Category Archive: Activities

New Year’s in Madeira

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.

Whale & Dolphin Watching in São Miguel

Whale and Dolphin Watching in São Miguel

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.

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Praia do Populo

The Praia do Populo beach is located in the town of Sao Roque, on the island of Sao Miguel, about a 10-15 minute drive from Ponta Delgada.  It is one of the many soft black sand beaches, on the island, and a great beach to take a dip on a hot day.

During the summertime the beach is very popular with the locals, as there are restaurants, cafés, and even a hotel near the beach.

These pictures were taken in late November, while it was windy day, the temperature was in the 60’s that day and there were people surfing in the water.