s Old Town
Porto Moniz
Pico Ruivo
Pico do Arieiro
Ribeiro Frio
Porto da Cruz
Câmara de Lobos
São Vicente
O Jango


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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

One Response to “Travel to the Island of Madeira – Episode 447”



Madeira is really great island. If you are football fan, you have to visit Ronaldos museum, where you can see all his tropheys and other stuff from his football life.

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