The local wine "Verdelho" is sweet and very alcoholic and only a
limited amount is produced. Some restaurants provide a free mini-bus
service to and from certain hotels and there are several small beach bars
which offer lunch and dinner during the months of high summer.
Being a small
Island with the sea always in close proximity, it is not surprising that
swimming in the ocean, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing are very popular
pastimes. Although there are no signposted footpaths, one can walk up to
Pico do Castelo (a near perfect volcanic cone shape some 430 metres high),
or to the highest point of the Island, Pico do Facho ("The
Torch", 517 metres) where once sentries would light torches to warn
the people of Machico in Madeira, that pirates had been sighted and were
on their way.
daily flights from Funchal (15 minutes) or there is the boat service which
takes up to 3 hours depending on the sea conditions. Thus one can visit
for the day or spend some days on the island; you can even take your hire
car from Madeira on the car ferry.
It is not
essential to hire a car, but it can be fun for a day or two, to explore
the farthest reaches of the Island. Alternatively one can take a taxi tour
around the Island or join one of the (few) excursion buses.
population of only 5000 very laid back inhabitants (bear in mind that the
mains electricity supply was only completed as recently as 1985!), this
delightful Island is still very much undiscovered, the question is
"just how long will it remain so?"