Madeira ..... The worlds most famous garden!

Madeira ..... The worlds most famous garden!

Whenever Spring arrives, and the flowers start to bloom, I always think of Madeira .....  There are times when the island seems to resemble and enormous carnival float, covered with bunting and blossoms.  If you take a ride up to the Botanical Gardens, you will not only see the splendour of the wonderful plant life but also be able to experience the glorious view over the island's capital, Funchal.  The climate is to thank for all this wonderful colour and greenery, as Madeira's position in the Atlantic Ocean is endlessly washed by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and bathed in sparkling sunshine most of the year round.  The average temperature seldom falls below 17C or rises above 24C, making it a warm all year round destination. Although only 35 miles long, Madeira offers beaches, bays, valleys and snow-clad mountain peaks. An up-to-date and impressive road network makes it easy to move around the island and to glimpse the spectacular scenery.  Those with a head for heights might care to join one of the tours that head for the high mountains.  Alternatively, leave the motor at home and put on those walking boots!   The island is threaded by many hundreds of miles of 'levadas' - irrigation channels with walkways, carved into the sides of mountains and affording 'don't-look-down' views of the world below. The capital, Funchal, is a bright and bustling town which has become an increasingly popular port of call for the cruise ships.  There are numerous churches and public buildings and museums, for Medeira packs a great deal of history for an island that was only 'discovered' in the fifteenth century. A boat trip to Porto Santo, about 12 miles from Madeira, reveals and impossibly long sandy beach, whilst the ride out to sea may also provide the chance to spot seals, dolphins and even whales, for these waters are rich with sealife. As well as being famed for it's floral displays and festivals, Madeira is also a hot spot for food lovers.  Seafood is the obvious speciality, but between fish courses you should try Espedata, the local meat on a stick speciality, and a glass of Madeira might not ago amiss at this point!  Afternoon tea  was once a Madeira custom - the British were in charge here for a good few years - but nowadays there is also a vibrant club scene calculated to rattle the teacups. As for getting there .......   I know customers like to fly from their regional airport, so I can tailor-make each trip to suite my individual customers needs, I can also organise transfers and excursions, and in May there is the famous flower festival - so you really need to book soon ... Madeira, my dear? - Why not!      

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