Madeira Journals

A Family trip to Madeira

A June 1998 trip to Madeira by currywm

Wicker Toboggan Sled Ride Photo, Madeira, Portugal More Photos
Quote: Five days enjoying the picturesque sights of Madeira. Part of a larger visit to Portugal that included the Lisboa area, the Algarve and Evora, this stop in the Islands was too brief.

A Family trip to Madeira

Overview

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Cafes in Funchal, touring the highlands, great neighborhood restaurants

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As the price might indicate, this was an excellent hotel. When I discovered that I had forgotten my passport in Cascais, the staff quickly telephoned and handled the recovery much better that I could with limited grasp of the Portugese tongue. The rooms were quite nice and the pool large and very well attended. A high point of the stay was the one night I felt we could afford in the hotel restaurant. (See there.) This hotel is about 2 miles outside Funchal on the road to Camara de Lobos, and has easy access to the buses and a few nice neighborhood restaurants. If you like to spend this kind of money, go for it.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 6, 2000

Madeira Palacio
Estrada Monumental 265
Madeira, Portugal
091/76-41-44

Madeira Palacio

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Restaurant

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This restaurant, which offers a different theme every night, is not inexpensive. We only took advantage of it one night, which was the evening featuring the 'folklorico' show. The food was an excellent seafood buffet, and the entertainment was a six man traditional Portugese band and four pairs of dancers in indigenous garb. The staff was exceptional and few crumbs were allowed to linger on the tablecloth. My son who was 6 at the time was so entertained by the festivities that he expressed displeasure at my leaving the video camera in Illinois. The tab was slightly over 27,000 escudos, which at the time translated to $152.00, but as a one time treat was well worth it. I should note that the price...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 8, 2000

Madeira Palacio
Estrada Monumental
Madeira, Portugal

Papa Manuel's

Restaurant

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Papa Manuel's is a nice neighborhood restaurant that exudes that family owned atmosphere. The waitresses seems to be local high school girls and the food is what could be termed Italian-Madeiran fusion. We had some fantastic octopus pizza, carbonara and ravioli.

It was such and enjoyable and affordable restaurant that we actually went twice. The excellent choices of tintos at reasonable prices was quite a change from the hotel restaurant. Consider one night's bill, with the vinho was 4180 Escudos, just slightly more than the wine alone at the restaurant at the Madeira Palacio.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 7, 2000

Papa Manuel's

Madeira, Portugal

Wicker Toboggan Sled Ride

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Attraction | "The Monte to Funchal Tobaggan"

Wicker Toboggan Sled Ride Photo, Madeira, Portugal
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Long a tradition in the Madeiran capital, the ride down the mountain from Monte to Funchal on (or in) a wicker and wood toboggan is quite an experience. While the toboggans appear to be of an earlier decade, they sit atop wooden skids that are obvously of new wood, as they are oft abraded by the trip down the paved streets. Two people to a toboggan, with two burly Madeirans to handle (stop, in most cases) the conveyance as it slides nearly 2 miles into Funchal. The ride takes nearly 20 minutes and recreates a major mode of travel in the 1800 - early 1900's. On our descent there were four stops to re-wax the skids. While picturesque and quite different, I could not but believe that the burly gentl...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 6, 2000

Wicker Toboggan Sled Ride
Monte Palace/Church
Madeira, Portugal

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Downtown Funchal is not a large place and lends itself well to exploration on foot. A memorable experience was siting at a sidewalk table at the Goldengate Cafe, under the watchful eye of the statue of Jao Goncalves Zarco, enjoying strong Portugese coffee and sweets. My son was mesmerized by the many soldiers walking by, trim and proper in fatigues and berets. The island's military headquarters is just a block away. On the docks, a number of seafood restaurants line the esplanade and the managers will happily appproach you to try and coax you in. If you fancy the unique rich flavor of true Madeira wine, be sure to check into the wine shops where a variety of vintages (some over the...Read More