written by Ryan Opaz | 26th May 2017
If you’re craving a vivacious botanical garden of volcanic soil where shoots permeate from even the smallest of surfaces, you’ll adore Madeira. This incredibly verdant island is bursting with mutlicolored camellias, waterfall laden cliffs and enough picturesque little villages to put Lord of the Rings to shame. And though the sea caters well to those who crave coastal attractions, it’s Madeira’s gastronomy that captures people’s hearts, not to mention their palates.
This four day luxury tour not only includes tastings of incredibly old wines dating back to the nineteen-century, but guided tours of iconic lodges. Madeira wines have graced the tables of European royalty and was named “The King of The Wines” by the American elite nearing the turn of the century. It’s incredibly diverse in style, exciting on the palate, and is wildly unknown to much of the world – until now. By the end of the tour, you’ll not only be a die-hard ambassador of Madeira, but a passionate advocate for its diverse and exciting gastronomy.
When there were hiccups in the itinerary; Catavino was nothing but gracious. They understood what our visit meant to us & offered us fantastic guides & activities. We ooh’ed & aah’ed, ate & drank almost too well (!) & we laughed for days. Deep thanks.
Your private chauffeur will pick you up at your desired location in Funchal and escort you to your boutique luxury hotel. This five star countryside mansion provides stunning views over their lush gardens and tranquil sea. Today is yours to relax poolside with tall glass of Poncha (local firewater, similar to rum, mixed with local fruit juices) or dine in their elegant a la carte restaurant renowned for its first-class cuisine. If you’re antsy for a bit of exploration, we can equally chauffeur you to a one star Michelin restaurant with spectacular panoramic views.
If you love exotic flavors, adore vibrant colors and shapes, or simply appreciate a sea of gorgeous humanity, you’ll adore the first stop of your tour. Located on the edge of the old town in Funchal, this charming, quaint, youth driven market is an absolute joy to visit, not to mention, a masterclass on island flavors! Ever taste a Custard Apple, a Split Leaf Philodendron, an Indian Fig or a Pitanga? What about a half-dozen different varieties of passion fruit, where each color expresses a completely different flavor! With your local English speaking guide and driver at hand, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding as to what makes Madeira cuisine so delectable! At the end of your sensorial adventure, enjoy a cultural guided tour of Funchal’s late 15th century Cathedral followed by a historical tour and tasting at two iconic wineries dating back to 1811. Happy and satiated, we’ll whisk you off from your Premium Madeira tasting to lunch where you’ll savor island favorites such as Espetada (grilled meat on a skewer) and Espada – black scabbard fish. The afternoon will consist of a leisurely visit to Funchal’s famed Botanical Garden with a stunning bird’s eye view of the city. Come evening, visit Madeira’s only two star Michelin restaurant to enjoy mouthwatering dishes such as the Foie Gras Triolgy with bicolor pear compote and 10 year Blandy’s Madeira Wine Verdelho jelly; locally sourced extra-large langoustine over a cauliflower and mango couscous, and Premium Wagyu Filet accompanied by veal cheek confit and black truffle juice.
Today, you’ll experience the awe-inspiring landscapes along the rugged North coast of Madeira in a luxury Range Rover. An exotic wilderness awaits dotted in quaint villages, vast vineyards and lush orchards. Beginning in the seaside town of São Vicente, you’ll meander through the lush green countryside visiting jaw-dropping natural wonders such as the giant Laurissilva Forests and the traditional thatched roofs in Santana. Halfway into your excursion, you’ll stop for a premium wine tasting at the top of Achada do Gramacho, followed by a decadent lunch consisting of fresh coastal flavors. For dinner, relax back at the hotel and savor their five star flavors.
One cannot leave Madeira without a day at sea. Today, climb onto your private yacht and enjoy a four hour cruise alongside bottlenose, atlantic spotted and striped dolphins, as well as sperm and pilot whales. Come lunchtime, a catered lunch and wine tasting highlighting tropical island flavors will be provided on the boat. In the afternoon, your private chauffeur will pick you up at the marina and drive you to your preferred departure point in Funchal.