Madeira: A perfect winter escape

As this is year is all under the motto of exploring more of Europe and finding the beauty in our backyard, we started our first travel of the year to Madeira. This small island belongs to Portugal and is an all year destination. It has a high season between Mai and September and a low season between October and April. The temperature on the island is all year nearly the same, in the high season from 25 to 28 degree and in the low season from 20 to 25 degree. Only difference between the season are the raining days.

Both times we were to Madeira, first in 2016 in  December/January and this year in February, we been really lucky with the weather. During both trips we only had one day of rain, the rest was sunny and around 20 degree. Perfect for hiking all day, which we did. This time around we rented a car and organized our self. At our first trip we had a transport organized, who drove us to the trail heads and picked us up at the end of the trails. Both options have pro’s and con’s. Going with the own car has the pro that you are flexible and be able to react to the weather on the island. But also need to include longer hikes because you need to go back to your car all the time.

Let me start from the beginning, our flight to the island was a bit painful as there was a snowstorm in Germany and for that reason the flight was 2 hours delayed. First the machine was not coming on time and second we needed to wait for the deicing of the plane. Which turns a normally short travel day, flight from Germany only 4 hours, in a full day travel day.

The airport in Madeira is relatively small, for that reason it is possible to go from the runway directly into the terminal. After getting our luggage, we had the next interesting experience ahead of us. Getting our car. It seems to be common, no matter your booking cost, to charge you with ~900 Euro in case of an accident with the car. No matter if it is your fault or not. So OK we took the car anyway – lucky for us nothing happened. Also, interesting was, that surface scratches do not count as damage at the car. Best tip to go with all of this, take picture of the car before you start your trip. This will give you the best evidence in case of a discussion when giving the car back. What happened to us on the last day.

To leave the travel day behind us we drove directly to our hotel, the “Quinta Da Cova Do Milho“. For me the cutest little  hotel, in a quiet, green surrounding and perfect to start hikes in the east part of the island. In order to relax we got our first Madeira Wine of the trip in front of the fireplace of the hotel.

Even that the island is small and can be surrounded by car in 3 hours, it is recommended to have one hotel in the east to explore the east trails and one hotel in the west to explore the west trails. Driving in Madeira is not difficult, as the main streets are big and there are a lot of tunnels. It gets a bit more tricky when it comes to the towns, where streets can get small. Also, be aware of cow’s, dogs and cats on the streets, oh yeah and people, as there are not many side ways.

With all that said, we ended our first day back at this beautiful island with a typical Madeira food menu and a glass wine.

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