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Magical Madeira

March 28, 2022

Off the coast of west Africa is a volcanic island discovered by Portuguese in the early 1400’s.

Trocaz Pigeon

Hiking trails in the island’s rocky center are a primary activity for visitors. Steep but constructed trails, many with steps, take tourists along ridge lines above the clouds.


The capital city is full of bars and restaurants and has very little flat land. The nearby airport is partly built on a huge concrete platform. Roads are straight up (or zig zag up ) steep hills, are carved on the sides of cliffs, or in tunnels. Driving is a big part of the adventure.

Lourenço Point

The east end of the island is not inhabited and has some spectacular hiking trails. The tourists I saw were mostly younger Western Europeans. Many had children in backpacks.

Levada in a tunnel

Aqueducts carrying water from the central mountains to farms often go through tunnels. My first trip through this tunnel was scary. The roof was 6 feet above the path. Unfortunately, the top of my head was 6 feet 1 inch above the path. A headlamp is necessary.

The north side of the island is constantly pounded by waves. watching them come in is mesmerizing.

Whale & Dolphin Watching

We saw none but were slammed into waves and rain for three hours. I was actually quite an adventure! The 20 minute walk back to the car in the rain was fun, too, because we were soaking wet and it was outside the box.

Richly decorated churches
Fantastic food
Rum distillery
Inexpensive meals by US standards
The Instagram pic
Bolo de caco bread with butter and garlic
Our Airbnb host’s wine tour
Fisherman’s Village

Sao Vicente
Stairway to Heaven

Hiking in the rain

Goodbye, Madeira

From → Writing Fiction

  1. Only had an overnight stop there when I skippered a sailing-boat from Gran Canaria to Mallorca. No time – unfortunately – to see any sight.

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