The New Year’s celebration in Madeira is centered in Funchal, where the fireworks display takes place along the city’s natural amphitheater, filling the sky with colorful lights and rumbling noises that excites spectators of all ages.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2006-2007, the fireworks display in the Island of Madeira was classified as the “Greatest Fireworks Show in the World”. The Island held this title until 2012. Macedo’s Pirotecnia strategically set up the 37 staggering firing stations, with an estimated cost over 1 million Euros for an 8-10 minute show. Just to give you an idea of how magnificent the show is, 17 tons of fireworks with more than 660 discharges at a rate of more than 8,000 discharges per minute.
Every year, numerous cruise ships and boats fill the harbor to witness the incredible spectacle that draws people from all over the world. There are many viewpoints to watch the fireworks show. You can watch it from your hotel balcony (if it faces the bay and is well positioned in the hillsides), join the fun crowds in the streets, or rent a boat/catamaran and watch it from the sea. Madeira is without doubt an incredible place to celebrate the New Year, an experience that you won’t see or feel anywhere else.
This is a video of last year’s display, created by Hey Productions.
The Azores, has been getting a lot of good press lately, and it has been well deserved. This time, Budget Travel magazine has nominated the Portuguese Islands as one of its Top Budget Travel destinations in 2012.
Tourada à Corda (Bullfight by rope) is one of the more unique experiences that you will have on the island of Terceira. From May until October you will find bullfights in the street, in the fields, and even at the beach. While the island of Terceira has the formal Portuguese bullfight, where there are “Cavaleiros” (Horsemen), “Toureiro” (Bullfighters) and “Forcados” in a bullfighting ring, the Tourada à Corda is less formal, in that it gives the spectator the opportunity to be on the same playing field of the bull.
Whales and dolphins have been coming to the Azores for many years due to the rich amount of fish supply that the sea surrounding the islands have. The islands of Azores, offers you a great opportunity to see these mammals as there are over 20 different types of species that have been seen near the islands.
While you can go whale watching year round, the best time to go is during the summer. There are many operators that offer whale watching tours, and you can find them near the marina in Ponta Delgada. Most tours last 3 hours and the cost can range from 40 to 55 euros. Below is a list of operators that offer whale watching tours.