Floral Maderia

madeira-8The Flower Festival in Madeira was the inspiration for planning what turned out to be a wonderful week on the island for 39 members of the Exmoor Extroverts group. Sue Shapland continues:

Ellen Walker from Brightwater Holidays made all the arrangements for the April trip and our guide, Joao Camacho, looked after us excellently and could not have been more helpful. We stayed at the Four Views Monumental Lido Hotel in Funchal, and we were all impressed by the sumptuous buffet at dinner, the most varied I’ve ever seen, with something for every taste, and at a very reasonable price.

Amongst the pre-arranged and optional visits we enjoyed a full day tour of the island, including its spectacular and wild north, the amazing isolated village, Nuns Valley, and three fabulous gardens – Quinta do Palheiro (Blandys), the Botanical Gardens and Monte Palace Gardens. Those who were feeling adventurous also tried the exciting Monte Toboggan Run!

madeira-2Thanks to our wonderful guide Joao we enjoyed several evening concerts – I had no idea that mandolins came in such a variety of shapes and sizes – and we were privileged to listen to probably the only mandolin orchestra in the world!

Saturday was a free day in Funchal to see floral decorations for the next day’s Flower Parade being prepared including ‘pavement carpets’ and the ‘Wall of Hope’ built with flowers presented by all the children. For the Parade, we had excellent seats and the incredible spectacle, lasted about four hours. The magnificent floral floats were preceded by local children and their parents dressed in colourful costumes.

What a fantastic finale to a truly wonderful week, thank you Brightwater for a superbly arranged holiday.”