If you read my articles (thank you for that!), your eyes must have widened. Just last week I wrote an article and shared my photos from Madeira. Yes, it’s all true! But, going on vacation and deciding to spend money on it, you have certain expectations. Our expectations were not met.

We prepared thoroughly for the holiday to Madeira. A book was bought and I studied it in detail. Everything in the book was just amazing. The capital Funchal, cosy villages and nature of extraordinary beauty. We chose and paid for a 4-star hotel, rented and paid a deposit for a small automatic car. Everything was planned.

And here we are in Madeira

A representative of the car rental company met us at the airport and took us to the garage and the company’s office. And here we realised they do not have a small size car, which we booked and paid for. And there is only Peugeot 508, 2011 release. The length of this car is 4.83 m. And it was a disaster! In Madeira you will not find a flat horizontal road. Flat surfaces you can found only in tunnels, of which there are a large number on the island. You will be driving up or down and the angle of the slope will always be quite impressive (sometimes up to 30 degrees!).

A car the size of a Peugeot 508 is huge and unwieldy for an island! And we realized this immediately when we left the garage. And the next day we went to Funchal and hardly found parking near the Mercado dos Lavradores market. We didn’t see where we were going, there was such a big downward slope. It was scary. But the most interesting thing was waiting for us ahead — when we left the parking lot. We were on the 3rd floor below ground and a spiral road led up, which was so narrow that the distance between the car and the wall was no more than 5 cm.

We used this car only 6 times in 2 weeks. The rest of the time it stood in the paid parking of the hotel. We travelled by the local bus, which was quite comfortable and costs 2.20 € per person.

Tip 1: If you are offered a large car to rent, it is better to refuse the deal. Use the bus. There are a high percentage of accidents on the island roads, and now I understand why.

The Hotel

On the site the hotel was declared as a 4-star, breakfast was included in the room rate. Our room had an ocean view and we have to pay extra for this option. Our 4-star room had the furniture: 2 beds put together, a tea table with stains, 2 armchairs, a table (also with stains), a wardrobe with fastened doors. That is all. Oh, sorry, I forgot, there was a refrigerator. But, a 1.5 litre bottle of water did not fit in it. Self-respecting hotels leave cookies, chips, tea, coffee, milk, a bottle of wine (this is what we met in hotels) for their customers. Pillows were lumpy but the sheets were clean.

There were only towels in the bathroom. Of course, they were clean, but they were new 3-4 seasons ago. Such pleasantries such as a bar of soap or a nail file, ear sticks — none of these were there. It was a disappointment, the hotel was maximum of 2-star, but cost like a 4-star.

The pool was old and needs renovation, jacuzzi with cool water (should be warm) and broken bubble option.

Breakfasts. I’m glad we didn’t book the «dinner at the hotel» option. Judging by the breakfast, it was not up to par. Sometimes orange juice was so diluted and it did not left marks on the sides of the glass. Coffee — I love drinking coffee. But not in this hotel. It was so poor quality that it wasn’t improved by the taste of added milk.

But we found a nice place for our dinners. I recommend the snack- bar «Mare» Caniço village, delicious and affordable prices, every Friday a special menu and live music.

But the «icing on the cake» of this hotel was paid parking. The fact is that the density of hotels in this area is so high that there are simply no free parking spaces around. Our hotel had 5 (!) parking spaces, but you have to pay 7 € / day for it. So, calculate, we were 14 days for 7 €. And to this count, add the fact that we used the car 6 times. The situation is unsettling.

Tip 2: If you plan to rent a car in Madeira, find out in advance if there is a parking place and if it is free.


There are a lot of fruits, flowers, vegetables in Madeira. But the price, despite all the abundance, was high. The Mercado dos Lavradores market is a beautiful, bright, exotic place, but fabulously expensive. We liked the super-hot chili sauce. But a bottle of about 200 grams, cost «only» 30 €! If you want to buy fruits, I recommend just crossing the road and you can find a vegetable store where prices will be 3-4 (!) times lower than the market. But you need definitely to visit the Mercado dos Lavradores market, if would you like beautiful photos for Instagram.

Madeira is also known for a unique embroidery. Unfortunately, we could not get into the embroidery museum — it was closed for renovation. But I bought a handkerchief. The price for the handkerchief varies from 6.50 to 11.50 €.

A little about excursions

The tours were great! We had 2 bus tours, each lasting about 8 hours. The first covered the central part and northwest, the second — the eastern part and northeast of the island. Our sightseeing buses were small — up to 14 people and we had excellent guides Renato and Gama. Thanks to their exciting stories, we could feel all the grandeur and beauty of the island, its history and funny cases from the practice of guides. And, yes, Madeira really has wonderful air, magnificent forests and beautiful flowers.

These are the 2 opposite articles I got. Beautiful nature and crystal-clear air on the one hand and a low level of service on the other hand. If you have any questions – ask me, — I will definitely answer! See you.


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