On the south coast of the island of Madeira lies the small village of Ponta do Sol. Unspolit by tourism and very much a traditional Portuguese village, Ponta do Sol is most famous for its banana plantations, rugged mountain and ocean scenery, and the glorious weather that gives the village its name. Holiday rental accommodation in Ponta do Sol can mainly be found in the form of luxury villas and modern apartments.
Many people head to Ponta do Sol for a relaxing break, and a favourite of many visitors is a meal in one of the village’s excellent restaurants that overlooks the rocky coast and blue ocean, and offer spectacular mountain views and fantastic quality sunsets. The village also has a decent selection of bars, should you wish to continue your night afterwards, and you will find the locals happy to mix with the tourists in a friendly and laid-back environment.
Those seeking a more active break can head for one of the many beaches that line the coast, try their hand at a spot of swimming, deep sea fishing or surfing, or hire a mountain bike and explore the area. The latter is a great way to discover the ‘real’ Madeira, and wind your way around the many banana and sugar plantations that exist in the area.
Madeira is perhaps most famous for its food, and bananas, mangoes, peaches, grapes, sugar, wines, fish and meat are just some of the local specialities. Food and drink are a big part of local life, and as well as making an effort to sample as much of this as possible (especially the local Madeira cake!), visitors may even be fortunate enough to arrive during a food festival, of which there are several throughout the year.
Madeira has a number of places of interest within a relatively small space. The capital Funchal is well worth exploring when your first arrive on the island, and boasts attractions that include a local food market, a botanical garden and an impressive port. Also consider at least a day trip to the rural and secluded haven of Santa Cruz.
The name Ponta do Sol translates literally as ‘tip of the sun’, and it’s easy to see how the village acquired this label. Average temperatures range from 30°C in the summer to 19°C during the winter, with hour upon hour of glorious sunshine. Humidity is also low throughout the year.
Madeira is a relatively small island, and Ponta do Sol lies just 31km from the airport, which is near Funchal (FNC). An airport taxi service or the use of a hire car are the best ways to get to your self-catering accommodation, depending on how much exploring you plan to do during your stay. Funchal receives regular flights from the UK through several airlines, including Thomson, Thomas Cook and easyJet.