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April, 2019

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This year, the weather was not at its best – lots of heat in the sun but plenty of cloud cover, drizzly rain and a cool wind. We have visited Madeira before and said we must stay in Funchal as walking narrow lanes and streets with no footpath is very scary. This package by Broadway Travel is a good option for a week as it also includes 2 ½ Day’s tours that cover the whole island. These were excellent, particularly if you have never visited the island before but still enjoyable even if you have.

There is a cable car from Funchal up to the Gardens and the Basket rides €16 round trip, new since the last time we were here. Fantastic views from up there, of course, and we promised ourselves we would do the basket Toboggan Run this time. This should have been at the end of the half-day tour, but as there was a huge cruise ship (plus two others) in Funchal harbor, the queue for the rides was 2 hours.

We went up on the cable car next morning and started a queue at 9.30am just to make sure. It is actually very disappointing as it is not over cobbles any more just a tarmac strip. Still, we did it and have the photograph to prove it! We also decided to walk down into town from there, but it is a very long way, much further than we thought, and so steep it plays havoc with your knees.

While the Quinta das Vistas hotel is very nice (see separate review), it was still just that bit too far above the town of Funchal to be convenient. We haven’t used Broadway Travel before, but this was a well-organised, good value trip. We are going back to Madeira, to a 5* hotel in Funchal itself (we went to see for ourselves!) for New Year’s Eve, a super-all-inclusive two week break so really looking forward to our return.

Jacqueline Jeynes

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