Madeira Hotels Guide

 

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Madeira Tourism Island information

Madeira is a volcanic  tropical island with stunning scenery and a temperate climate. Most visitors to the island will either stay in or visit Funchal, the capital situated on the South east and approximately 23 kms from the dramatic airport. Some of the roads are winding with hairpin bends falling away to the rugged coastline below, but in Funchal there can be traffic jams as the narrow streets built in the 16th try to cope with modern living. Considered an upmarket destination and traditionally appealing to visitors seeking to escape from the northern European winters, many of the original hotels were converted mansions, which have now been joined by an abundance of quality, modern properties. The centre of Funchal has developed accordingly with the original harbour retaining its old fashioned appeal, whilst the newer marina has the smart yachts and fish restaurants. Due to the volcanic rock, there are no beaches in the area apart from the black pebble beach at Praia Formosa, 4 miles west of the town. The public Lido is just outside the centre, but many of the hotels compensate by having large pools of their own. Serious shopping takes place in the old part of town with its maze of cobbled narrow streets selling local handicrafts such as lace, tapestries, wickerwork, shoes and of course, the famous wine. You can visit the wine lodges and sample the wines accompanied by Madeira cake. There are regular markets and newer commercial centres. Sportsmen are well catered for with 2 golf courses just outside Funchal, opportunities for deep sea fishing, and challenging adventure activities such as climbing, canyoning, jeep safaris or walking the famous 'levadas'. Evening entertainment is varied with numerous bars scattered around, discos and nightclubs, the casino complex with its elaborate floor- shows and the hotels themselves. There is an extensive local bus service within a 5- mile radius of Funchal and taxis are plentiful and a good way to see the rest of the Madiera island

 

 

 

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