Madeira is a paradise island; we have described it as mix of Paris, Hawaii, Monaco and Disneyland. My flat is extremely well located! Only 2 minutes from the promenade and natural swimming pools. The natural swimming pools were created using the rocks of the island, they closed some parts of it and formed these amazingly comfortable natural baths where you can relax and feel completely at ease with your kids. There are life guards available from 8am to 8pm. The promenade is a walk path by the ocean that goes from Praia Formosa to Lido Area. While walking there you go under unique rocky tunnels and have a view no one can describe. Only 4 minutes to Forum Madeira Shopping Mall where you find a well stocked supermarket (Pingo Doce) with a delicious daily buffet, stores such as Zara, Ritual, Kids stores, superb coffee shops, electronic stores, and a multi screen cinema with recent movies. The flat is sunny and bright. If you go to the balcony you feel the breeze of the ocean touching your soul and skin.
Being in Madeira you have the opportunity of going swimming, snorkeling, diving (and get your PADI certification), whale and dolphin watching, sail, trekking (called “Levada” in Madeira http://www.madeira-island.com/features/1999/levadas/), canyoning, take a city sightseeing red bus like the ones they have in the biggest European Capitals, experience the beauty of Madeira embroidery, go to the gym paying a daily fee, have one of 100 special teas at Tea House Madeira (including organic teas), watch an international show at Madeira Casino (and gamble responsibly...), take the cable car to enjoy the spectacular panorama of Funchal, take a day trip to Porto Santo Island by ferry boat, go Big Game Fishing, take Jeep Safari Tours to explore the nature of Madeira Island, take a glass bottom boat and visit natural reserves, visit the Botanical Garden and Orchids Garden (with more than 7,500 species of orchids), visit Laurissilva Forest (almost unchanged for the past 500 years – UNESCO SITE), visit the Public Market and enjoy the freshness of the veggies and fruits, play golf at Golf Santo da Serra http://www.santodaserragolf.com/ or Palheiro Golf http://www.palheirogolf.com/, ufffff there is much much more, but I’ll leave some surprises for you!
Portugal has one of the best cuisines on earth (my personal opinion) and Madeira has some specialties you cannot miss: Espetada (a very tender meat in a skewer) served with fried corn (HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!), Black Scabbard Fish with special Madeira banana, stone bass… salmon… fresh tuna… the fish come from the fisherman boat to your table, always fresh, always tasty!, honey cake, and my favorite of all – Pasteis de Nata (a crunchy shell filled with a yellow sweet milk cream – be careful it is highly addictive). After all this eating you can have a glass (or two...) of chilled Madeira Wine, which has a hell of a kick in it (better used for appetizers, digestive and with cakes).
Madeira is safe and the flat is located in a safe area. People walk on the streets until midnight in the summer, jogging and enjoying the nice weather.
14. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeira ) and our own experience: “Madeira Island's geographical position and mountainous landscape result in a very pleasant climate.… With its mild humidity, the weather of the island is classified as oceanic subtropical and with its low rain level, desertic on the Savages. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, sea water temperature varies between 26 °C during the summer and 17 °C in the winter.” Please note that the bay of Funchal is protected by high peaks, and amazingly sunny while it is raining not far from it. The average temperature in Madeira can be seen at http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT004810
We are very near public transportation, so you don’t need to rent a car unless you want to explore the island on your own. Buses run until 1:30am.
Madeira has a great nightlife and you can listen to the Fado (typical Portuguese rhythm) in Old Funchal, an area full of restaurants and history.
Madeira has museums, consulates, ATM facilities in every corner, and very welcoming locals.
Madeira has several events all year around. Check the calendar of events in Madeira and make your trip to match with a Jazz Festival, a Gastronomic Week or Madeira Wine Festival!!! http://www.madeira-live.com/en/events-calendar.html And if you like classical music, ballet, Latin rhythms… check it out: http://www.ocmadeira.com/ocm_web2/pdf/Brochura.2009.web.pdf