South & East island tour
Madeira Travel Blog› entry 4 of 9 › view all entries
July 19th, 2009 – by: sweettangerine
The bus picked us up at the Strawberry World office at the Lido, right on time and we were introduced to our lovley guide.
Leaving the Lido, the first stop was Santa Cruz where Madeira's Intercontinental Airport is situated. It was Sunday and the church service was going on. Funny to see that the church was so packed that quite a few people still had to follow the service from the outside on the square outside.
Past Portela we went towards the very dry and barren Ponta de São Lourenço, situated in the eastern part of the island.
The next stop was a place known as Penha d'Águia in Porto da Cruz, here the views are absolutely amazing with an imposing rock that separates Porto da Cruz from Faial.
We then carried on towards Santana that is characterised by its small thatched triangular houses, where we had lunch and plenty of time to visit these houses. We even went a little off the beaten track and were invited by the proprietess of such a house.
Only too bad that it was very misty. The scenerey would have looked even ncer in the sun shine.
After lunch we carried on via the northern slopes of the island towards a popular starting point for 'levada' walks, Ribeiro Frio. With its trout pools. This area still has much of its original vegetation. The island was once completely covered by 'Laurissilva' forest, a relic from prehistoric times.
We then continued towards the Pico do Arieiro. At an altitude of 1818 metres it is the third highest peak on the island and shows breathtaking views.
The last stop of the day was Camacha, a small village a few kilometres out of Funchal. It's best known as the centre of Madeira's willow craft industry but the "factory" appeared to be not too interesting. Instead we wandered around and took a look at the rather unusal church.
We were back at the Lido by five PM so there was still a bit of time to relax by the pool before going for dinner.
At night we checked out the shoping centre nearby the Lido.
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