Posts from "January, 2013"

Birdwatching Nature Tours in Madeira

Any one can do Birdwatching in Madeira Island, it’s healthy and is an activity that can be practiced all around the year. Using binoculars or a telescope allows closer observation and avoids disturbing the birds. Whilst you can do birdwatching in Madeira at any time of the day or night, but the best conditions are often early morning or late evening, depending on bird species.
Madeira Islands offer high ornithological potentially, not by number of species, but by quality. During migration period it’s possible to watch less common bird species, most of that species find in Madeira Island a great resting spot.
Most of Madeira birdwatching places are easy accessible, but some places are harder to access, and you should consider to hire a qualified guide.

You can check and book Birdwatching and Nature Tours in Madeira with a qualified guide here:

Night life in Madeira

Madeira has a great nightlife available for tourists and locals, with many locations for those looking for an excellent night out, with locations such as a Casino, cinemas, nightclubs, pubs, local and festive events, bars, night clubs, dinner shows, concerts, themed entertainment evenings, etc.

Due to the fact that there are more locals than tourists in Madeira and as locals happen to study and work during the week, therefore the nightlife occurs more during weekends and national holidays.

Not only does Madeira offer great nightlife locations, but these locations also offer great alcoholic drinks such as: Poncha (a local strong punch), Nikita (beer foam mixed with vanilla ice cream and pieces of Pineapple) or Pé de Cabra (Sugar mixed with dark beer, dry wine and nesquick).

If you like nightlife, then the casino is your door to enjoying nightlife, as it offers lots of fun with its slot machines, gambling games etc, dinner shows on Friday and weekend evenings, nightclubsand much more… Also nearby the casino you can find various locations famous for their nightlife, such as the night club called Fugitivo famous for its samba shows performed by Brazilian dancers.

Madeira Island may be small, but it still offers a vast program when it comes to nightlife. When visiting Madeira, we hope you enjoy your night out!

AQUAPARK – Santa Cruz – Madeira

Madeira now has an Aqua Park available in Santa Cruz, this aquatic theme park includes great facilities, plenty to do and great prices for all the family to have a great day out.

Aqua Park in Santa Cruz, Madeira

The Aqua Park is divided into two zones, radical zone and the leisure zone. The radical zone includes water slides, speed lanes, quick river and the black hole. The leisure zone includes a swimming pool, Aqua Land, lazy river, restaurant and bar, Aqua Shop (shop), games room, spaces destined for events and a room for birthday parties.

The facilities included in the Aqua Park are the changing rooms, locker rooms, infirmary and a solarium.

The Aqua Park presents great price ranges. For pricing info please check on the Aquapark web site:

The Aqua Park has a capacity for over 1000 people, enough space for locals and tourists to spend a great day out.

If you’re looking to make the most out of your stay in Madeira, then we recommend that you come and visit the aquatic theme park, Aqua Park in Santa Cruz.


Traditonal Drinks in Madeira Island

Madeira is an island that offers a range of alcoholic drinks that have become a part of Madeira´s tradition. Drinks such as “Pé de Cabra”, “Nikita”, and “Poncha”. These alcoholic drinks are traditionally served at bars, restaurants and at local and festive events.

Poncha is one of the most famous alcoholic drinks available in Madeira.

Poncha - Madeira Traditional Drink

The drink is made with a specially carved object from wood that mixes the ingredients. The ingredients to make a poncha are pure sugar cane spirit, honey, lemon juice (or if you prefer you can replace lemon juice for orange or passion fruit juice).

Pé de Cabra is an alcoholic drink that consists of sugar, powdered chocolate or nesquick, dark beer and dry wine; it could also contain lemon and ice.

Nikita is a traditional drink in Madeira, which is well known with locals. The traditional Nikita contains vanilla or pineapple ice cream mixed with pineapple juice, pineapple pieces and beer. The juice and ice cream are mixed until it becomes creamy. For those who can´t drink or don´t like alcoholic drinks there is a non alcoholic nikita, made with everything but beer.

Sidra is an alcoholic drink which is made from fermented apple juice. This alcoholic drink is well known around Madeira and traditionally comes from Santo António da Serra.

Ginja is traditional liqueur from Curral das Freiras in Madeira. This liqueur consists of cherries, Grape spirit and sugar.

You can find these traditional drinks and more in Madeira.

If you’re into trying out new alcoholic drinks, then come and try Madeira´s!

Black Sandy Beaches in Madeira

The dark sand beaches in Madeira Island are famous for their rocky origin, which before, with sea action, is transformed into black sand.
You can locate four black sand beaches around Madeira Island: Praia da laje, Praia do Club Naval do Seixal, Praia Formosa, Prainha and Praia da Lagoa in Porto da Cruz.

Prainha, Caniçal Madeira sand beach

Praia da Laje, also known as Jamaica, this black sand beach is located on the north part of the island, close to Seixal. With good installations such as open air showers, changing rooms, snack bar and lifeguard surveillance during the summer.
Praia do Club Naval do Seixal is a Great quality beach located near the Seixal´s harbor, not only does it offer a black sand beach, but also a large natural swimming pool and with a range of facilities, easy access to sea and lifeguard surveillance during the summer.
Praia Formosa is located in the centre of Funchal and is known as one of the largest free public beaches on Madeira Island. It consists of four sand and pebble mixed beaches that include various facilities and also lifeguard surveillance.
Prainha is one of most well known black sand beaches in Madeira Island, can be located in Caniçal, near Ponta de São Lorenço. The beach has easy access for the handicap, great facilities, lifeguard surveillance, a bar and restaurant.
Praia da Lagoa – Porto da Cruz is probably the best sand beach in the north of Madeira. It’s recommended for swimming and also surfing, with a newly renovated sundeck with good sea access, lifeguard surveillance throughout the summer and offering good facilities.
If black sand beaches isn´t what you want, Madeira still offers great golden sand beaches, like the famous golden beach of Porto Santo.
We hope you enjoy using our dark sand beaches! Make the most of your vacation in Madeira Island.

Monte Sledges | Toboggan Ride in Madeira

In the Monte, you will be able to find a traditional form of transport, known as, Monte Sledges. The Monte Sledges are made of wicker and are powered by two sledge drivers called “Carreiros”.

The Monte sledge is powered down the steep slope that connects the Monte with Funchal, giving locals and tourists an adrenaline rush and an unforgettable experience unlike any other in the world.

The Monte Sledges appeared in 1850 and are still used up to this very day, attracting thousands of tourists every year.

The Sledge drivers dress in their traditional clothing that consists of white cotton clothes and a hat made of straw, also they use rubber soled boots, so that they are able stop the sledge when necessary.

The course has a length of 2km and takes a total of 10 minutes to reach Funchal. The Monte Sledge can reach speeds up to 48km/hour. The Monte Sledges will give an adventurous, but safe journey down the steep slope.

The Monte Sledges are located at the bottom of the stairs that lead to the church of Our Lady of Monte.

If going to Funchal by the Monte Sledge from the Monte, then you could use the Madeira Cable Car.  And don´t forget that Madeira Rural has available various accommodations in the Monte and Funchal.

Madeira Rural wishes you the best on your journey on the Monte Sledges and hope you enjoy your stay here in the tropical Madeira Island.

Madeira Cable Car

The Madeira cable car will take you from the old part of Funchal to Monte in around 15 minutes. There are 39 seven-seater cars that are always circulating from Funchal to Monte.
The cable car has come to replace the oldest and most traditional trips that were made by the original train to Monte. The Madeira cable car was inaugurated in November 2000, and has had much success. Showing locals and tourist’s breathtaking scenery and beautiful landscapes of Funchal and concluding with the beauty of Monte.
The safety of the cable cars include speed control, opening and closing operations of the grips, are monitored and controlled by electronic safety circuits, to ensure a smooth operation and maximum safety.
The Madeira cable car is opened daily except on Christmas day, from 10h00 until 18h00, last passenger loading at 17h45. The prices range from 5€ to 15€; a child pays 5€ to go one way on the cable car and 7,50€ for a round trip; an adult pays 10€ to go one way and 15€ for a round trip. Children under the age of 4 go for free.
And if you don´t wish to return to Funchal from Monte then you can take a ride on the Monte sledges. These sledges are controlled by two sledge drivers that will take on an adrenaline rush ride down Monte to Funchal, giving locals and tourists an unforgettable experience.
If looking for accommodations around Funchal or Monte, Madeira Rural has several accommodations for you!
Madeira Rural wishes you the best on your vacation whether it’s in Funchal or Monte.

The Lime Route – Museum Centre

The lime route museum center is located in the municipality of São Vicente; this municipality contains several accommodations from Madeira Rural that you are able to reserve.

The lime route museum centre encloses an area close to 12 000m2, in which you will be able to find beautiful breathtaking landscapes, two limestone quarries, a lime kiln and other constructions used to support cattle-raising and farming, such as haylofts, cultivation fields and levadas “Water channels”, very typical of Madeira´s landscape.
The lime route museum is integrated in a rural environment preserving some building and characteristics typical of Madeira´s rural landscape, with its farm and cattle raising structures.
The limestone from the quarries had several uses; it was used in stone pavements, fonts, millstones, lime production, along with other uses. After it was transported to the lime kiln house, the limestone was burned to produce lime which was used in mortars, walls whitening, soil stabilizer and for funeral practices to prevent infections and diseases spreading.
From the 1st of April until the 31st of September, the museum centre is opened from 10h00 to 18h00. The 1st of October until 31st of March, the museum is opened from 10h00 until 17h00. The museum centre is opened from Tuesday until Sunday.
Come and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes that exist in the lime route museum centre!

Walking from Achada da Teixeira to Highest Peaks (Pico Ruivo) in Madeira

Madeira Walks | Trekking | Hiking Pico Ruivo. This trekking path starts at Achada da Teixeira (Santana) until the Highest Peaks (Pico Ruivo).

An easy walk that takes sbout 30 minutes until the hightest peak. Pico Ruivo is 1,861 metres (6,106 ft) high. It has a stunning view over the mountains. A place you must visit in Madeira Island.

Madeira Trekking path from Achada da Teixeira (Santana) to Highest Peaks (Pico Ruivo) Map: