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Suggestions for places to stay on Madeira, but not Funchal? And driving?

Suggestions for places to stay on Madeira, but not Funchal? And driving?

Oct 29th, 2014, 08:29 AM
  #21  
 
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Our trip along the north coast in May was under overcast skies and light rain, with cool temperatures. When we got back to Funchal around 4:30pm, it was warm and sunny and we had a swim before getting changed for dinner.

It's amazing how different it was, like north and south Tenerife.
Rubicund is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 08:32 AM
  #22  
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We will keep our fingers crossed about the weather!

This past August United had flights to Europe for around $800RT (!) if you departed by mid-March. We had heard a lot about Portugal so decided to book. Saw pictures of Madeira and that did it!

The scenery is what attracted us to Madeira in the first place.

The cottage I'm looking at has a covered porch looking over the mountains and ocean. Near Boaventura which looks tiny, but we have the option of dinners in. And Sao Vicente not too far away.

And if it is raining, what's the difference if we are staying there or driving there
wrenwood is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 08:37 AM
  #23  
 
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Just for some personal perspective on the weather... I've been to Madeira at least ten times (I lost count). Generally we visit in Late Jan to early March, and once in July and always stay for 1 week at a time. Out of all these trips, I can honestly say we've only had lousy weather all week on 1 occasion (and that was the year of the disasterous storm). Funchal bay and the southwest coast has a distinct micro-climate and is generally warm and dry the year round, even in winter time when it might be cool and wet in the north of the island.

The mountains and the north coast are completely different and get the worst of the winter weather. The mountains ofter get submerged in thick cloud during high summer.
Gordon_R is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 08:50 AM
  #24  
 
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I believe you, Gordon. A friend of ours went one week later for the Festival de las Flores, and she had gorgeous weather all the time. We just had back luck.
MyriamC is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 10:23 AM
  #25  
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The main benefit I see of Funchal over the north coast if it rains is there would be more to do in Funchal????

But isn't it only about a 30 min drive to Funchal from Boaventura? Good roads?
wrenwood is offline  
Oct 29th, 2014, 10:56 AM
  #26  
 
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Yes, it's only a 30 min. drive.
MyriamC is offline  
Oct 30th, 2014, 04:13 AM
  #27  
 
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A bit longer in my experience. You can reach Sao Vincente from the centre of Funchal in just over 30 mins, so say 50 mins to Boaventura. The roads in that direction are good (mainly 2-lane divided highway) until you get close to Ponta Delgada.
Gordon_R is offline  
Oct 30th, 2014, 04:40 AM
  #28  
 
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That's correct. I checked viamichelin for Funchal-Sao Vincente.
MyriamC is offline  
Oct 30th, 2014, 03:39 PM
  #29  
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So if we stay in Boaventura for 5 nights, top day trips?
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Oct 31st, 2014, 04:25 AM
  #30  
 
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>>So if we stay in Boaventura for 5 nights, top day trips?<<

Hard to limit myself to just 5, but (in no particular order)br />
1. Along the north coast road stopping at Sao Vincente to see the village and the caves, then on to Porto Moniz - see the rock pools and the huge waves and have a seafood lunch. The north coast road has been upgraded massively in the past 15 years and is now heavily tunneled, but you can see remnants of the precipitous old road clinging to the cliffs. Return over the Paul da Serra plateau turning left to go back down to the coast through Fanal.

2. If weather is good, head up to Ribeiro Frio in the mountains and do a levada walk (an easy one is to Balcoes). Then back in the car and drive up to the summit of Pico do Arieiro for amazing views.

3. Head down to Funchal old town and take the cable car up to the tropical gardens at Monte. Take a toboggan ride back down the hill or return by cable car. You could also take another cable car over to the Botannic gardens as an alternative way back.

4. Head along the south west coast stopping at small towns and villages along the way, maybe visit the Casa Das Mudas art gallery near Calheta.

5. Drive to the far eastern tip of the island and walk out to the end of the São Lourenço cliffs. A fairly strenuous walk but worth it for the views.
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Oct 31st, 2014, 09:10 AM
  #31  
 
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Don't miss the high cliffs between Seixal and Porto Moniz. They are spectacular with lots of waterfalls coming from the mountains. If you drive the old road (Antiga 101), you can drive under the waterfalls. The road isn't always open, though.
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