Madeira is an island with many faces. When we wake up, the day mostly starts cloudy and sometimes it even rains a bit (in the South). When driving to the North, North-East or South-East part, it can become 30 degrees Celsius, with blue skies. Some villages look beautiful and well maintained, whereas other villages look neglected and poor. Some woods are beautiful and green, whereas other woods are ugly (damaged by fire). Madeira is well prepared for tourists. A bit too much in my opinion. Funchal, the capital, even has a street where restaurant waiters stand outside and try to lure you inside. The more West you go, the less English and German the people speak. During the walks, you sometimes see no one else.
Walk into the jungle
One walk started at Cruz, between the village gardens with different kinds of fruits and flowers. Some rooftop corners are decorated with sculptures of animals and faces. We walked further via Levada do Castelejo (a water route) into the Ribeira de Sao Roque jungle.
Restaurant Quinta Do Furao
When we finished walking, we drove to restaurant Quinta Do Furao in Santana. When we walked inside, we saw the beautiful views on the mountains and the ocean. I am sure this is the restaurant with the best view ever. The service is fine too, but the food was a bit disappointing. The flavours didn’t match well. They also charge extra for couverts (cutlery). Still it’s a great place to have lunch here. We rate this place with a 6.5 out of 10 (views 10+).
Walk on a desert Peninsula
The lunch recharged us and we were in the mood for another walk. We decided to go to the most Eastern side of the island. A rough and dry part of the island, which ends at the Atlantic ocean. It takes 2,5 hours (two-way) and is most beautiful in the early evening sun, when the colors of the rocky mountains turn red. There is no hiding from the burning sun during this walk. For us, it was the most beautiful trail of our holiday, although it can be crowded at the starting point.
Restaurant Vila do Peixe
The walking and breathing in the sea air made us hungry again. We drove to Camera De Lobos to have dinner at restaurant Vila do Peixe. It’s a modern restaurant with views on the harbour. They have a menu, but you also can also choose some fresh fish at the counter, which will be grilled to order. We chose the spaghetti with scallops and shrimps. The taste was nice and simple. The service is quick. I didn’t like some of the waitor’s jokes, but it was never rude. We payed 40 Euros in total, including wine, a bottle of water and € 4,40 for using couverts. I don’t like this kind of forced ‘tipping’, but it seems ‘normal’ at the more touristic parts of the island. I rate this restaurant with a 7 out of 10.