Madeira: Escape on the Edge of Atlantic

Initially we had set our minds on a secluded getaway in Portugal but interestingly ended up somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal, is situated northwest coast of Africa in the North Atlantic Ocean, it is still quite accessible by a 4 hour flight from London. 

It is known for its namesake wine and warm subtropical climate all year round. The main island of Madeira is volcanic, green and rugged, with high cliffs, pebbly beaches and botanic gardens.

Where to stay

An iconic escape on the edge of the Atlantic Belmond Reid's Palace is set in verdant gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and is the ultimate place to stretch out in the sun and relax. With a long history, this luxury hideaway has honed the art of pampering over the years.

What to Wear

 

 
Although the island has a sub tropical climate, it can get breezy and a bit chilly in the evenings especially with your sun soaked sensitive skin. So it's essential to have lightweight cashmere layering pieces. 
It's a bit tricky to drive around the island as the roads are quite narrow and winding up and down with steep hills, not to mention the never ending tunnels. Nonetheless scenery is breath taking.
Fishing villages Camara De Lobos and Ribeira Brava are situated on the southern coast and a must see.
We drove up north from Ribeira Brava cutting through middle of the island to reach the north shore surf town Seixal. It's quite tricky to get in the water due to rocky landscape. The ideal conditions are when the winter swell brings big waves to cover the rocks. Only rideable if you're an advanced surfer.
Following the north shore to the west, we reached Porto Moniz to enjoy the sea pools. You get to experience the raw power of the waves quite up close but still from a bare minimum safe distance.
Still managed to score some small waves in Machico.
Driving up to the inlands takes you on a higher elevation, the vegetation also beautifully changes.
One of the highlights of the trip was the basket toboggan runs we did on the hills of Funchal, the main city. Basically this is a tradition dating back many years.

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