Going to Madeira with our children was something we were already planning to do even before the pandemic. Interestingly, this turned out to be the perfect time for these little vacations that served, not only to relax and break the exhausting monotony we've been in for so long, but to show the little ones where their father lived a few years before going to University.
It's been a few years, before we were parents, that Nuno and I were there and the truth is that I liked the island so much that I was looking forward to going back and visiting again some of the places I loved the most - not to mention the amazing food.
So, I leave you with some suggestions of what to visit on the wonderful island. Please note, however, that as the island is quite large and has a lot to see, a car rental is essential.
WHAT TO DO AND VISIT IN MADEIRA
As it turns out, visiting the island's capital is mandatory. The city center is very beautiful, especially the most historic area.
Another option that I highly recommend is taking the cable car ride, which makes for an absolutely incredible trip.
An incredible viewpoint with a glass bottom that makes your legs tremble with its majestic 589m high above the fajãs and makes you breathless in the face of such beauty. Absolutely unmissable.
Pico do Areeiro
Pico do Areeiro is another place of indescribable beauty. The rocks above the clouds provide an impressive view and the winding road to get there is really worth it.
Pico Ruivo is the highest point in Madeira and, once again, it offers a breathtaking view over the island. But to get there you will have to take a long walk.
Or the typical Madeira houses. This time, and because time wasn't enough either, we opted to leave this landmark out, but it's something I recommend visiting.
Caves and Volcanism Center
Unfortunately the caves were closed due to the pandemic, but since Madeira is a volcanic island, the caves are a fantastic way to better understand the geological and geomorphological history of the island.
North Zone and Bride's Veil
The northern part of the island is beautiful and although it is no longer possible to make the entire regional road by car due to the landslide, you can visit the Bride's Veil - Véu da Noiva - viewpoint, a beautiful waterfall that is one of the most emblematic landscapes in Madeira.
Porto Moniz Natural Pools
The natural pools of Porto Moniz are built on natural volcanic rocks, which makes these pools a wonder in themselves - and that both children and adults adore.
Porto do Seixal Beach
Praia do Porto do Seixal is a small black sand beach that was formed in recent years next to Porto do Seixal. On this beach we can see a magnificent landscape of the north coast of the island of Madeira bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
The contrast of the black water (due to the sand and rocks) with the green mountains and the low clouds create a true mystical environment that made this beach one of the most incredible I have ever been to.
Ponta de São Lourenço
Another point of absolute natural beauty.
Câmara de Lobos
Perhaps one of my favorite places, this is a fishing village that has an area of bars where you can try the famous poncha - a typical drink made with sugar cane spirit, orange and honey - and where you will find some of the best fish and shellfish.
WHERE TO EAT
The food is absolutely wonderful, and I would like to inform you that it is best to leave the diet on the mainland. Here are some suggestions for restaurants to try.
Vila do Peixe
Seafood restaurant in Câmara de Lobos.
To eat one of the best meat skewers ever, served with fries with garlic and herbs and fried corn.
By the Sea
Located on Praia Formosa, it is a more typical restaurant with very affordable prices and excellent snacks such as the unmissable limpets.
Actually this is a pizzeria, but if you go with children (or not) then I highly recommend this restaurant with amazing pizzas - just like the Bolognese pizza.
O Abrigo do Pastor
A restaurant with a mountain atmosphere and wonderful traditional food.