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Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Madeira

13/11/2014

Renowned for its spectacular New Year fireworks display, Madeira is a perennial favourite with winter cruisers

Start your New Year with a bang in Madeira

Start your New Year with a bang in Madeira



New Year is when Madeira really springs to life with an astounding fireworks display in the capital city of Funchal. With its amphitheatre shape, the city is the perfect arena for the show and as the fireworks are ignited from barges floating in Funchal’s bay, you’ll find the best vantage point is from the deck of your cruise ship. The reflections of the fireworks in the ocean are a sight to behold and guests can join in the countdown to midnight as the changing date is beamed onto Madeira’s dramatic black hills in the background.

 

After the celebrations have finished, there’s still plenty to discover in this unique and varied island. And luckily, P&O Cruises will be on hand to help you explore it with an exclusive shore excursion.

 

 

Madeira shore excursions:

Cable Car and Toboggan

Thrill-seekers will adore Madeira’s infamous wicker toboggans. The concept is simple: after taking a cable car to the hill-top town of Monte, visitors hop inside the two-person wicker sleds and are pushed down the steeply winding roads by locals wearing rubber-soled shoes that they use as brakes.

 

Farmer’s Market and Botanical Gardens

Remarkably, there are six distinct climate zones in Madeira, meaning that almost any kind of plant life can thrive there. A vast profusion of plants and flowers from all parts of the world can be found in the beautifully laid-out botanical gardens at the former private residence of the Reid family, plus you’ll also enjoy a stop at the Mercado dos Lavradores (farmer’s market) to sample some of the local produce.

 

Levada Walk

Levadas, a network of unique waterways used to channel rain from the north of the island to the dry, sunny south, provide a great way to explore Madeira’s beautiful landscape. Guided tours can be booked or you can set out on your own, with routes ranging from sedate strolls to more demanding treks.

 

The Caves of São Vicente

The unique labyrinth of lava tubes that sit underneath the picturesque village of São Vicente were carved out by a volcanic eruption 400,000 years ago. Today, the enchanting remains can still be explored by guided tour. Round off your visit with a trip to the Volcanic Museum, before enjoying a spot of lunch above ground in São Vicente.

 

Tea for Two at Reid’s

Afternoon tea at Madeira’s most luxurious hotel is a time-honoured tradition and a great way to see more of Funchal Bay. Nibble away on an extravagant selection of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and homemade pastries as you gaze out across the surrounding subtropical gardens and glittering Atlantic Ocean.

 

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