MADERIA ISLAND LUXURY BEACH COTTAGE AND RURAL HOLIDAY HOME
This is as far as you can get from run down hotels and tourist resorts. Here is a charming village where time has stopped. Stay in this luxury Beach Cottage, a Portuguese romantic manor house where the majestic mountains mirror themselves in the sea, where the lush green forest is broken by impressing water falls. Here you will listen to the waves at night and the singing of the wild Canary birds in the evening. You are five minutes by foot from the sea and natural sea water pools.Casa das Videiras has been described as pure Victorian Romantism or as a world of Harry Potter. The oldest part of the building is from 1792 and the last part from 2014.
As you go up the stairs you enter the main door and face a chapel in front. The ceiling of the chapel is filled with old Chinese plates from the 18th century. To your left is the library with hundreds of old and newer books, an old doll collection, stairs to the upper terrace and exit to the main terrace. In this part you also find a double bed room and a bath room. To the right of the chapel is the upper lounge with four double bed rooms and in suite bath rooms. A staircase surrounded by stone walls goes down to the main lunges, TV room, dining room and kitchen.From the lounge there is access to the front porch.The house fit comfortably 8 persons, and you have daily maid service.
You will have the whole holiday home for yourself. The kitchen is fully equipped. If you buy the ingredients for your breakfast, Natália will cook it for you at no extra charge. We can also provide the breakfast at an extra cost. In the lounge and in the library you have a TV and free WiFi. In the library there is also a desk top computer and a wide collection of books in several languages. The comfortable lounge has a closed fireplace for winter evenings. The dining room with its hand painted tiles and silk walls has a seating for eight. The three bed rooms in the first floor has double beds, each an in suite bath room with shower cabinet. The twin bed room behind the library has an attached bath room. There is an extra toilet in the ground floor.
The bed rooms have all different decoration. The ceramics in bed room 1 is made by my mother, the clay virgin sculpture is by a famous Portuguese artist José Franco. In bed room 2 you find a typical Portuguese bed,
“Cama de Bilros”, the aquarelles are by an Austrian painter who was living in Madeira, and here you also find a typical needle work tapestry. In bed room 3 you have paintings by the Madeira painter Emanuel Aguiar. In bed room 4 there are twin beds.
GARDEN AND PORCH
The garden apartment has one double bed room with an extra single bed in the semi attached changing room, a bathroom, kitchen with a dining table for 6 persons, and a lounge. You get down some steps to get into the garden and this apartment.
In the library you have hundreds of old and some newer books in different languages: English, Norwegian, Swedish, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Latin. Some books are more than 200 years old. On the chest and on the Norse shelf you have Old Norwegian wooden works from the owner’s family. The painting above the door is a Swedish 19th century door decoration; the tapestry is a copy of the medieval Wine Season tapestry. You will also find a painting of the Casa das Videiras before the last restoration. The furniture is old, but recently restored with sheep skin.
Coming into the left part of the house, you find some sculptures made by J. Rego. To the left there is a holder for making tapestry. The painting I bought on the street in Calcutta when I was working in India many years ago. The sofa on the right is a typical Portuguese “conversadeira” with the sofa, mirror and book cupboard. The big cup board in front is made of the Madeira wood “Til”. It comes from the cake shop, Confeiteria Felizberta in Funchal, owned by the early 20th century ex owner of Casa das Videiras. In this room you will also find part of the old kitchen, with its clay and copper pots in front of the oven. Going down to the lounge, you find two guns from the Napoleonic wars, and then some wall sculptures by the Madeira artist Luz Henriques. The tiles on the ground floor walls are all hand painted, and the dining room walls are covered with silk damask. The furniture in the dining room is made of oak, the cupboard old Portuguese and the table, chairs and side board old furniture from Sweden. On the cupboard you also find Chinese ceramic from the Qianlong period. There are also ceramic from the 20th and the 19th century around the house. Some of the paintings are by Heinemann, a Jewish refugee who managed to escape to Sweden before the Second World War. Here you also find some batik pieces that I brought from India. You will also find paintings by Norwegian, Swedish and Polish painters. The wall lamps in the dining room come from the first casino in Madeira, the Quinta Vigia, where earlier the Austrian Empress Sissy had been living.
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Fajã do Rodrigues Footpath
Start: Ribeira do Inferno
Finish: Faja da Ama
Time(going): 3:30 hrs
Time(back): 3:30 hrs
Highest point: 580 m
Lowest point: 580 m
nearby walk: Only by car
This trail begins at Ginjas in the municipality of São Vicente and follows the walkway beside the Fajã do Rodrigues levada or the Fajã da Ama Levada, the two names by which it is known, ending at the source of the levada in Ribeira do Inferno.
ATTENTION: Long tunnel en route, carry a torch; danger of vertigo.
” The village of Funchal was settled, to which the captain gave the name beacause it was a beautiful valley of unusual groves of trees, full of fennel (funcho) to the sea … “
Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent
The municipality of Funchal, the name of the capital of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, is made up of ten parishes, Santa Maria Maior, Sé, São Pedro, Imaculado Coração de Maria, Santa Luzia, São Martinho, Santo António, São Roque, Monte and São Gonçalo. It is one of the oldest municipalities of the region, and it always affirmed itself as having the economic, social and cultural potential of a big city.
It was the first city created by the Portuguese in the Atlantic Ocean.
The city offers multiple leisure activities. One can visit its magnificent gardens, go shopping, get lost in its squares and picturesque streets with pavements of Portuguese mosaic stonework or simply enjoy the pleasant moments of rest in one of the esplanades of the central cafes. It is worth your while to get to know the various museums and city monuments.
- Palace of São Lourenço
- Museum of Quinta das Cruzes
- House-Museum of Frederico Freitas
- Sugar Museum
- Museum of Sacred Art
- Museum of Embroidery
- Story Centre
- Botanical Garden
Santa Clara Convent (15th century)
- Funchal Catedral, built in the 16th century
- St John the Baptist Church
- Monte Church, where the tomb of Emperor Charles I of Austria is located, the site of one of the most famous religious festivals, the festival of Nossa Senhora do Monte on August 15th.
Festivals and Events
The municipality of Funchal is truly rich in cultural events, namely in regard to Carnival, with two Carnival processions, and the Flower Festival, with a parade various floats decorated with the most varied types of flowers and truly colourful arrangements.
New Year’s is something else that should be noted, with special attention to a spectacular fireworks display that can be watched from all the different areas of the capital city.
“…passing by a turn made by the land, they entered a beautiful cove in the beach, where they saw a beautiful and delightful valley covered by trees, where on land they found some old logs blown down by the weather, from which the captain ordered a cross to be made, which was then raised to the top of a tree, giving the name Santa Cruz to the place, where later a noble village was founded.”
Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent.
Located on the south coast of the island of Madeira, with an area of 95.9 km2, the municipality of Santa Cruz includes five parishes: Caniço, Camacha, Gaula, Santa Cruz (municipal seat) and Santo António da Serra. This municipality has demonstrated an ever-increasing growth in terms of population, economy and tourism, and is therefore a location worthy of an obligatory stop.
When you visit Camacha, be sure to see the wide variety of works of art made out of wicker. Because the climate here is a little cooler and more humid, the planting and cultivation of willows was a success, and served as the basis and raw material for the manufacture of objects in wicker, such as baskets, furniture, animals and other decorative pieces.
Since the municipality lies along the coastal strip, local gastronomy is enriched with the tremendous variety of fish and seafood. Grilled limpets, snails, wrasse, red sea bream, hake and grouper are recommended favourites. Other specialities include cornmeal with fava beans and maize cakes cooked in kale leaves. Among the beverages, try the cider from Santo da Serra, made from apples.
Nature and activities:
The municipality of Santa Cruz has a variety of offerings for those who love the sun and beach: Bathing Complex at Palmeiras Beach in Santa Cruz, the Waterpark in Santa Cruz, the only one in the region, and the Complex at Reis Magos Beach in Caniço. Santa Cruz, specifically Santo da Serra, was the cradle of golf in the archipelago of Madeira. The Santo da Serra Golf Club was built here in 1937, being redesigned in 1991 by golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, who designed a new golf course with 27 holes. The Madeira Open, a tournament included in the PGA European Tour, is held every year at this golf course. In Caniço, at Garajau, there is a diving centre open to the lovers of this sport. Dives are organized to give the visitor a view of a new world, the underwater world, with its diversity of species and colours, an activity that shouldn’t be missed. The Garajau Nature Reserve in the same area, where various sea species are protected, is also worth mentioning.
“This village of Machico (head and seat of this
first Captain Tristão) although small, and has few neighbours, is very well laid out, pleasant,
with many vegetable gardens and orchards,
set in the middle of a stream so fresh and superb”
Jerónimo Dias Leite, 16th Cent
The municipality of Machico is considered a place that is truly important in the unfolding of the historic evolution of Madeira, because it was here, on the beach of Machico that João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz disembarked for the first time, in the 15th century. Besides this, there is also the legend of Machim, according to which the English Robert Machim and his lover Ana d’Arfet arrived here, because of a change of course caused by a storm, and where later they died. The curiosity of the story resides in the fact that the two lovers would have been the first two to set foot on the island and that their tombs were found by the Portuguese navigators; the origin of the name of the municipality is therefore derived from “Machim”.
The municipality presently has five parishes, Porto da Cruz, Caniçal, Machico (municipal seat), Santo da Serra and Água de Pena.
The Whale Museum, located in Caniçal, relates all the history of whale hunting in Madeira, which began in 1940 and ended in 1986. This activity had a dominant role in the region, which led to the creation of a factory that produced by-products from whales. Therefore, the museum portrays all this involvement using photographs, artefacts, miniature models of boats and the factory. The belvedere of Pico do Facho is one of the attractions of Machico, providing a fabulous view over the bay of Machico. It is said that the name of this lookout owes itself to the fact that, to warn the population of occasional attacks by pirates or corsairs, torches (fachos) would be lit on this hilltop.
The Parish Church of Machico is located in a square, in front of the town hall, a building ordered built by the family of the donatary-captains. It dates back to the 15th century and beginning of the 16th century, still maintaining today its original features of the end of the Gothic period final gothic characteristics and the Portuguese style of architecture developed under D. Manuel I. Inside, the beautiful gilded carved altars are outstanding. The fort of São João Baptista, next to the wharf of Machico, is strategically situated high up on a cliff. It was built by the order of the Governor of Madeira, captain general Duarte Sodré Pereira, in the year 1708. It is also called the Forte do Desembarcadouro (Fort of Departure), because the island’s discoverers disembarked close by. The interior contains a neo-Gothic chapel, dedicated to the saint which gives the name to the fort. In later times, it served as a hospital and, then as a holiday retreat for children from the convent of Santa Clara in Funchal. The Piedade chapel, in Caniçal, deserves full mention, for it is situated on the top of a small hill. The year in which it was built is not known for sure, but the chapel is thought to be from the 17th century. On the third Sunday of September, the festival of Nossa Senhora da Piedade is celebrated, when the image is taken in a procession by sea to the base of the rocky slope, and the rest of the route is completed on foot.
Nature and Activities:
In the municipality of Machico there are various walks that are available for those who love nature and hiking. Among them we mention the Levada da Portela or the Levada do Castelejo in Porto da Cruz, the Levada do Caniçal and the trail at Ponta de São Lourenço, in Caniçal. The overlook of Portela is also recommended, because of the dazzling view over Porto da Cruz. In the municipality there are various places to go swimming, but Machico beach, the little beach (Praínha) of Caniçal, the pools of Porto da Cruz and the beach of Lagoa in Porto da Cruz are a few that stand out.
«(…) uma freguesia de invocação de Santa Ana (…) são terras de lavrança, de muito pão e criações; tem muita castanha e noz, e muitas águas e fructos de toda a sorte».
Gaspar Frutuoso, Séc. XVI
Located on the north coast of the island, the municipality of Santana is made up of six parishes: Arco de São Jorge, São Jorge, Ilha, Santana (municipal seat), Faial and São Roque do Faial, being elevated to the status of municipality in 1835. Its name is derived from Sant’Ana, the patron saint of the municipality. For many years, the main economic activities carried out in the municipality were essentially directed towards agriculture, thanks to the nature of the land, which was favourable to the growing of cereals, sugar cane, vineyards, horticultural products and fruit trees. Faial’s wine and custard apples are worthy of special mention.
One of the obligatory stops in the municipality of Santana is the Madeira Theme Park, one of the main tourist attractions. This infrastructure is located close to the centre of the city of Santana, not only transmitting the historical evolution of Madeira, but exploring as well the natural aspect, with pedagogical contents and activities, perpetuating the ethnography of Madeira in terms of handicrafts, traditions, habits and customs through pavilions and open-air exhibits.
Next to the City Hall, the Santana Municipal Government has placed at the disposal of visitors some examples of one of the houses characteristic of the region, the so-called “Santana House”, an A-frame house made out of wood and covered with a thatched roof.
Although the various regional dishes are prepared in almost all areas of Madeira, it is worth mentioning that Santana is particularly known for its wheat soup (sopa de trigo), a thick soup that served to sustain the men who worked in the fields all day.
Festivals and Events:
Custard Apple Festival in Faial Regional Folklore Festival, known as “48 Horas of Dancing” At Carnival, be sure to see the Festa dos Compadres.
Nature and activities:
Rocha do Navio Nature Reserve, Ribeiro Frio, Queimadas, Caldeirão Verde, bathing area at the mouth of the Faial brook. Don’t pass up the chance to visit Pico Ruivo, the highest point of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, at 1861 m elevation. The footpath begins at Achada do Teixeira, going up to the summit of Pico Ruivo, returning to the starting point. It is about 3 km each way (6km there and back) and can be easily done in 3 hours.w