Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Madeira: Eira do Serrado

Eira do Serrado

On top of the world...

I love the sea, my husband likes the mountains (something about his childhood holidays in the Alps...), and Madeira has both.
Bus number 81 takes you from Funchal to Eira do Serrado, a mountaintop viewpoint overlooking Nuns' Valley.

Eira do Serrado

The hotel, Estalagem Eira do Serrado, has 25 rooms (all with balconies overlooking the valley), and it is the only thing up there. So, unless you're a serious hiker, this may not be the best place for a holiday. Don't get me wrong, the hotel is very nice, with excellent facilities (spa, gym, the works), but there really isn't much else to do but go hiking. A day-trip might be a better option, especially if you're a city girl like me...

That being said, the hotel restaurant is definitely worth the visit. However, you might want to get any hiking you plan to do out of the way before lunch, as you won't be able to do much after lunch. The portions are quite generous: the chestnut soup appetizer is a meal in itself. Which brings me to my tip of the day: fish / meat with chestnuts, the local speciality, is the reason to come here. Just remember to order either an appetizer or a main course, not both...

Madeira mountains

The view is of course the main reason to come here:

Eira do Serrado

There is a footpath leading from the hotel down to Curral das Freiras (Nuns' Valley). It takes about an hour, even for an inexperienced hiker. I know this because I did that hike once, years ago. The walk itself seemed easy enough, but for days afterwards I had aching muscles I didn't even know existed...

Eira do Serrado

And what's so special about the valley, then? In a word: chestnuts. Forget roasted chestnuts; we're talking about chestnut cake, chestnut liqueur, they even have a chestnut festival...

Eira do Serrado

I hope you enjoyed the view as much as I did.

Tiina
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10 comments

  1. Just stunning! What views! Looks like you are sitting on top of the world.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the view was spectacular, so worth a visit, and it's not far from Funchal, either.

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  2. Replies
    1. Yes, it was quite amazing, a bit scary, too, being so high.

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  3. Whoa, fabulous!! This place sounds like a perfect get away spot for 2! I was oblivious about mountain vacation until I met my husband. I mean the closest to mountain vacation I knew as a child was a highland with tea plantation back home and I went like once. So came my husband with annual summer vacations in the Dolomites, Italy with his parents and I was transformed. I still love the beaches though, which we are not short of back home in Malaysia :)

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    Replies
    1. I started going to the mountains because of my husband, too. I'm not a fan of high places, I have to close my eyes while on the bus on those narrow mountain roads... I've always liked the seaside / lakes (even though I never sunbathe and avoid the sun as much as possible).

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  4. Wow beautiful views :) great outfit, love the pop of colour in your scarf :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, the view was quite something, a bit scary being so high up, too.

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