We really had an amazing time. You are probably here after reading my previous blog post, Madeira – Discovering The World’s Leading Island Destination – Part One. This second post is about the remaining attractions and activities that we did during our trip to Madeira as well as the lovely restaurants we visited thanks to Visit Madeira.
LUNCH AT FAJA DOS PADRES
After a busy morning and having just enjoyed the stunning views from Cabo Girao we were ready for some lunch. We were taken to Faja Dos Padres restaurant to enjoy a lovely meal with yet more stunning views!
Faja Dos Padres Cable Car
To reach this restaurant, we took another cable car. The views over the south coast of Madeira and the small bay of Faja dos Padres as we descended were amazing! The turquoise sea was breathtaking! It took about 4 minutes to get to the bottom from the cliffs above. This cable car provides access to the beach area as well as to the restaurant. It was definitely another unmissable experience.
Faja Dos Padres Restaurant
Arriving at the base station, you take a short stride through numerous wine plantations via a path for about 250 metres. This path is very scenic with a lovely view. Faja dos Padres has a pebble beach front across its entire length. It is accessible only by boat or via the cable car we took, known as the Quinta Grande panoramic lift. There is also a spacious sunbathing area next to the pier. Here, swimmers have lounge chairs and beach umbrellas at their disposal. There are also showers and cabins.
The restaurant was lovely with good food. We got the typical “Bolo do Caco” which is the regular Madeiran bread, made with sweet potato, flour, baking powder, salt and water. This sweet bread is crumpled into a ball, then flattened and cooked in a soft stone frying pan. It is usually served hot with garlic butter and is very yummy!
I ordered marinated salmon as a starter and grilled tuna steak with aromatic herbs and fried maize for my main dish. Nick ordered limpets for the starter and salted tuna fish with red beans for his main dish. We didn’t order dessert because we needed to head off for our next activity. It was a lovely lunch in the afternoon sun in front of the ocean.
AFTERNOON ATTRACTION – WHALE WATCHING
We returned to the cable car to go back up to the top where our driver was waiting for us. Our next stop was the harbour for a fabulous whale watching experience! I have never done something like this before. I have only seen dolphins in the past so I was super excited by the possibility of seeing a whale.
When we arrived, Manuel, our captain, from OnTales was waiting for us. He was with another crew member which was a lovely lady. They took care of us in such a way that made us feel so comfortable and relaxed. They were very friendly, attentive and caring. We had a safety talk first and were told what to expect from this experience. Emanuel told us that they had someone spotting whales from high up in the mountains and that as soon as a sighting was confirmed we would be told where to go to.
We spent a generous time in the water enjoying the lovely sunset. We were incredibly lucky because we did get to see a few whales. We saw a mother with her baby. It was a spectacular view which left us amazed! It was a very special moment. Having spent time observing the whales, we then headed back leisurely towards the shore. We were asked if we wanted to have a swim, so Nick took the opportunity. They provided him with a snorkel as well as towels to dry himself after. He loved the experience! If you are in Madeira and want to do something like this, we can highly recommend OnTales – we really had an amazing time!
DINNER AT NINI DESIGN CENTER
It was then time to return to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We were taken to Design Center Nini Andrade Silva, an elegant, charming and stylish restaurant located in the Fortress of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao in Funchal. The restaurant is at the top, so you take a lift up where there are some breathtaking 360° views of the Bay of Funchal. I loved the design details of the restaurant which were in shades of white and black. The atmosphere was very romantic.
We had a set menu which consisted of a pumpkin soup with cream cheese on top for our starter, duck with chestnut puree and orange sauce for our main and Passionfruit brûlée, served with apple and basil ice-cream for our dessert. We enjoyed the food and although it’s one of the the more expensive restaurants in Madeira, the opportunity to dine in a romantic setting with a mind-blowing view of Funchal sets it apart!
DAY THREE – JEEP SAFARI TOUR
The following day was organised quite differently to the day before. We were going to spend all day on a jeep safari tour of Madeira with Mountain Expedition. Our guided tour and driver for the day was Angelo. He was such a friendly and fun guy to spend the day with and it was one of the best experiences we had during our trip to Madeira.
We explored the most remote corners of this island of contrasts. The region’s mountains and forests bring unforgettable feelings and unique landscapes which extend to the sea. It was an intense trip full of adrenaline! We went high up in the mountains where the temperature really drops – it was so cold that I couldn’t believe we were still in Madeira! It was surreal. The views were amazing and we enjoyed going deep into the forest. We passed by Eira do Serrado, Pico do Arreiro, Ribeiro Frio where you can visit Balcoes. All of these places have stunning views. I even tasted the mountain water which was so good and refreshing!
Porto Da Cruz
Nick and I tried the local Poncha! It tasted nice but it was quite strong!
After exploring up high, Angelo took us through a forest and down the mountain towards the sea level. This was amazing! My adrenaline level was very high for moments as we made the descent! The journey towards Porto Da Cruz was beautiful! I loved it and the view when we finally arrived was spectacular!
Porto Da Cruz is a charming village located on the northeastern side of Madeira. One of the many agricultural products here was sugar cane and today the processing factory is still in full operation mainly producing rum and honey molasses. Angelo invited us for our first Poncha, a traditional alcoholic drink from Madeira which Nick really enjoyed. We had this alongside the “Bolo do Caco” – so yummy!
The views here are breathtaking. It is also famous for surfing, great for swimming as well as walking. I really enjoyed our walk around this area. I am sure you will fall in love with this place like me.
LUNCH AT QUINTA DO FURAO IN SANTANA
Look at this AMAZING view!
After Porto Da Cruz, Angelo took us to our next destination: Santana where we were to have lunch at a wonderful restaurant called Quinta Do Furao. This restaurant has the most STUNNING views! OMG having a meal with this view is an experience you will never forget.
The menu offers a balanced blend of typical Madeira gastronomy and international cuisine, tending to use organic and local products. We had the best “Espetada” that you could ever taste. For those who don’t know what this dish is, it is beef on a skewer (metal stick or laurel stick), seasoned with salt, garlic and bay leaves. The meat is roasted in a brazier and served directly from the skewer. It was delicious. I also had a Cream of Pumpkin soup as a starter and a Passion Fruit and white chocolate Panna Cotta with Red Berry sauce as my dessert. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and meal!
Visiting a Traditional Madeira House
Angelo took us to visit a traditional Madeiran house. This little house was so pretty with so much colour! It was very interesting to get inside the house to see how it looked!
TAKING TO DINNER ON STYLE
Our original plan was to then go to Ponta to Sao Lorenzo but given we had seen so much we decided to head back to the hotel so we had some time to have a shower and get ready for our final dinner of the trip. This was our last night so we were really looking forward to it.
We were picked up from the hotel and taken to the restaurant in this classic car
We were taken back to the hotel in another classic car
What a way to arrive and leave a restaurant! This was definitely a unique experience! The classic cars were organised by the restaurant we were going to. It was so funny how people were waving and looking at us on our journeys. I really enjoyed doing this!
DINNER AT RESTAURANT DO FORTE
My chosen dishes
Nick’s chosen dishes
Restaurante Do Forte, established in 2001, is located at the Historical Fortress of São Tiago (17th Century) and is distinguished by its gastronomical diversity and by its service of excellence. It is a beautiful place to have meal. It was full when we arrived. I was surprised that we were surrounded by British people and so I asked about it. Apparently, they told me that they have a large number of customers that come from the UK every year and always dine there. It was impressive to see such fantastic support.
I must admit we really enjoyed our meal. It was delicious and so well presented. I had creamy vegetable soup for my starter, mushroom ravioli for my main and Amaretto and Hazelnut Tiramisu for dessert.
DAY FOUR – BACK TO LONDON
After such a wonderful dinner, we went back to the hotel. It was our last night in Madeira. It was so sad – the weekend had passed so quickly. We went back to our room to prepare our luggage for our trip home the following day.
In the morning, we woke to some beautiful sun. We went out to the balcony to enjoy the amazing view we had for the last time. We had our breakfast and we were then taken to the airport. We enjoyed every minute of this trip and we left Madeira wanting to come back but next time with our girls. They would love it there!
Our flight back to London was a direct flight organised by British Airways. It was great to have a direct flight. We would like to say THANK YOU so much to Visit Madeira and British Airways for organising such a wonderful trip for us!
This is the end of PART TWO of our trip to Madeira. If you missed PART ONE you can have a read HERE. I really hope that you enjoyed it! 🙂
Have you visited Madeira before? If so, which places did you visit? Have you done any of the attractions we did? What do you think of this trip so far? Can you recommend any other places to visit?
*Disclosure: Nick and I were invited by Visit Madeira to visit Madeira for a press trip. Everything was complimentary for the purpose of this blog post.
Thanks for stopping by,
Love you all ❤️
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