The Madeira region
Madeira is a beautiful island. It is Portugal's 'Joia do atlantico'. The island is a haven for anyone who enjoys walking, whether your taste runs to gentle strolls or hard core hiking. Madeira’s system of irrigation channels, known as levadas, carry water down from the mountains on gentle gradients. These levadas provide a ready-made system of trails. There are 1300 miles of them, crisscrossing the island, and they have level footpaths running along their entire length. Walkers of all ages and abilities can take in some of the finest countryside, surrounded by colorful foliage and spectacular views.
Madeira’s greatest attraction has to be the subtropical climate, sometimes known as “the island of eternal spring”. Even in winter the temperature rarely falls below 17C, and rarely exceeds 23C in high summer. Garajau has an excellent bus service to and from Funchal as well as to the next village Canico and its coastal resort of Canico de Baixo. The beach at Garajau has been recently restored with access by road or cable lift.
The landscape is covered in a green mantle of rich subtropical foliage. The variety and profusion of flowers makes the island a permanent flower show. Birds of Paradise, with their bright orange beak-like flowers, blossom in open fields. Fragrant hydrangeas line walking paths (levadas) that skirt the edge of mountain terraces.
The landscape and vegetation, coupled with the ever-friendly Madeirans and the appetizing food, combine to ensure that Madeira is a place of immense appeal, which draws one, back again and again.
Located on the sunny, southern coast of Madeira, Garajau is situated, midway between the airport, and the capital, Funchal. Taxi journey time to both is just 12 minutes. Garajau has long been known to be one of Madeira’s high-class residential areas and is named after the black-headed sea birds, terns, which nest in the cliffs.
Just below the town is a 200m high headland with a fine 'miradouro' - a statue of Christ with outstretched arms, similar to the larger statues in Rio de Janeiro or Lisbon. This is a wonderful spot to watch the sun go down and it has great views west to the Bay of Funchal. The coastline here at Garajau is also a conservation area, and was one of Europe’s first underwater nature reserves, providing sanctuary for whales, dolphins and seals. The sea shore has now been updated and opened up with a new cable lift to take visitors down onto the beach and a beachfront restaurant.
Garajau is also ideal as a location to start the many levada walks in Madeira.
Both Golf courses are within easy reach and the coastal area of Caniço de Baixo boasts three world renowned diving schools.
Garajau’s high street combines the Hotel Dom Pedro Garajau on one side of the road and a multitude of shops, bakeries, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, several restaurants, fresh fruit/mini-market, ATM, and bank with the larger shops of Continente and Pingo Doce just 2 minutes away by car. Our apartment sits high on the top floor across from the Hotel Dom Pedro and has a sweeping sea vista, including the Desertas Islands Nature Preserve, with the arc of the sun offering you breathtaking seasonal sunrise and sunset views to enjoy.
Golf: Golfers will be pleased to know that the new 18-hole Palheiro golf course is no more than a 20 minute drive. Classic Madeiran hills, ridges and deep valleys have all been incorporated into the terrain to produce a dramatically interesting course, with stunning views. The spectacular 27-hole Santo da Serra golf course (also known as Campo de Golf and home to the Madeira Island Open) is also within easy reach. This is Madeira’s oldest golf course. It sits high up on a plateau and is marvelous scenic with inspirational views back up the mountains and out over the Atlantic below.