Funchal (Madeira), Portugal
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Approximately 3½ hours
Discover both 'sides' of Madeira on this distinctly Portuguese island with a noticeable English accent.
Begin with a drive along the island's west coast to Cabo Girão -- the tallest sea cliff in Europe and the second tallest in the world at 1,902 feet. There are stunning views out over Funchal and to the distant horizon. Look for the inhospitable terraces that hug the side of the cliff and are farmed even today, although the laws of gravity would suggest otherwise.
Stop at Câmara de Lobos, a delightfully picturesque village painted by Winston Churchill during his stay in Madeira. Today, Câmara de Lobos is a thriving fishing center, and the quaint houses around its small bay belong to many of the island's fishermen. These are some of the oldest dwellings on the island.
End your tour by relaxing over afternoon tea at Reid's Palace Hotel. This Madeira institution is famous for its lovely gardens and grounds, and for its association with the Funchal Botanic Garden -- the Reid family sold to the government the land on which the legendary gardens are located. Refreshments served will include tea or coffee, finger sandwiches, scones and cakes.
The dress code at Reid's Palace Hotel is smart-casual (no jeans, shorts or sports shoes). Wear comfortable walking shoes. No guarantee is offered with regard to visibility or views on any particular day, as weather and atmospheric conditions vary and are beyond the tour operator's control. Bring local currency, as many vendors do not accept credit cards or US dollars.