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walking on


									                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     SHoRT BREak

 walking on
                                                                                                                           need to know
                                                                                                                           when To go The climate is good all year.                                                                    SPain

                                                                                                                           geTTing There Direct flights with EasyJet
                                                                                                                           ( and TaP (
                                                                                                                           geTTing around Best to take a taxi or bus
                                                                                                                           as driving on the narrow, windy, hilly roads
                                                                                                                           can be tricky.                                                   MaDEiRa

                                                                                                                           visas Schengen visa for South africans.                                                        MoRocco
                                                                                                                           currency Euro. 1 gBP = 1.12 EUR.
                                                                                                                           language Portuguese.                                 canaRY
                                                                                                                           going ouT a beer is about €2.                        iSlanDS
With its warm weather, nature trails and unique island life,                                                               accommodaTion Hostels in Funchal from
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     festive flair
                                                                                                                           €12. For a treat try Hotel Quinta Das Vistas,
   Madeira makes an ideal winter break Words andy mossack                                                                  from €82.50 (                                           São Vincente
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     see The world’s                 77
                                                                                                                           see                                                                                                                   biggesT fireworks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MaDEiRa                                          Festive traditions are deeply
                                        Madeira                                                                                                                                                                                        Funchal                       rooted in Madeiran custom,
                                        north atlantic                                                                    tradition and festivities, there’s a Kodak moment                                                                                          and from mid-november
                                                                                                                          everywhere you look, the food and wines are                                                                                                Funchal’s huge bay is
                                                                                                                          delicious and it’s a walker’s paradise.                                                                                                    transformed into a giant

                                                    ell this was a first. I was about to                                                                                                                                                                             nativity scene with literally
                                                    be pushed down a very steep hill in                                   walk This way                                                                                                                              thousands of illuminations
                                                    Madeira’s capital Funchal on a sled                                   The island’s spectacularly rugged scenery,                                                                                                 across the capital,
                                        by two men decked out in white and wearing                                        formed out of its volcanic birth, is a mixture of                                                                                          culminating in the biggest
                                        straw boaters. To make it even more interesting,                                  wondrous geologic formations and colours that                                                                                              fireworks display in the
                                        it was on a bone dry road with a hairpin bend.                                    make walking the island such a pleasure.                                                                                                   world on new Year’s Eve.
                                           This is tobogganing Madeira style, and the                                        I tried Vereda do Areeiro, a walk linking                                                                                               Be sure to book early!
                                        Toboggan Men (as they’re affectionately called)                                   Madeira’s two highest peaks. This magnificent,                                              Beautiful botanic gardens
                                        have being doing this for hundreds of years                                       mostly paved route has some jaw dropping
                                        from father to son. It’s just one of Madeira’s quite                              descents and ridges that tested my fitness, but      excellent botanical gardens Jardim Panoramico                                              TNT online
                                        unique attractions, and it’s great fun.                                           it provided stunning views across Madeira’s          and Santa Luzia for stunning displays. There                                          To discover more winter
                                           This stunning sub-tropical island, under                                       mountain spine, and by the time I’d reached          are some outstanding nature reserves too, like                                        sun destinations check out
                                        Portuguese rule since 1400, has strong British                                    the summit I felt I’d earned that cold beer.         Rocha do Navio in Santana (where you might                                  
                                        influence from the time of the Napoleonic wars,                                      For a different challenge then there are the      catch a glimpse of monk seals). For something
                                        when the Brits set up camp to help defend it                                      famous Levadas – an ancient network of stone         a bit different walk through 700m of lava                                        The Catholic Church in Funchal
                                        against the French. This is still in evidence in                                  irrigation channels built to transport water         tubes at the Volcanism Centre at São Vicente,
                                        the beautiful colonial properties around it,                                      across the island. Running all over lush valleys,    or just enjoy countless outdoor activities.
                                        many now converted into luxury hotels.                                            mountains and tunnels, they provide walkers             The capital Funchal is an impressive sight.
                                           Although it’s often overlooked in favour of                                    with a perfect route map across the island, so       It’s a huge amphitheatre that begins in the
                                        the popular Canary Islands lying to the south,                                    you can stroll alongside or even on top of them      harbour and rises up to over 400m, so to get
                                        Madeira’s year-round sunshine makes it a great                                    and just enjoy the views.                            around there are cable cars – or you could try
                                        choice for a winter break. Local life is rich in                                     All Madeira’s walks are well marked, but          a toboggan, of course! It’s a magical sight at
                                                                                                                          if you want the safety of walking in company,        night, especially over Christmas and New Year
                                                                                                                          plan your visit during the Madeira Islands           (see above right). It’s got plenty of shopping

                                                                                               TnT images, andy Mossack
                                                                                                                          Walking Festival, running January 12-16, 2010        and a long promenade where you can gawp at
                                                                                                                          (                 the huge cruise liners as they pass by.
                                                                                                                                                                                  The lovely old town near the harbour has a
                                                                                                                          PlenTy To do                                         mass of restaurants and bars among its narrow
                                                                                                                          Madeira also offers a dazzling canvas of sub-        cobbled streets where you’ll find traditional
                                                                                                                          tropical flora and fauna. Check out Funchal’s        food such as bolo do caco (sweet potato bread
                                                                                                                                                                               with garlic butter) and espetada (barbecued
                                                                                                                                                               Tobogganing     beef or pork skewers), and of course world-
                                                                                                                                                               Madeira style   famous Madeiran wine and cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                weather     JAN       FEB       MAR       APR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             aVERagES FoR FUncHal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     MAY       JUN       JUL        AUG   SEP     OCT   NOV   DEC

                                                                                                                                                                                            10         11        12        13        14         14        14        13    12      11    11    10

                                                                                                                                                                                 MAx        15         15        16        16        18         20        22        23    23      21    18    16

                                                                                                                                                                                 MIN        10         10        10        11        12         14        16        17    16      15    13    11

                                                                                                                                                                                            112        92        75        49        30         18        9         12    38      82    110   108
                                                                                                                                                                                KEY:   Hours of daylight   average rainfall (mm) *Statistics based on monthly averages
                                                                                                                                                                                Weather information provided by


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