Last September we went to Funchal in Madeira for five nights. A little chilled out holiday instead of a busy busy city break.
I prefer small individual hotels, so chose the Castanheiro Boutique Hotel, it was so nice! It had recently had been updated, and had improvements. (they told us at reception!). Our hotel rate included breakfast. we also got a free upgrade to a suite and a free day pass to the spa each!
The hotel had a rooftop pool, bar/café and hot tub. It was lovely with great views! (see the first photo).
We went down the front where the port was, and went on the cable cars. It was mad, as at the bottom it was all sunny, then as you climbed up the mountain it was all cloudy! Unfortunately there had been fires a few weeks before, and you could see a lot of the damage on the mountain. We paid for a round trip, there was also single rides available.
Whilst we was there, we discovered the annual Wine Festival was on! this was such an added bonus. They had all wooden shacks from different companies where you could taste the madeira wines, some for as little as $2. One evening there was live music, there was displays everywhere about the history and making of the wine.
I even tried a cocktail – in a bag!
We also went on a tour to Blandys – a Maderian wine lodge in the centre of town. This was $5.90 each, lasted 45 minutes and you got two samples!! Definitely recommended and how cheap?! Just make sure you book the tour in the correct language for you. We just walked up and booked a tour for later that day.
Also because I thought we would get bored chilling a lot (which we didn’t end up doing that much anyway), I had pre-booked a tour with Viator. It was the Madeira’s cliffs and valleys open top jeep tour.
Madeira was a really nice island, we had some great food, the weather was lovely, and it just felt like nice pace of life, its nice to get away from the rush of a city.