Folklore & Costumes of Madeira

While I was eating my lunch in a restaurant in Madeira Island, Portugal, I was surprised to see those lovely people, in the photo above, wearing those unconventional clothes & funnel-like hats starting to perform the folkloric music of Madeira island. Marco (the chef waiter at the restaurant) told me those clothes were the traditional / folkloric clothes of the island Big Grin

To listen to their music & see their unusual musical instruments while performing, please go to the video on this link:

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Canyoning in Madeira Island, Portugal

Canyoning is really a unique experience that not much people have tried. If u love vibrant adventures & nature, then this adrenaline - rush experience is made for you! Here are the details of how your day will go:

You'll be picked up from your hotel by the guides of your tour agency in a van, as well as the other adventurers who'll take this adventure with you & who will soon turn into adventure - mates of you :) when you reach the start point of your canyoning, you'll be given the canyoning suit (more or less like a diving suit), special socks and shoes... You'll also get a helmet for head Protection & a set of safety belts will be fastened around your waist for use during canyoning ;) Now, You're fully equipped & ready for Fun :D the whole group, leaded by the guides from the tour agency, will start their trek in the designated location, which is usually a mix of mountain and forest... You'll meet green cliffs, differing in their heights, that lead to lovely little lakes, where you'll either take a breathe & jump from the top of the cliffs into the water, or rappel the cliffs downwards using ropes & safety belts tied around you :D Each one chooses the Best for them, so at the same point you'll find one of your mates jumping, another Rappelling, another undecided till their turn comes :D For me, Jumping from the high cliffs into the lakes is more fun and adrenaline stimulating :D Rappelling is still an Amazing challenge for challenge lovers; to balance your body in the straight laid back position with straight unbended legs while taking your steps downwards, totally depending on the ropes and safety belts around your waist :) Your guides will give you all the information you need for safe rappelling & jumping :) Get ready to enjoy a lot of high and low jumps into water, rappelling of  cliffs, swimming in the little lakes between the green cliffs & trekking little streams of water... During this unique experience of canyoning, you'll not only feel very active, fresh & free, but you'll also get really connected to Nature by playing, jumping & Rappelling its lakes, cliffs & water streams. Imagine how this connection to Nature accompanied by such crazily fun activities refreshes one's soul & body :D Specially that you'll be enjoying it with a whole team of adventure - mates from different parts of the world and with your nice guides who'll be in full charge of your safety & who'll keep taking photos of you & the whole group during your fun & crazy moments :D So, at the end of the day, you'll have also made new friends from different parts of the world.  I believe Canyoning is a Unique experience that I recommend to all those who love Freedom, Adventure, Challenge, Adrenaline-Rush activities, Nature & Meeting people from different cultures :D At the end, I'd love to thank my tour agency "Discovery Island - Madeira" for this lovely experience & for all the fun we had :D I'm planning to repeat it again & again :D 

Slide Down in a Basket!

One of the unique experiences of Madeira Island, Portugal, is the “Toboggan Ride”. We sat in this basket and those 2 gentlemen – with rubber boots - pushed us from the basket rear, for a distance of about 2 kilometers on a public highway that slides down with some road curves Wow The 2 Toboggan drivers used their rubber boots & robes in their hands to control our speed. It was an exotic experience to slide at a speed in a basket, with cars just beside us in the road Wild 

This Toboggan ride starts just at the bottom of Monte Church. It was originally used as a form of transportation in Madeira since 1850.

Santa Maria St., Madeira Island, Portugal

In the heart of Madeira Island’s Capital; “Funchal” city, in the old town area lies the artistic “Santa Maria St.” or “Rua de Santa Maria” as they say it in Portuguese. This cobbled street is more like an open art gallery, where lovely drawings and paintings are made on buildings walls and doors along it. In addition, the street is full of elegant restaurants on both sides, serving Portuguese food. Some restaurants play the traditional music of Portugal; the “Fado Music”, live for their clients to enjoy while having their dinner. 

"Levada Walk" in Madeira Island, Portugal

Cave-like formations on the route

Levada Walk, Madeira Island

A typical "Levada walk" is a relaxing walk amongst nature, following one of the various canals (Levadas) routes. "Levadas" are open-from-top, U-shapped canals, used to distribute the rain water in Madeira island, where water in those levadas gets filtered / treated before it reaches people for their use.There are different levada walks with different routes, lengths & levels of difficulty. Me & my friends went for the walk from "Rebiro frio" to "Portela"; a medium level walk with a length of 11 Km.

We got picked up from our hotels in a van by the guides of our tour agency, headed to the start point "Rebiro Frio", where we started the walk following our guide. All through the walk, we were amazed by the stunning views of Madeira green mountains, long trees, bushes, flowery trees & clouds beneath us, as at some parts of the walk we went higher than clouds! All through the walk, our guide kept telling us the names of The trees & their usage for people of Maderia, for example, some trees trunks were used to make barbeque sticks, other larger trees trunks were used to make walking sticks for people who need support while walking, some trees flowers were used as herbs in cooking... He also showed us some trees with lovely big blue flowers that they consider as "the Pride of Madeira"...Some parts of our route were in stone forms like little caves; covered from above & from sides. If u are a Claustrophobic like myself, don't worry; those cave-like parts were very short, most of those cave like formations were just 2 or 3 meters length, while the longest of which was about 10 meters length before we were back to the open sky walk again, so there is no chance at all that u feel trapped  on our walk also, we passed by naturally formed pools & streams amidst the green mountains, at which we couldn't help stopping to take photos at those Charming natural scenes...We also had another stop for lunch (don't forget to bring your food & a bottle of water in your back pack ) We really enjoyed those few hours of relaxing walk among nature & when we reached the end point of our walk, we found the van waiting for us there. We had some time to buy coffee & for myself, I bought a big sandwich as well coz I felt really hungry after the walk! Finally, we were drove back to our hotels. At the end, I'd like to thank my tour agency "Secret Madeira Tours & Walks" for that lovely experience 

Santana Village, Madeira Island, Portugal

Santana is a small village in the east of Madeira Island, Portugal. Santana is famous of its A–shaped huts. Long ago, people there used to live in those huts, but nowadays they are used as souvenir shops that sell different types of souvenirs to the visitors of Santana village, as crafts, magnets, drinks, …etc. 

This visit to Santana village was a part of a jeep tour through which we travelled in a 4-person jeep to the east of Madeira Island, where we drove through peaceful forests with high trees, watched a lot of Wonderful natural scenes, stopped at high spots where we were higher than the sky clouds Big Grin and visited this village of Santana. Thank you "Discovery Island Madeira” for organizing and operating this tour Wow

"Sabor a Fado" Restaurant, Madeira Island, Portugal

"Sabor a Fado" is a little cozy restaurant at the old town of Funchal city; the capital of Madeira Island, Portugal. It's a restaurant where you can enjoy a live Fado music show ("Fado" is the traditional music of Portugal ;) while savoring your delicious dinner :D It's a family-run restaurant; owned by a family whose members are all talented artists! some of them have lovely voices while others play guitar & fado guitar :D When you go there, choose a seat looking to the opposite side of the restaurant door; that's where the Fado show runs! The restaurant serves Portuguese dishes, where you can select either separate items, or go for the complete set menu with an offer! That was my choice; I got that set of "soup of the day", "main dish" that was either meat or seafood & a "dessert". This set menu was for 20 €; it was cheaper than getting the same items separately. The Fado show started at 7:30 pm (19:30) and it was really Enchanting; the 2 guitarists were seated, playing the melancholic Fado music in a bit cheerful rhythms and one member of the family was singing in a beautiful high pitched voice while performing the restaurant service tasks :D so expect that this lovely singer will bring you your soup while singing and then continues singing while taking the empty dishes from another table & keeps on singing in that lovely voice while handing the empty dishes to the kitchen staff :D They take some mini breaks & after each break a different family member takes on singing, accompanied by the 2 guitars of Fado :) For me, That familial ambience in addition to the tasty food were overwhelming that I didn't want to leave! :D They allow photography inside but no videos, however you can check some videos of them on their own facebook page “Sabor a Fado, Casa de Fados”. You can find this restaurant at one of The lovely narrow streets of Funchal old town called "Travessa das Torres", very close to the famous artistic street "Rua de Santa Maria". I believe this is a very authentic experience that's not to be missed!

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Kind regards,

Mai