Tthis trip is about my husband and I relaxing during a turbuland time.
See + Do
Monte Tobogganing, Madeira, Portugal
The breezy hilltop suburb of Monte includes a church where Charles I, last of the Hapsburg emperors, is buried. But the real attraction are rides on the world-famous carro de cesto street toboggans. A pair of white-suited, skilled drivers will push and steer your wicker sled through the streets and down three miles of steep, winding roads back to Funchal. The cost is about $12; contact Carreiros do Monte, Sitio da Igreja (291 783 919).
A Seta, Madeira, Portugal
, Madeira, Portugal
Tel: 291 743 643
This mountainside tavern halfway between Funchal and Monte does attract its share of tourists, but with good reason. The menu is terribly simplechicken and beef espetadas (skewered kebabs) cooked in an open wood-burning ovenand makes for a refreshingly carnivorous break from all that seafood. Also, the atmosphere is exceedingly convivial, from the regular Fado shows and other folk music performed live nearly nightly, and because diners rip their own meat off the tripod of skewers hanging above the table, sopping up the juices with warm, freshly baked bread. All good fun.
Jaquet, Madeira, Portugal
Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Tel: 291 225 344
If you can't decipher what's scrawled on the blackboard menu, Senhor Luis will help you pick something fresh from the catch of the day at this seafood restaurant by Funchal's bustling market. This is a plain and simple little eatery serving plain and simple fisherman's foodgrilled fish straight off the boats, garlic-laden shrimp, and scrumptious tuna steaks.
Doca Do Cavacas, Madeira, Portugal
Ponta da Cruz, Madeira, Portugal
Tel: 291 762 057
You know a reasonably priced seafood restaurant is good when local fishermen eat there. Doca do Cavacas is perched right on the edge of the sea, along the next bay round the coast from Funchal. It serves some of the freshest and best fish in town with a panoramic view of the water. Sample the espada (the deep-sea-dwelling scabbard fish) served with plantain and mango.