THE TRAVEL GUIDE TO MADEIRA


Here's the extent of what I knew about Madeira before receiving an email asking if I'd like to visit...

It has good cake.

No seriously, I'm aware that that's slightly moronic and borderline ridiculous of me but I knew that it was somewhere in the realms of Portugal - an autonomous region of Portugal comprising of 4 islands off of the north west coast of Africa actually (thanks google) - and I knew I'd never been and that was about it. So I said yes to the trip because a cute 4 days with your bestie/boyf/whoever fancies getting on the floor to get the gram for you is never going to be a no is it? And then, we sort've just went a matter of weeks later.

So I thought I'd share with you my findings and my recommendations and overall, why Madeira is a little cutie and somewhere that returned my zen (lol have you ever heard me be such a hippie twat in all my life? probably not).

A big fat huge thank you to Jet 2 holidays for providing the flights and accommodation, it was so amazing to work with you!! 



Where we stayed
SE Boutique Hotel This hotel, genuinely, was one of my favourite ever hotels to stay in. It had the perfect mixture of traditional character whilst being modern and extremely comfortable. For me, the USP and absolute winner is the roof terrace, a stunning area, filled with colour - and loads of flamingo print, sassy little thing - and the most chilled, zen environment. Not to mention it also has the most insane views of Madeira, possible ever. (I mean, ok, yes I'm bias but still). The staff were wonderful, super friendly and helpful, and the food (they have a few restaurants as well as a champagne and lobster bar) is fab! The hotel was such a big part of why our stay was so lovely, so the biggest thank you to all at SE Boutique for being amazing. 
How we got there I need to give a huge shoutout to Jet2.com, and not just because I am working with them, but because the service from start to finish really was incredible. The staff were fantastic and the flight itself was super comfortable. My 6"4 boyf mentioned how comfortable and roomy the seats were so I think that says a lot. Plus I sat next to a little old lady who said she only flies Jet 2 now so there we are, pleasing all sorts of crowds ;)

I've linked up where else Jet 2 fly to from Stansted here too so you can check them out.

The Cable car - By far, one of my favourite things to do in Madeira. The Cable Car takes you from, erm... somewhere in Funchal up to the top of somewhere else in Funchal. In short, it gives you incredible views of the surrounding towns and the ocean, and, well it's just really bloody cool. It also takes you up to where the beautiful Japanese gardens are which we sadly didn't get a chance to visit, but I've stalked enough on insta to know they're stunning!

Blandy's Wine tour - Not just an amazing excuse to get totally pissed slightly tipsy, the Blandy's wine tour was the absolute perfect way to start the day (yes I drank Madeira wine at 10:30am and I'm totally OK with it). It was super interesting wandering around the grounds of Blandy's and hearing all about it's history and how the wine is made. And then came the good part because then we got to taste it.

And I don't remember anything after that...

Just kidding ;)

Sunset cocktails on the SE Boutique rooftop I know I've briefly mentioned this above but honestly, if you're in Funchal in Madeira, get yourself to the roof terrace of this hotel, order yourself a cocktail (boyf LOVED the New York Sower (actually spelt like that before anyone thinks I'm a dumbass), I preferred the mojitos. But both were divine, as was every evening we spent drinking cocktails there!
The Old town - Now, look. I'm going to be honest with you. One thing I wasn't quite aware of was the average age/demographic of people that visit Madeira. I could sit here and lie to you and say it's the perfect place to go raving it up, but it isn't. It is quite slow paced and it is definitely an "older" destination (right now, anyway) but there is so much charm and beauty to it. And one of my favourite areas was the old town at night on a weekend. It was the first time I'd really seen the island come to life and it was so much fun sitting and eating dinner with some drinks, listening to the local musicians go to town. Literally.

The Lidos - Finally, the last place I'd 100% recommend from our trip was a visit to the Lidos. Not only is the area breathtakingly beautiful but if it's warm enough and the sea is calm, taking a dip would be divine!!

I'd love to know if you've ever been to Madeira before? Do you have any more recommendations? I'm all ears :)

xx


Thank you SO much to Jet2Holidays for organising our complimentary press trip. We had the best time and can't wait to return!
© the Elle next door

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