In July, we landed on Madeira island for a mix of work and Summer holiday. We stayed at the beautiful Pestana Casino Park hotel in Funchal, which is surrounded by 15.000 m2 of private gardens. Madeira offers a great climate in Summer (approx. 25C), traditional blue and white ceramics, tasty Portuguese food, and – gardens everywhere!
Banana plantations! Oleander trees, philodendrons and rhododendrons growing on the side of the streets! Palm trees as the state-of-the-art in a botanical world enjoying a Mediterranean climate! Strelitzia (the Bird of Paradise) flowers accompanying African species and cacti!
The Botanical Garden Madeira. It is situated 3 km from the city center of Funchal and can be reached in 15 minutes by the cable car. We fully enjoyed a beautiful panoramic view over the harbor and the bay of Funchal, over the private properties and plantations, towards Monte, on our way up. The Botanical Garden contains more than 2000 species of exotic plants, collected from all over the world, which kept us busy exploring it for several hours.
The Quinta Vigia in Funchal. The Quinta Vigia is the official residence of the President of Regional Government of Madeira. It is located next to the Pestana Casino Park hotel and has a beautiful garden that is open for visitors. We visited the place twice! The first time, we entered the garden spontaneously for exploring it, while our second visit was a pure surprise! We were invited in the Quinta Vigia garden for a welcome dinner, which was related to the event we participated in, in Funchal. The dinner at the Quinta Vigia included Madeira folklore music and dance, and traditional food with outside BBQ.
The Pestana Hotel Garden. The hotel was designed in the early 1970’s by a Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who’s considered to be one of the fathers of modern architecture. Several sculptures are exhibited in the inside of the hotel, and there are also several in the garden connecting modern architecture with the vegetation.
Strelitzia bushes were in full bloom during our stay. Hibiskus flowering bushes are creating privacy around the pool. Banana plants are spreading on the edges of the garden, while palm trees are elegantly settled throughout the entire garden. Sea gulls were flying over the pool and young trained falcons were game-hawking around the pool.
The view from the garden terrace on a harbor captured our attention from the day one. We spotted a restaurant there, built on top of an old house. We went there for some special dinner on our last evening in Madeira. The restaurant is a part of the Design Center Nini Andrade Silva, and is well known in Funchal. We gladly met Nini in person, at the end of our fabulous dinner: see here
Beautiful July 2017 Summer Holiday!