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Funchal - surely something for everyone

Altrincham, England
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Funchal - surely something for everyone

There is certainly something for everyone in Funchal. If relaxing all day by a pool is your thing you can certainly do that, though where we stayed at the Hotel Porto Santa Maria in the old town probably wouldn’t suit at present as the construction can be pretty noisy at times. However if you want to get out and about with minimum inconvenience then this hotel is perfect.

In one week we did Monte Palace Gardens by the cable car; a levada walk from Monte to Palheiro Ferreiro (up by cable car, back by bus); the walk from Eira do Serrado down to Curral (number 81 bus – extreme bus riding!); thorough exploring of the old town; the mandolin orchestra concert at the English church – brilliant!

We would also have taken the113 bus to Ponta de Sao Lourenco if we hadn’t got the bus times wrong. (The one I had carefully printed from the SAM website didn’t correspond with the one displayed at the bus stop).

Oh and we did a 4 wheel drive jeep trip with Upmountain Madeira that was great fun.

The old town restaurants are excellent too. You can find one you like and keep going back or try a new one every evening.

We will certainly return at some time in the future.

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Funchal
Funchal
Madeira, Portugal
Porto Santa Maria Hotel
Porto Santa Maria Hotel
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Madeira, Portugal
Ponta de Sao Lourenco
Ponta de Sao Lourenco
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Madeira, Portugal
Madeira
Madeira
Madeira Islands, Portugal
Funchal, Portugal
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1. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

Yes, totally agree, there's so much to do in Funchal to keep visitors of all ages happy. Few people manage to do everything they want to do in one visit, so Madeira welcomes many return visitors year after year. So pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay and didn't find the seafront works too disruptive. The new promenade, beaches and landscaping will be something to look forward to if and when you return.

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Funchal
Funchal
Madeira, Portugal
Madeira
Madeira
Madeira Islands, Portugal
Glasgow, United...
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2. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

Yes a good report Allan agree Madeira has a lot for everyone been a good few times but still a lot to see .Rosedivine cant agree about new promenade beaches etc think i the long run it might not be good for the island hope i wrong but time will tell.

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Madeira
Madeira
Madeira Islands, Portugal
merseyside
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3. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

Yes a good report Allan agree Madeira has a lot for everyone been a good few times but still a lot to see .Rosedivine cant agree about new promenade beaches etc think i the long run it might not be good for the island hope i wrong but time will tell. ........... Why ? please expand your theory

Edited: 14 May 2013, 17:32
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Madeira
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Madeira Islands, Portugal
Glasgow, United...
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4. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

Possibly some locals i know have said there has been a lot of speculative building in the past Madeira has severe problems re money Portugal is in the same way..Also i think myself flood defence work could have been done [I agree needed greatly] without the expense of beaches etc and perhaps some spent on doing up The Lido quicker than planned.However my main worry is is the money problems how can Madeira repay the loans it must have taken out to do this without hurting the local people even worse than it is just now.

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Madeira
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Glasgow, United...
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5. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

Bob - I quite agree with you. The flood defence work is of course necessary. As for the creation of man made beaches, I think this will detract from the character of the old town of Funchal - not to mention the expense as you have said - just my opinion and I appreciate that others will think differently.

Edited: 14 May 2013, 18:31
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Funchal
Funchal
Madeira, Portugal
Funchal, Portugal
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6. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

I'm not sure that all visitors to Funchal are aware that the city used to have a beach, and that this was lost when thousands of tonnes of debris and rubble was put there after the 2010 floods - it had to go somewhere in a hurry. All this is now being moved and the area will be landscaped with cafes, green areas, trees and 2 much needed beaches. Not sure how any of this can possibly detract from The Old Town, but who knows.

It's all very well visitors criticising the scheme when they stay in hotels in The Lido area, which has - yes, a lido for swimming and beach access - but the majority of residents of the city do not live so near these facilities. There is just one beach - Praia Sao Tiago - in the main part of town, which is so small you can barely swing a cat on it, and The Barreirinha Complex, which although lovely in its own way is probably past it's best and no longer has a pool.

I personally can't wait to try the new beaches and swim there with my family, and I can't see how the new plans can be anything but an asset to the city. Whatever must cruise ship visitors have thought of all the ugly black rubble piled up in the beautiful bay of Funchal? Soon they will be greeted with trees and gardens, sandy beaches, cafes when they dock in the city - surely that's got to be an improvement.

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Funchal
Funchal
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Glasgow, United...
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7. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

Hi Roseandvine - I agree that the green areas, trees and cafes will enhance the appearance of the seafront and cruise passengers will have a much better first impression.

What worries me about the sandy beaches is that visitors to beach resorts are often people with young families seeking AI accommodation. Many hotels may accede to this and the overall ambience of Funchal will change (possibly not for the better). Local restaurants and other businesses may suffer as well - as I already said - just my opinion - I hope I am proved wrong.

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Funchal
Funchal
Madeira, Portugal
Merseyside, United...
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8. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

I think your worries are unfounded Laptop. Having visited Malta for the past few years that has one or two real sand beaches, it still doesn't make it that type of place / country that you're hoping Madeira doesn't turn in to.

I think the cost of flights vs some of the other cheaper locations would put off more family types looking for that type of holiday and AI atmosphere, families will be looking for good value for money, or basically cheaper holidays as everyone feels the pinch, I wouldn't assume one or two sandy beaches is going to pull in the masses... even if it did, thats up to the local council of Madeira to decide upon and I suppose the residents of the island to object to. Anyone and everyone is entitled to visit whatever country or location they please even if they they may seem like a square peg in a round hole to the "typical" Madeira visitor.

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Madeira
Madeira
Madeira Islands, Portugal
Glasgow Scotland
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9. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

I have to agree that when the seafront works are complete it will be an asset to visitors and locals alike. Green areas, cafes etc will be lovely. The plans they have up on the billboards look lovely. I also don't think that the creation of new sandy beaches will encourage a big rise in the number of families looking for all inclusive holidays. However, I wouldn't swim from a beach so close to a working port. Not just in Funchal, but, anywhere.

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10. Re: Funchal - surely something for everyone

A very valid point Calderglen. I don't recall having seen many people swim before in that part of Funchal. Hope you are right about AI not becoming the predominant accommodation arrangement.

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Funchal
Funchal
Madeira, Portugal
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