Glass enjoys sunshine, sea, and sweetness at Melia Mare

MADEIRA is one of the few places that make even the most seasoned traveller want to sell up and relocate there. Its location off the North-West coast of Africa guarantees it year-round sunshine but with a cooling Atlantic breeze so it is never unbearably hot or humid. The sub-tropical climate and fertile volcanic soil make the island incredibly verdant.

Everywhere one looks there are fruit trees, flowers, and greenery. The stalls at the Mercado dos Lavradores (farmer’s market) groan with gorgeous fresh watermelon, tiny, sweet Madeiran bananas, the island’s famous passion fruit, sugar cane and every conceivable vegetable.

Glass Travel Madeira 51

Veranda Sea View

Glass Travel Madeira 51Maloclinic Mountain

The fresh island produce is a highlight of the cuisine at the Melia Mare and their expansive buffets are a great way to get to know Madeiran cuisine. At breakfast, there is a dizzying array of island fruits and freshly baked local cakes – the soft and fluffy chestnut cake and cottage cheese queijadas (sweet pastries filled with cheese) are a must.

Every week the restaurant hosts a traditional Madeiran evening, giving guests the chance to try such specialities as black scabbard fish cooked with passion fruit and bananas or espetada – hanging skewers of seasoned, grilled meats, accompanied with freshly baked bread, whilst enjoying folk music and dance.

Glass Travel Madeira 51Malo Clinic Spa

The hotel is located on the seafront with stunning views of the Atlantic to be enjoyed from the enormous room balconies. The hotel boasts indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, and an enviable location next to Funchal’s famous lido complex. (Due to the rocky coastline, beaches in Madeira are scarce so ocean-front lidos are a popular choice for enjoying the sun and sea).

Be sure to book into the hotel spa, which is fully equipped with a hammam, sauna and salt-water flotation tank and offers a full menu of specialist treatments.

by Nicola Kavanagh

Ocean view rooms start from £117 per night

About The Author

Glass Magazine editor in chief

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