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GIRL’S TRIP! Rewind a few months ago when I was scheduled to go to Italy for work. I knew I wanted to post-extend this trip and head to a country I had never been to, which brought me to Portugal. After doing some research and meeting with hoteliers, I knew Madeira had to be a part of my itinerary. I called up some fellow travel-loving girlfriends, and we got to planning!

Fast forward to May, and Caitlin (Augusta Leigh Photography), Whitney (Blonde Atlas), Caroline (The Belle Abroad) & I were on a tiny little plane heading from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon to the sunny island of Madeira! 

The island of Madeira is just over 300 miles off the coast of West Africa and is a complete getaway from all feelings of hustle & bustle. We instantly fell in love with everything about this charming island – from the people, to the food, to our amazing hotel Belmond Reid’s Palace, to the heavenly scenery & more.

Check out the perfect three day, two night itinerary on the island of Madeira, Portugal below!

BOOK YOUR STAY AT BELMOND REID’S PALACE WITH ME & RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING COMPLIMENTARY AMENITIES:

  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests, served in restaurant
  • A complimentary lunch for up to two people per room
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

{Contact me at chelsea@passporttofriday.com to book!}

Photography by myself & Augusta Leigh Photography of SNAP SQUAD

Check-In to Belmond Reid’s Palace

Pulling up to the pink palace, I knew right away that we picked the right place to stay! This iconic hotel holds over 120 years old of history under its roof and has sweeping views of the ocean and town of Funchal below. It really is a perfect getaway spot for couples, groups of friends, families, and more.

We checked in to our rooms which were adorned with soft pastel colors and a large balcony with stunning ocean views, then off to the pool we went!

Enjoy Pool & Beach Time at Belmond Reid’s Palace

When your hardest decision is whether to lounge poolside or beachside, you know you’re in a great place. We chose poolside and ordered a pitcher of sangria and some salads & sandwiches. We spent the afternoon swimming, laughing way too much, and taking in the gorgeous scenery. 

Walk Into Funchal & Wine Taste at Paixão do Vinho

The location of Belmond Reid’s Palace could not be more ideal, located just walking distance from the town of Funchal. Knowing we had to try Madeira wine, we headed to Paixão do Vinho. They offer a a few different options of full tastings suitable for various palates. Madeira wine is very unique, but I still recommend trying the mid-level tasting – you will not be disappointed! We felt so welcomed by the owner who told us stories and gave us local recommendations. One of our best experiences on the island!


NEXT DAY


Breakfast at Belmond Reid’s Palace

I’ve eaten at a lot of hotel breakfast buffets, but the one at Belmond Reid’s Palace had one of the widest varieties that I’ve seen. There was a vast selection of exotic fruits, a large number of hot food items, breads & pastries galore, charcuterie & fresh vegetables, and a little mimosa station. They also made eggs to order. We sat at a table talking over coffee and delicious food for a couple hours until we realized we needed to hit the road and start our full day on Madeira!

DAILY BREAKFAST FOR TWO IS INCLUDED WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR STAY AT BELMOND REID’S PALACE WITH PASSPORT TO FRIDAY

Lunch at Restaurante do Forte

On the search for a fresh, seaside lunch with a pretty view, we came across Restaurante do Forte from some recommendations. The 17th century fortress sits above the sea and offers great views in a charming, historic setting.

Enjoying a long, leisurely lunch, we dined on colorful veggies, pasta and fresh seafood. You must try the classic Madeira dish, Black Scabbard Fish Filet, which is baked in thyme and served with banana & passion fruit from Madeira!

Road Trip Around Madeira

We teamed up with Visit Madeira to spend a day trekking around the island in a rental car (pro tip: make sure to request an automatic car if you cannot drive manual as they are less common on the island!)

If you can only do one thing on your road trip, you must go to Pico do Arieiro. After a (somewhat nerve-wrecking) drive through the clouds, the sky opened up and we found ourselves at one of the most insane viewpoints I have ever seen. The feeling of being above the clouds and seeing the rolling green mountains below was something I will never forget!

From there we drove to the small town of Santana which is known for its abundance of thatch roofed homes. We couldn’t stop pulling over on the side of the road to take photos of them!

We then drove the coast and looped back to Funchal, driving down windy roads and coming across waterfalls and small villages the entire way home.

Sunset & Dinner in Old Town Funchal

Sunsets on Madeira are not to be missed, and we made it a point to find the perfect spot to see the city lit up by the setting sun. Embracing golden hour, we strolled into town and found an unexpected very lively scene! We drank Poncha (the drink of the island), danced to the live music in the square, and ate traditional Portuguese cuisine. Next thing we knew, everything was closed and we were the last ones left in the square!


LAST DAY


Room Service Breakfast at Belmond Reid’s Palace

Some days just aren’t made for getting out of your robe to eat breakfast. After our long day exploring the island, a room service breakfast in bed was exactly what we needed. We ordered the usual suspects (coffee, pastries, fruit & eggs), and eventually took our breakfast from bed to the spacious balcony to soak in the view.

Boat Ride with On Tales

To wrap up a perfect couple days on the island of Madeira, we decided to hit the ocean with On Tales for a few hours of boating. The boat was clean and new, the views were spectacular, and guys… we saw SO MANY DOLPHINS! It was the perfect ending to such an incredible girls trip!

 


SHOP OUR SUITCASES


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Safe travels y’all!

Best,

Chelsea Rose Martin