Valley of the Nuns. Jet2. Madeira Island Ultra Trail.

Valley of the Nuns nominated

Valley of the NunsRTP report that Curral das Freiras is on the “7 Wonders of Portugal” candidate list in the category “Remote Villages” in a Portugal-wide competition. Arco de São Jorge, Espigão and Furna are also competing in the same category. Madalena do Mar and Porto Moniz are candidates in the “Seaside Village” category. Chão da Ribeira, in Seixal and Ilha, in Santana, have been selected for villages in “Protected Areas” category, while Lombada dos Esmeraldos in Ponta do Sol appears in the “Monument” category. Serra de Água is competing as a “Riverside Village”. Faial is nominated in the “Rural Village” category. Curral das Freiras also has a second nomination for the “Authentic Village” category. It is not immediately apparent who is behind the awards, with the contenders being whittled down to a shortlist this month.

Jet2 wins Best Airline awards in TripAdvisor poll

Jet2 took two top prizes in the inaugural TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for airlines, winning the “Best Airline – UK” and “Best Low-Cost Airline – Europe” prizes. The awards, covering every major carrier worldwide, are based on an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of airline reviews and ratings submitted by travellers over the past 12 months. It is the first time that the world’s largest travel website has published “Travellers’ Choice” awards for the airline industry.

Madeira Island Ultra Trail

Madeira Island Ultra TrailThe annual Madeira Island Ultra Trail event officially kicks off tomorrow, and seems to be getting even more popular year on year – 2016 saw 2,000 participants with 48 different nationalities. The primary race (MIUT) is a ridiculous 115km from one end of the island to the other, passing through the highest peaks on in the centre – Encumeada – Pico Ruivo (1861 m) – Pico do Areeiro. This sets off at midnight on 22nd April in Porto Moniz., with last year’s winner finishing in Machico just under 14 hours later. There are three other events: 85 km (Ultra), 43 km (marathon) and a mini marathon of 16 km. More details of the different races and routes can be found on a previous post.

Madeira Film Festival

Madeira Film Festival logoThe 6th Madeira Film Festival is underway as of yesterday, lasting until the weekend. This is an independent international film festival “inspired by nature, which brings together various initiatives associated with sustainability, art, education, eco-tourism and leisure, a tribute to the Laurissilva Forest”, according to Visit Madeira. The Festival is staged between Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel and the Municipal Theatre. All films are screened in the theatre while most of the workshops, fashion show, gala dinner and cocktail drinks are held at Reid’s. A full program can be found on their website.

Part of the old North Coast Road re-opens

Part of the old road between São Vicente and Porto Moniz has re-opened with restrictions – cars can travel on a one-way system, and only between 10h00 and 18h00. I recall first travelling this route in 1989 – stunning, but a little scary! A more recent video of the old road can be seen on YouTube from 2009, by which time the “new” north coast road had been added.

6 Responses to Valley of the Nuns. Jet2. Madeira Island Ultra Trail.

  1. Joe Lucas Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 11:54 #

    It’s great to see Seixal and Chao Da Ribeira recognised for their natural beauty.

    My parents from there and it’s views are astounding to say the least. It has the highest number of natural pools and beaches of any village with clear warm water and great people.

    Chao Da Ribeira is like two great arms that hold you safely between them. Last time I was there I sat for 30 mins just watching bumble bees by the hundreds on an old Laurel tree and it’s flowers.

    It is truly a place of reflection…

  2. Alice Bradley Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 07:08 #

    We too remember the Old Coast Road, having traversed it in 1989 in a saloon coach! It was before the tour companies adopted the mini coaches. It was quite hair-raising then, especially going under the natural “vehicle washers” or waterfalls. Therefore not surprising that they have made it a one way road now.
    Looking forward to having the opportunity to drive it again

  3. mauricereed Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 08:06 #

    Several years ago we spent a week based in Porto Moniz. The Antigua was still open as a one-way road from Seixal to Porto Moniz and so we walked it to Seixal. Quite hairy in places, lots of fallen stones on the road and as for the tunnels!! There was no lighting in them and you had to keep an eye out for oncoming cars. In one of the shorter ones you got a free shower from rain water pouring through fissures in the roof! It was a lovely walk and we just made it into a bar in Seixal as the heavens opened. Fortunately the bar owner was a cab driver too so got a lift back.

  4. Rebecca S Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 14:54 #

    We arrive in Madeira next Monday for our first visit and I am concerned that the BBC weather app is showing rain mid-week and more again for the weekend following. Is this normal for this time of year?

  5. mauricereed Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 21:11 #

    Madeira Island Ark. This BBC documentary previously shown last yeat is being repeated this Wednesday on BBC4 8pm. Palaeontologist Richard Fortey presents a very interesting programme about the island.

  6. Carlos Monday, April 24, 2017 at 10:58 #

    Rebecca – the BBC Weather App is remarkably accurate for Funchal as a rule – unfortunately. However the forecast for more than a few days ahead is notoriously difficult, and is constantly updated – so keep checking. At the moment (Monday) it makes poor reading for later in the week. Fingers crossed!

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