Tag Archives: Travel

Portugal, Madeira: 24 Hours in Funchal

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Funchal Express 

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Dinner at the Design Center Nini Andrade Silva  

Arrival in Funchal: just down from the Ferry (from Porto Santo), I am facing the entrance of the Design Centre Nini Andrade Silva, located at the end of the dock (photo 1 of the photo-montage above). I’d visited the building with the interior designer Nini Andrade Silva, during the work. What a surprise to now discover the different spaces with her iconic design furnitures and items! Awesome!

I really like the outdoor café (first photo of the post and photo below) and the black and white graphic restaurant with a 360 degree view, of the ocean and Funchal (photo-montage above). The atmosphere is really nice with a tasty cuisine and friendly team. My only downside: I look like a scarecrow after my long outdoors day in Porto Santo, plus the ferry over for more than two hours (lol)!

And my camera has no more battery, bad! Fortunately I Bob (Marley) saved me! There is live music in one of the spaces (videos below) and I feel more relaxed. An island without Bob is no longer an island, right?

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Breakfast at the Meliá

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Oops, It’s Public Holiday!

Slow wake-up and breakfast at the Meliá Madeira Mare. I planned checking out cool shops of local designers for you (and me!). But everything is closed. So I comfortably lay near the swimming pool facing the ocean. Then I will have a lunch at The Vine and a guided tour of the historical center of Funchal.

Lunch at the Uva Restaurant

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The Return

I go to The Vine, another hotel designed by Nini Andrade Silva. I’ll end up to know all of them at least in Portugal (lol)! During the Festival do Atlantico, I had dinner at the excellent Uva Restaurant & Wine Bar (with a French chef) and then we watched the beautiful fireworks on the terrace.

Once more, the restaurant kept its promises. Great lunch! The food looks like paintings! Everything is delicious and the service is impeccable. I really enjoy the soothing views of the city and harbor. It feels good. The Vine and the Design Centre Nini Andrade Silva, are my two favorite places in Funchal!

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The Walk in the Historical Center

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More and Less Two Hours

before leaving the city to the Cristiano Ronaldo airport. So I joined one of the guides of History Tellers (an initiative of the University of Madeira Students’ Union (AAUMa). They offer circuits through the history of Madeira”. In addition to learn about Madeira, you will help students struggling financially.

I’ve already visited the historical center. But I have fun to rediscover it with a “documented eye”. Last time, I didn’t notice some doors and facades cafés in (or near) Santa Maria street, like the ones below. Pictured right: the famous Rainha do Fado,Amália Rodrigues. To read my previous articles on Funchal and Madeira, click HERE. 

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Photos: © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations 

Visit Madeira, Visit PortugalDesign Centre Nini AndradeThe VineMeliá Madeira Mare & History Tellers 

Related posts: HOTEL REVIEWS  &  DESTINATIONS

Many thanks to Visit Madeira and Visit Portugal for this beautiful invitation. Thanks also to the teams of the Design Centre Nini Andrade Silva, The Vine Hotel and Meliá Madeira Mare. As always these are my opinions.

Weekend in Porto Santo – Day 3

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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!

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The Thalasso Spa

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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!

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Inside the Island

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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.

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Departure to Madeira

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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 …

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Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations 

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

Related Posts : DESTINATIONSHOTEL REVIEWS & BEAUTY

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.

Porto Santo: Diving & Dolphins – Day 2

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Good Morning Porto Santo!

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My First Nitrox Diving

This morning, no time to hang out on the beach. I go to Rhea Dive to try my 7 mm wetsuit and equipment. I don’t travel with my heavy equipment anymore. The diving center has a wide range of impeccable equipment to rent or purchase.

Two other confirmed divers join us. Miguel and Milton, the Padi instructors, drive us to the Porto Santo harbour (below photo 1). We change here (2). Not a sound, as if the whole island was still asleep! I’m a excited I will dive Nitrox for the first time! I’ve never dived with enriched air Nitrox! Small briefing by Miguel about the spot where we are going to dive.

Cloudy weather: on the small boat, the air is cold and a little choppy sea. Too much current, we move to another diving spot. I dive with Miguel which is really calm. The water is freezing, but I forget very quickly: the underwater world is so relaxing. And I’m euphoric, when I encounter my first and only ray of this 44 minute dive : ))

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Dolphin Watching

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After Lunch

Back to the harbour for a long boat ride organized by Mar Dourado Company, among some islets facing Porto Santo (above photo: the coastline of Porto Santo). And if we are lucky enough, we will see some dolphins.

Very temperamental my friends the dolphins (lol)! I’ll see just one or two super hurry : )) Now the sky is clear with bright light! What an impressive landscape! Better than a long speech, enjoy my photos (below)! Picture 1, The traditional cake of fishermen. In fact, its consistency looks like a rusk with a neutral taste pretty salty.

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The Beach

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Late Sunset  

Before dinner, I finally take time to explore some of the famous nine kilometers beach with golden sand. Magic! To be continued…

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Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations 

Visit Madeira, Visit PortugalRhea Dive & Mar Dourado Company

Related Posts : HOTEL REVIEWS & DESTINATIONS

Many thanks to Visit Madeira and Visit Portugal for this wonderful discovery of the island of Porto Santo. Thanks to Miguel Matos, the Rhea Dive team and the Mar Dourado Company too! As always these are my opinions.