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Madeira

(32 Posts)
Newquay Fri 06-Sep-19 17:45:57

It will be our Golden Wedding Ann next April, God willing. DH is a keen gardener so thought a visit to Madeira would be good-as well as replacing his wedding ring he lost recently!
Can any of you experienced GNetters recommend when is the best time to go?

Alima Fri 06-Sep-19 17:52:08

We went in early May. Remember it well as we were there for my birthday. Can recommend that time of year, the flowers and trees were wonderful. I am sure you will love it whenever you go.

Newquay Fri 06-Sep-19 18:06:14

Thanks Alima that thought had occurred to me

Newquay Fri 06-Sep-19 18:10:34

How big is the island? Sadly our walking days are over but can get out and about for a stroll. Don’t really want to drive there.
Is there a bus service? Can you recommend a resort?

Grannmarie Fri 06-Sep-19 18:11:17

Hello, Newquay, we visited Madeira a few years ago in April and the weather was lovely. We stayed in the Royal Savoy Hotel, and watched the Queen Mary 2 sail into port from our balcony. We did an island tour and visited the gardens, beautiful. Very hilly, lots of tunnels on the roads, and the funicular takes you to the highest points and incredible views.
Best wishes to you and your husband for your forthcoming Golden Wedding anniversary.

Grannmarie Fri 06-Sep-19 18:14:15

We didn't drive, and my husband can't walk long distances so we booked trips from the hotel, reasonable price. We stayed in Funchal near the port, lovely location.

lemongrove Fri 06-Sep-19 18:18:39

Love, love, love Madeira.😃
Going there for our own 50th anniversary next year.
Late April into May is a good time.
Pm me if you want to know about good hotels.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 06-Sep-19 18:21:47

Can thoroughly recommend Reid’s and Cliff Bay(?) which is next door. Short 5 minute walk into Funchal.

The gardens are beautiful in early May, I hope you have a wonderful trip.

NanTheWiser Fri 06-Sep-19 18:22:03

Madeira has a temperate climate all year round. We went there in early November, and it was in the 70s most days.
Funchal is the main resort, with many hotels to choose from, but as already mentioned, it IS quite hilly. I can't comment on bus services, but there are lots of taxis, which are quite reasonable. Driving isn't a good idea - we hired a car for a few days, but the drivers are a bit manic, and the mountain roads can be a bit nerve-wracking due to rocky outcrops.

There is a beautiful Botanic garden nearby, which, due to the climate is always nice to visit.

Congratulations on your Golden anniversary!

crystaltipps Fri 06-Sep-19 18:27:47

We loved Madeira in the spring - amazing plants and flowers. You can get a cable car up to it. We also did a lovely dolphin watching boat trip - the owners picked us up in a taxi from our hotel, the boat was clean and comfortable plus we saw lots of dolphins. For €25 each we thought it great value.

crystaltipps Fri 06-Sep-19 18:28:11

Go to the flower market - really stunning.

lemongrove Fri 06-Sep-19 18:28:32

There are regular buses in any case, so no need to drive, or even walk too far.

trisher Fri 06-Sep-19 18:32:42

Been in November- sunny but with a breeze and some thunderstorms and in May- better weather. Buses are excellent and you can buy a ticket for 2 days. But there are also lots of mini-bus and coach trips. It is a very hilly island but there are flat walks on sea front etc. If you want to go up in the cable car get there early before the cruise passengers arrive when there is a long queue. Beautiful gardens. If you want to see how the rich once lived pop into Reids Palace Hotel in Funchal for a drink on the terrace. Winston Churchill stayed there and lots of film stars.

craftyone Fri 06-Sep-19 18:42:21

I love Madeira, been there a few times, good buses go all over and plentiful taxis. We walked back to Funchal from one of the big gardens, I would not recommend the walk, it is tremendously steep and toes became black and blue slipping forward in shoes. The market is lovely and close to the centre try to get a Funchal hotel with a garden for evening sitting and easy strolling by the sea. There are plenty of levada walks but we only did a couple and tbh most are scary, narrow paths at a height

Climate is perfect

GrannyGravy13 Fri 06-Sep-19 18:45:00

If you like Italian food Villa Cipriani is part of Reid’s Hotel but in a separate “Italianate” villa. It is the best Italian meal I have ever had, ideal for a celebration.

It has a balcony overlooking the sea and the sunset was sublime.

ElaineI Fri 06-Sep-19 18:46:12

It will be beautiful in Spring but also other times. I would stay in Funchal if you can where it is flatter as there are some very steep hills. My sandals broke going up and down so much! Near the port is good as well and also Reid's and Cliff Bay as suggested by GrannyGravy because you can walk into Funchal from there and gorgeous views. We stayed in Porto Mare Hotel which is also lovely but a little bit further along. Botanic Gardens worth a visit as suggested and go up and down in the cable car - there was a sledge trip down the steep streets which we braved! There is a good bus service and taxis. We did a couple of excursions which were interesting but nerve wracking for me as very mountainous and I don't like these kind of roads.

Pantglas1 Fri 06-Sep-19 18:48:16

I like Madeira as well but only over ice.....oh sorry, I’ve misunderstood.... again.... hic!

dragonfly46 Fri 06-Sep-19 18:50:56

I love Madeira and been a couple of times. We stay in Funchal near the port which is at the bottom of the hill. Many hotels including Reid’s Palace are a good 20 minute walk down the hill although many hotels run a bus into the centre.
April is a good time to go and if you love flowers go to Jardin Palheiro. You can stay there in Quinta de Palheiro which is fabulous but up the hill and quite a way from Funchal although there are buses.

H1954 Fri 06-Sep-19 18:59:30

Love it Pantglas1 🤣🤣. Fond of a snifter myself, the island's pretty too!

Brunette10 Fri 06-Sep-19 19:27:06

We stayed at The Cliff Bay which is lovely and very central and can recommend. Had Afternoon Tea at Reid’s which is a must if you enjoy that sort of thing. Hope you have a lovely time celebrating your special anniversary.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 06-Sep-19 19:37:23

Brunette10, we have stayed at the The Cliff Bay, lovely hotel.

We ate in their “Michelin Star”
Restaurant one night and were considerably underwhelmed.

Villa Cipriani next door in Reid’s was 100% better.

Elegran Fri 06-Sep-19 20:35:17

I thought the thread would be about the drink. Have some Madeira, m'dear!

Brunette10 Fri 06-Sep-19 20:38:58

That was such a shame but tbh I felt overall their dining options didn’t quite reach the mark of their 5 stars and although we were booked in for DBB we were also bit underwhelmed with their restaurant and ate out in the evening a couple of times. However that was maybe just us. If you are a lover of fish it’l suit. I loved everything else about our stay, our room was beautiful and would return.

Urmstongran Fri 06-Sep-19 21:20:28

Love yr comment Pantsglas1 a girl after my own heart.

I’ve never been to Madeira Newquay but a couple of friends have. They said the flowers were stunning. They thought it was expensive and very hilly but loved it.

morethan2 Fri 06-Sep-19 21:28:23

I struggled with my asthma in Madeira but staying at the Cliff Bay made up for it. Happy golden wedding anniversary