Madeira – the ideal ‘babymoon’ destination. A tiny island situated off main land Portugal, Madeira is certainly the underdog of European destinations.
Time to ourselves. Just us. Time to enjoy our last pregnancy and remember that we actually do love each other very much.
I also wanted to go somewhere where I had the choice to explore or do absolutely nothing. The idea of sitting around a swimming pool all day sounded like heaven!
Hotel comparison sites are your friend and they work.
The oldest and most beautiful hotel on the island, Reid’s Palace oozes old school British decadence.
Everyone who worked at the hotel felt connected. They all knew what was going on with whom with such 5 star class. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.
- Ride on a cable car to the top of the mountain. The views are astonishing as you climb over the city of volcanic beauty. This costs €11 each one one, €16 return. If you’re pregnant you jump to the front of the queue which saved us around 30 minutes of waiting around.. result!
- Once at the top of the mountain, you can either get the cable car back down or use the 100 year old toboggan tradition. Obvs we did this and was pleasantly surprised I was able to take part being pregnant. It was so much fun!! €30 for 2. They’ll take your photo on the way down (like they do on adventure park rides) and present you with it at the end. They cost €10. You’ll need to get a taxi back to the marina (where the cable cars are) which costs a fixed price of €38.
- If your fella is a football fan then I suggest going to the Cristiano Ronaldo’s museum. My husband went using the hotel shuttle bus for free and had some manly time to himself as I stayed at the hotel and started to write this post overlooking the ocean. Perfect!
- Treat yourself to a spa treatment at the hotel – and even better if you can get the couples treatment room. Jesse and I enjoyed an hours massage side by side followed by using their private jacuzzi pool afterwards (I wasn’t allowed in being pregnant but it was still lovely to be in that space). I had the ‘Ultimate Rose Pregnancy’ massage and Jesse had the ‘Regional Spa’ massage.
- Go to the Farmers Market. Full of flowers, fruit, veg and the biggest fish market I’ve seen! The locals are all so friendly and excellent at English.
- Explore the Old Town – but wear sensible shoes! The streets are all cobbled and bumpy. Lots of lovely wine bars, restaurants and shops all so inviting and reasonable.
- Armazem Do Sal. It’s a 200 year old building that once served as a salt warehouse but now a Michelin-starred restaurant. The service was slow but worth the wait as the food was out of this world! Try the sea bream and chocolate volcano! ?
- Restaurant Casal da Penha was full of joy. The waiters were quick on their feet and the food was tremendous. My husband was so excited with his fish platter of scabbard fish, sea bass, bream, squid and shrimp for €21. Fab place to eat!
- Faja dos Padres. This restaurant can only get access by a very steep cable car. It costs €10 return per person and you literally get on it like a bus by yourself and head down the cliff. The sights are magnificent – somewhat scary if you’re not a fan of heights but to get to the bottom took a very quick 3 minutes. From here walk through the farm and hear the lizards run away from you whilst watching the sea waves hitting the black sand. The restaurant is a 5 minute walk from the cable car and so remote it feels extra special. Very reasonable too. All the fruit and veg served at the restaurant are all grown on their farm. Try and sit outside right next to the ocean.
- Riso – stunning sea views and a menu to match. Make sure when you book you ask for a table on the terrace. It’s mainly rice inspired dishes which suited me just fine – and so filling I didn’t have space for dessert. Boo. We walked from this restaurant back to the Old Town passing lots of intimate wine bars and caught a taxi back to the hotel.
Our flights back to London were at a reasonable hour of 6pm and before we knew it we were back to reality. Our two son’s greeting us in the morning with breakfast demands and bottoms that needed to be wiped…only this time we had pressed the ‘reset’ button and parenting seemed a lot easer that particular morning.
Our time in Madeira was fantastic and I highly recommend this small welcoming and beautiful escape. The underdog of islands for sure.
Please subscribe to my emails so you get these posts directly into your inbox. More travel, beauty, fashion and motherhood emails coming your way!