Madeira - Country and people
I have made this side together with Manfred Hofmann (he will be pleased to get your e-mail) from Eberbach. Manfred has a good vision for excellent motives and perspectives. Have good fun with Manfred's photographies, impressions and hiking tips! Meanwhile, there is a second project that I do in cooperation with Manfred: a fascinating navigation with the Hurtigruten alongside the Norwegian coast.
Leisure residence in the village Candelaria
As we never liked holidays in an hotel, my wife and myself rented a leisure house for two weeks at the west coast in the village Candelaria, not far from Ribeira Brava. One is exactly right in Candelaria if one looks for a calmed domicile far away from the mass tourism but still enough central to be able to explore the island with a rented car (absolutely neccessary) or on foot.
The total of 4 houses do not form a holiday complex on its own but are a part of the village; Each house has a big living room with a kitchenette as also a bedroom with two beds and an adjacent shower bath. In the upper floor, two further sleeping places offer additional room (only in two houses). From the terraces, there is a nice view to the south coast, the Atlantic and the southern slopes of the mountains.
A pristine mom-and-pop shop provides the village with fresh rolls and other important food; the adjacent bar can be probably used in the evenings in order to have a nightcap with the local people. "Shopping sprees" are preferrably mad in Ribeira Brava or in the shopping centre that is situated a litlle outside.
Impressions of the country and the people
We initially wanted to spend our stay in Madeira mainly with hinking. But we soon noticed that we were not only enthusiastic of Madeira because of its marvelous landscapes but that we also wanted to know more about the daily life of the local people. Thus, we visited numerous little places and fishing villages. There, it is only needed to in order to watch some interesting moments of the daily life of the island. Have good fun reading my impressions of the country and the people; let the picutures speak for themselves...
Hiking paradise Madeira
Hiking is without doubt one of the most interesting possibilities to spend the holiday in the island. From unhirried walkings up to alpine hiking, there should be something suitable for everybody.
The hiking tours alongside the Levadas with their tunnels that sometimes have a length of several kilometres and partly bloodcurdling precipices are something unique in the world. But the statement of many travel Guides about an optimal weather for hiking in Madeira is simply nonsense. Surely, over the whole year (maybe except June) there is good weather in the island, but one should know in which area he currently is, because there is seldom a uniform weather.
For example, while during a hiking tour in the south west one is suddenly standing in the fog and it is raining, one could nicely walk in the north east with sunshine. Or in Ponta de Sao Lourenzo, one almost dies of heat while in Pico do Arieiro the wind blows so much that one's teeth start to chatter and it gets very difficult to hold the camera. But exactly these circumstances are what makes it more interesting. Each new hiking day is surprinsing.
I want to recomend the book of John and Pat Underwood form the range Sunflower Landscapes to each vacationer of Madeira who does not want to spend his time merely at the pool; With its numerous hiking recommendations and topographical hiking maps with 6 car routes and a street map that can be fold-out, with walks to idyllic places for picknicks and schedules for the public transportation, this little pictured book provides some inestimably services on the spot.
Additionally, there is a free update service. An attached post card to the editor gets you shortly before your holiday starts to the latest update. As for hikers, the road construction or landslips can rapidly change the conditions.
Hiking alongside the Levada do Castelejo
For us, one of the most beautiful hiking proposals of this book was the hiking alongside the Levada Nova and Lavada do Castelejo. This route that is indicated in the book as the variant number 16 starts below the Portela in Referta. From there, one first follows at a height of 300 meters the Lavada Nova before then the Levada do Castelejo determines our way.
marvelous views to the north east coast, terrace fields and the and the houses spread around inside accompany us alongsid ethe nevada. From time to time we meet some local people, but besides we are on our own during the 24 km (round trip); After the changeover to Levada do Castelejo, the coast slowly disappears behind us; instead, the highest mountains of the island dominate the panorama.
In the valley of the Ribeira de Sao Roque, the terrace fields are displaced by the steeply slopes. The way alongside the Levada becomes a narow band, the precipies seem to be less spectacular through the bushes and the bright ferns. But caution is advised. The valley continues to get more narrow and at the end we reach the fountain of the Levada, that is spring-fed by the Ribeiro Frio. After a long extended break in the quietness of this landscape, we started our way back.
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Author: Manfred Hofmann; Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz