Tag Archives: Madeira Island

Weekend in Porto Santo – Day 3


Sunrise Walk


Challenge of the Day: 

invigorating walk of the 9 km beach while sun rises. A must do! The landscape looks like a movie set, with an impressive natural light (the photographer is speaking). Stunning blond-golden sand! We can only hear the sound of waves. Finally quiet!                            

First picture of the article: a wink to spaghetti westerns, my silhouette draped in a kikoi (sarong / scarve from Kenya). The bottom of the air is fresh. Video above: the start of walking, the day is struggling to break through. And video below: 1h30-2h later, how the light changed!   

Ditto for the two below pictures of the beach: the round trip. Between: the photo of the historic pier of Porto Santo. I feel being like on a Florida or California beach. No time to swim, I have to go to my spa appointment!

madeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-atlantic-ocean-beach-4-photo-mademoiselle-le-kmadeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-atlantic-ocean-beach-5-photo-mademoiselle-le-k madeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-atlantic-ocean-beach-6-photo-mademoiselle-le-k


The Thalasso Spa


The Baleira Thalasso Spa

Perfect timing to relax my muscles after two hours of sport. Facing the beautiful beach (1), the Baleira Thalasso Spa is the only thalassotherapy center of Porto Santo and one of the best equipped of Portugal too (photos above and below).   

After a quick shower, I was guided to the saltwater bath heated to 37 ° (3 & 4) and a cold water course with powerful jets (much like the one I tested in Bali).   

Then I joined my smiling therapist in swimsuits, for a tonic “Vichy massage”! Fantastic: the best massage under (seawater) jets I’ve ever had, you feel the fat take off (LOL). After: no more tension throughout the body … or in the head! Grazie mille to my Italian therapist!


Inside the Island


Stunning Landscapes

After lunch, I’m on my way for a private tour in 4×4 of the island, with the Lazermar Travel Agency, a business run by a very professional and sympathetic family, passionated about its island! I have a less than 3 hours before my departure by ferry to Madeira!      

Check out the landscape diversity of this small island of 42 km (photos above and below)!         

I am wowed by the geological curiosities: above photo and in the center of the island, the ground covered with fossils of sea snails. Small vineyards enclosed by stone walls. And heritage with the old windmills near the Miradouro da Portela. I also visited a traditional house dating from the 18th century … Some of the landscapes remind of Africa.

madeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-discovering-the-island-outdoors-coastline-11-photo-mademoiselle-le-k  madeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-discovering-the-island-outdoors-coastline-12-photo-mademoiselle-le-kmadeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-discovering-the-island-outdoors-coastline-14-photo-mademoiselle-le-kmadeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-discovering-the-island-outdoors-coastline-16-photo-mademoiselle-le-kmadeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-discovering-the-island-outdoors-coastline-6-photo-mademoiselle-le-kmadeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-discovering-the-island-outdoors-coastline-2-photo-mademoiselle-le-kmadeira-porto-santo-weekend-day-3-discovering-the-island-outdoors-coastline-route-4-photo-mademoiselle-le-k

Departure to Madeira


Ferry during 2:15

Rushed arrival at the harbour at the end of boarding (lol). I don’t have time to take few stuff in my suitcase to change me during the crossing. I am full of sand and dust (the joys of the outdoors)!                    

Because once arrived in Funchal (Madeira), I go straight to dinner at the Design Center Nini Andrade Silva (last picture of the article: the building on the left is the Design Center Nini Andrade Silva).                           

During the crossing, I stayed on a bridge to fix the horizon and I saw dolphins! And booster shot: the ad on the Porto Santo Line ferry: “Save Our Ocean, don’t throw litter in the sea”! See you in Funchal …


Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.


Visit Madeira, Visit PortugalVila Baleira Thalasso Spa & Lazermar Travel Agency


Many thanks to Visit Madeira and Visit Portugal for this wonderful discovery of the island of Porto Santo. Thanks also to my awesome therapist at The Vila Baleira Thalasso Spa and the Lazermar Travel Agency for the fantastic tour of the island! As always these are my opinions.

Madeira: Nature, Road Trip and Dinner At The Vine

Madeira-Portugal-Pico do Areeiro-Mountain-Jeep Tour-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Pico do Areeiro

Madeira-Portugal-Pico do Areeiro-Mountain-Jeep Tour-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

9 a.m. Departure From Funchal In Jeep

to Pico do Areeiro (1818 m), the third highest peak of the Madeira island (above photo). Different landscapes on the road (photo 1). And the view is stunning when we come to Pico do Areeiro! I think to serenely enjoy (-to avoid tourists-), you need to be there really early in the morning.

We get into the Jeep to go to Ribeiro Frio, for an easy 45 minute walk that follows the Levada de Serra do Faial. The Levadas are canals built between 1461 and 1966, to carry water to irrigate cropland. We get into the Laurissilva Forest unchanged since Prehistoric times (photo montage below). Lovely panorama of the valley from the Ribeira da Metade point of vue (on the photo montage below: the penultimate picture)!

Madeira-Portugal-Pico do Areeiro-Ribeiro Frio-Laurisilva Forest-Jeep Tour-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Driving To Santana

Madeira-Portugal-Road To Santana-Jeep Tour-4-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Heading To The North Coast of Madeira

to visit SantanaThe road runs along the ocean! And I love Ocean! Steep coast, hills that plunge in water: bright green on the ultramarine blue with emerald hues. Happiness! We cross Faial, one of the first places to have been populated in the North coast.

Madeira-Portugal-Road To Santana-Jeep Tour-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K Madeira-Portugal-Road To Santana-Jeep Tour-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Returning to Funchal

Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

My Favorite Scenery!

I also love this part of the road leading to the most Eastern point of the island of Madeira. Where you can find the nature reserve Ponta de São Lourenço. Desert scenery and vegetation tormented by strong winds! I feel like in Sergio Leone movies… a palm tree here and there and this incredible light!

Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Miradouro Ponta de São Lourenço

Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K               Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-4-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-5-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le KMadeira-Portugal-View From Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Dinner @ The Vine

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-The-Vine-Hotel-Rooftop-Terrace-Bar-Swimming-Pool-Dinner-@-UVA-Restaurant-And-Festival-do-Atlantico-Fireworks-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Back To Funchal In Late Afternoon

A quick stop at the Pestana Casino Park and now I’m ready to go dinner to UVA, the restaurant of The Vine hotel. I’m very excited to discover the decoration of the hotel designed by Nini Andrade Silva.

I could spend hours on the lovely terrace deck, bathed in a golden light and views over the rooftops of Funchal (photo below). At night it’s even more beautiful! Excellent fish and vegetables at the UVA restaurant (on the last photo montage. The restaurant pictured in the penultimate photo montage is not the UVA).

Then we enjoy the Festival do Atlantico‘s fireworks from the lazy terrace of The Vine (photo montage below). Followed by a glass (no poncha for me!) to the Venda Velha. Followed by a music vintage disco … LOL!

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-The-Vine-Hotel-Rooftop-Terrace-Bar-Swimming-Pool-Dinner-@-UVA-Restaurant-And-Festival-do-Atlantico-Fireworks-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le KMadeira-Portugal-Funchal-The-Vine-Hotel-Dinner-@-UVA-Restaurant-And-Festival-do-Atlantico-Fireworks-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-The-Vine-Hotel-Dinner-@-UVA-Restaurant-Food-Meals-4-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.


Visit Madeira, Visit Portugal & TAP 

Jeep safari tours : Mountain Expedition


Many thanks for this beautiful invitation to Visit Madeira, Visit Portugal and TAP. As always all my opinions are mine.

Madeira: Funchal, Gardens, Dolphins, Poncha &…

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Mercado-dos-Lavradores-Market-Flowers-Fish-Food-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Mercado dos Lavradores

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Mercado-dos-Lavradores-Market-Flowers-Fish-Food-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Early Morning: The Covered Market of Funchal

First surprise, the profusion of tropical flowers at the market entry: the same flowers as in Africa and the West Indies. Ditto for certain fruits and vegetables, such as christophine: one of my favorite vegetables in the Caribbean!

Two discoveries: the custard apple that looks like a green apple pine (on the above photo montage). In fact, a variant of soursop. And second discovery, the curuba or banana poka or banana passion fruit (the first photo of this post).

Part of the market is dedicated to fish. On the photo below: huge Atlantic tuna (I thought tuna was a Mediterranean fish, oops!) … Fish of all sizes and colors, seafood … and many tourists.

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Mercado-dos-Lavradores-Market-Flowers-Fish-Food-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Santa Maria Street

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Santa-Maria-Street-Old-Town-Street-Art-Paintings-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

In The Old Town,

close to the Mercado dos Lavradores, the Santa Maria Street houses the art project “Arte Portas Abertas project”: a collection of doors painted by a hundred artists from Madeira (photo montage above). 

At lunchtime, the street comes alive with many terraces and restaurants. In the evening, it’s crowded. There are a myriad of bars, where you can taste the famous Poncha, mixture of aguardente de cana, honey and lemon. You can also taste one of the different versions with fruit juices … Super strong cocktail: watch out sensitive stomach! LOL!

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Cable-Car-To-Monte-and-Monte-Palace-Tropical-Garden-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Funchal: City View From Above 

A five minute walk from Santa Maria street, we take the cable car to the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, owned by the Berardo Foundation. On 70,000 m², more than 100,000 of plants, some from the Laurel forest (Laurissilva Forest, endemic in Madeira), plus a Japanese garden and a Chinese garden (photo above).

In the Monte Palace Museum, I discovered “African Passion”, the Berardo collection of stone sculptures from Zimbabwe artists (photo montage below, right side) and the “Mother Nature Secrets” space with 700 samples minerals.

In the gardens, I really enjoyed the Klein Blue panel (of Four Elements of Nature), representing water and the collection of Azuleros (ceramic tiles) from the 15th to the 20th centuries scattered in different walks. I couldn’t see all of them (time flies!). My advice, plan 1 or 2 hours to visit without rushing.

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Cable-Car-To-Monte-and-Monte-Palace-Tropical-Garden-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Swimming With The Dolphins

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Dolphin-Watching-Boat-Trip-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K.

Departure From The Marina

Funchal. I do not know why, but I love everything relates to the sea! Hence the excitement, a kind of trance, winning the broad in the zodiac, with our guides, the captain and a friendly dynamic biologist (photo below black and white). I do my second or third Periscope (live stream)! So sorry, no great pictures of our friends the dolphins, I was filming!

When a pod of dolphins (really impressive in water) swim near the zodiac, water is put to you. The zodiac retains his speed to follow the dolphins (and they go fast) while you hang with a firm hand the rope that connects you to the boat, you dive with a mask and snorkel with nice waves on the surface!

Under water the perception of speed is stronger than on the boat: you’re pulled by the boat, it’s really physical. We were only two girls to swim! Another important detail if you are a woman, put on a one-piece suit (not a trikini)! I spent my time trying to keep my bikini bottom, which partly ruined the show. I even had to don a wetsuit! Yep!

But the little I’ve seen in the water is magic! And yet I have already dived surrounded by seals (magic too!). If you go to Madeira, definitely you have to swim with dolphins, especially if you are respectful of nature: here, they do not feed the dolphins to swim near the boat! Dolphins come and go as they please … which also means that you can not see any ; )

Rota dos Cetaceos

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Dolphin-Watching-Boat-Trip-and-Lunch-@-Riso-Restaurant-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le KMadeira-Portugal-Funchal-Dolphin-Watching-Boat-Trip-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K.Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Dolphin-Watching-Boat-Trip-4-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Break @ The Pestana Casino Park

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Pestana-Casino-Park-Hotel-Restaurant-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

The dolphins trip ended, I go get changed at the hotel and then continue with the interview of the interior designer Nini Andrade Silva.

Photo above: the restaurant’s hall of Pestana Casino Park has a 70s and 80s vintage touch. It could have been used as a set for a movie of Jean-Pierre Melville …

Dinner @ The Restaurante do Forte

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Dinner-@-Restaurante-do-Forte-Forte-de-Sao-Tiago-Near-Old-Town-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

The Surprise!

An awesome cabriolet from the 30s picks up us at the hotel to drop us off at Restaurante do Forte, located in the São Tiago Fort close to Santa Maria Street. The setting is enchanting with a view overlooking the Ocean from the ramparts!

We ended the evening tasting the different versions of poncha in the Venda Velha, a nice bar of Santa Maria street, LOL! To be continued

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-Dinner-@-Restaurante-do-Forte-Foorte-de-Sao-Tiago-Near-Old-Town-Food-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.


Visit Madeira, Visit Portugal & TAP


Many thanks for this beautiful invitation to Visit Madeira, Visit Portugal and TAP. As always all my opinions are mine.