Stray Dog(s)

We received the following mail from Beatrice:


I would like to ask your attention to the story of a little dog whom I have called Maxi, who I found on the street and whom I have been giving food and water for the past few months while I was living on Madeira. Unfortunately, I can’t continue doing this, as I have to go back to my country and do not have room for a dog at home. As Maxi has grown used to being cared for, it breaks my heart to leave him like that. Even when I was away for a day or two on the island he was very sad and didn’t eat until I got back. He’s a very cute little dog, quite young (about a year I would guess), playful, full of energy and healthy. He likes to run around and play, and is very easy to maintain, as he’s used to going for walks on his own – it would be ideal if someone who has a garden and/or lives in a quiet area would be willing to take him, because then he could come and go as he likes; he only needs food, water, a dry place to sleep and some loving attention every now and then.

He’s generally very quiet, and house-trained – he never peed in my house or anywhere near his sleeping place. Is there any chance you might put this story on your website? I am leaving in a little over a week, so there isn’t much time left… I’ve already asked everyone I know, but people either already have dogs or don’t want them. I’ll include two pictures. I really hope you can help! I wouldn’t want Maxi to become another one of those sad animals at SPAD who spend some time in a cage before they are put to sleep. I can send you pictures as soon as this internet connection is working better again…
Thanks and best,

New Update: Continue reading “Stray Dog(s)”

Rota da Cal

We recently visited a new project on Madeira Island called Rota da Cal (Lime Route / Limestone Trail). Before I continue my story about it … I want to say … it is worth to visit the place.

This project is a educational tourist attraction which is located in São Vicente, Sitio dos Lameiros. It is easy to find. When driving towards São Vicente … just in between Encumeada and São Vicente there is a roundabout where you take the exit to Lameiros. Then follow the signs Rota da Cal.


There you will find the Museum Centre and the Limestone Trail … enclosed in an area of approx. 12.000 m2 …. where, besides its very typical of Madeira’s landscape beauty, you will find two limestone quarries, a lime kiln (= thermally insulated chamber or oven) and other constructions used to support farming and cattle-raising, such as haylofts, cultivation fields and levadas (water channels).

In the Museum Centre you will be informed of the whole process of obtaining limestone in the region. Videos and several posters will explain the Limestone Trail … its significance and importance, from the transport of stones to the transport of water, plus the presence of other limestone kilns in the Region.

From the Museum Centre you can start to take the same trail which limestone workers took many years ago carrying precious limestone, wood and water from the quarries to the Lime Kiln house. When taking the path …. take a moment to stop … make no sound … and enjoy natures relaxing atmosphere.


The (two) quarries are located near the Barrinho stream, at 475 meters of altitude. Also you will find some buildings and characteristics typical of Madeira’s rural landscape, such as the haylofts, cultivation fields, levadas, an irrigation poll and a transport cable.

For more information, please visit their site:

The Museum Centre is open all days except 25th of December and 1st of January.
Open from 10h till 18h (1 April – 30 October)
Open from 10h till 17h (1 November – 31 March)
Prices 4 Euros per person. Visitors above 65 years of age or scholars pay only 2,5 euros. 10% discount for groups of 6 or more.

Special note from the editor:
For those of you that intend to visit the Rota da Cal (and/or any other rural attraction on Madeira) I urge to you to respect its natural environment.

  • Do not litter;
  • Do not disturb the peacefulness;
  • Do not take unasked any souvenirs;
  • Follow the indicated paths and do not enter any restricted areas;
  • Help us to maintain these precious environments on Madeira Islands.

Video Sights Madeira

Video Sights Madeira

We have a new site with the name ‘Video Sights Madeira‘. This is a videoblog in which we will publish a selection of the best online videos and films made of Madeira Islands.

Check out the various videos of island visitors or locals from Madeira that have uploaded into YouTube and other video websites.

For those who missed for example the (belated) Flower Parade of this year … you can now check it out via the following link: Festa da Flor – Flower Festival

Ferry between Madeira and Portugal

As per 30 of January 2012 the ferry service of the operator Naviera Armas, that was linking Portugal (Portimão) with Funchal, was discontinued due to huge increase of the operating costs associated to the port of Funchal. Unfortunately there is (for the time being) no Ro-Ro ferry service between the mainland Portugal and the Atlantic Isles of Madeira and Azores, these are considered the only significant groups of islands in Europe that has NO Ro-Ro ferry services. The only alternative are the container ships, which are expensive.

For enquiries, complaints or questions concerning this matter or any new possibilities of reactivation of the sea route between Funchal and Europe (continent), please contact the Secretaria Regional da Cultura, Turismo e Transportes (contact form page)

(Post April 9, 2008)

Many have asked if it was possible to go by boat to Madeira. The answers were:

Yes, with your own boat and at your own risk;
Yes, but then it is with a organized cruise voyage and you will only be able to visit Funchal for 1 day
Yes, but then you need to work in a freight ship or transatlantic container;
Yes, by joining a regatta that sometimes can take place each year;

And since summer of 2008 we can add a new answer …

Yes, you can visit Madeira Islands by ferry departing from the Portuguese port of Portimao, coast of the Algarve (Portugal)..

A new ferry Volcano of Tijarafe of the Armas shipping company is going once per week between Funchal (Madeira) and Portimao (Portugal).

This is the first ferry connection between Madeira island and the mainland Portugal after 30 years. It is a new alternative to visit the archipelago … and you can take your own car with you.

The duration of the trip between Funchal and Portimao is less than 24 hours and it takes place in the weekend.

You can go to the Naviera Armas website and book your trip with the ferry Volcán de Tijarafe.

Funchal 500 Years – Tall Ships Regatta

Attention: follow this link to read the latest update about the race.

As we recently mentioned the Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta and Festival do Mar 2008 will be Madeira’s biggest event for this year …. as part of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Funchal … capital city of Madeira Islands.

Host Ports Map of the Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta

A large fleet of sail training Tall Ships will start (10 – 13 September) from the historic port of Falmouth on the south west coast of England … and race to the Ilhavo, Port of Aveiro – Portugal (20 – 23 September). From there the Tall Ships will continue their race to Funchal – Madeira …. where they will join the festivities, celebrations and Maritime Festival in the city (2 – 5 October).

Also we have a complete list of the participating vessels Continue reading “Funchal 500 Years – Tall Ships Regatta”

Finding flights to Madeira

This article will help you to find a suitable from and to Madeira Islands.
The best way is first to determine which airlines will be flying to Madeira on a certain period. Then you can search for that airline site and get the best flight and price for you to travel to Madeira.

To find all scheduled flights that start from Madeira (FNC) Airport for all destinations, click on the following link:

ANA Portugal Airports
…. and select in the Origin list Madeira (FNC). Then select the Destination, Departure and Return calendar.

You can also download (and print) the complete scheduled timetable of all flights from/to Madeira in PDF format. Just click on the following link:

Aeroporto da Madeira Scheduled Timetable

Next a list of sites of the most airlines that are flying to Madeira:

TUIfly / HAPAGfly

Did we miss any? Let us know … and we will update our list.

Madeira in short

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that is located between 32°22.3’N 16°16.5’W and 33°7.8’N 17°16.65’W in the north Atlantic Ocean.

It is since 1976 an autonomous region of Portugal.

The largest of the group of islands is Madeira. Of the other three islands in the group, only Porto Santo is inhabited; the Desertas and Selvagens groups are too rocky and narrow for habitation.

The equable climate has made the island of Madeira a popular health resort, and the famous Madeira wine is a chief export; its capital city, Funchal, was founded in 1421.

The islands are of volcanic origin and are the summits of lofty mountains, rising in Pico Ruivo to 1861 m (6106 ft).

Although the islands were known in Roman times, they were uninhabited until the early 1400s, when they were rediscovered by the Portuguese.

Total area, 794 sq km (307 sq miles).

Blog Thoughts Madeira