To get to “Costa Linda” from the airport, please add the following address to your navigation system: Rua Dr. João Abel de Freitas, Porto da Cruz, Madeira.
Take the highway towards Machico, pass Machico and continue down the highway towards Porto da Cruz. Now follow the signs in the direction of Porto da Cruz, leaving the highway eventually. At the roundabout, take the exit for to the village (Centro). Hotel “Costa Linda” is situated next to the church. So between church and sea.
Madeira is situated in the Atlantic Ocean only 500 Km from the African Continent and 1000 Km from Portugal (1h30m by plane from Lisbon), and consists of a group of islands close together.
Madeira Island is the biggest island with Funchal as it’s capital, but there is also the Golden Island (Porto Santo) at 90 km North-East of Funchal), the inhabitable Desert Islands (Deserta Grande, Bugio and Ilhéu Chão) only 20 km South-East of Funchal) and last but not least the natural park islands (Ilhas Selvagens), which are all a natural reserve, 280 km of Funchal.
Madeira Island is also called “The Atlantic Pearl”, “Lovers Island”, “Eden” or “Paradise”, all because of its grand natural park that stretches 728 km2 (57 mm of length E-W and 22Km of width N-S) and conserves more than 700 plant species, some of which extremely rare and not found anywhere else.
Madeira is a volcanic island and has many areas of great altitude. The highest altitudes are reached at the Pico Ruivo, which is 1862 m high.
Madeira is an autonomous Island with its own government, flag and hymn and is distinguished by its culture and traditions. It encloses 10 towns and 52 villages with a total population of 260.000 habitants, of which 120.000 are living in the capital of the Island, Funchal.
Porto da Cruz
Porto da Cruz is a village, situated in Machico, 15 min from the Airport by car and just 25 min from the capital, Funchal. It is located at one of the most beautiful coast of the Norwest Side of the Island, with approx. 3.500 habitants on 512 acres.
The mountains that encircle this village have been transformed into terraced fields by hand a long time ago. They embrace the sea, and have two openings that have become beautiful and rare small black sand beaches, formed by the erosion of the volcanic rocks.
The sea provides an abundant of fish species that are all eaten. Fish like the local Sword-fish (“Espada”) and delicious shellfishes such as limpets (“Lapa”) and small sea snails (“Caramujos”).
Geologically speaking, Porto da Cruz is an authentic monastery of beautiful formations of successive volcanic and basaltic layers where you can visit an impressive mountain of 590 m height called “Penha d’Aguia”. This name was given during the discovery of the Island in 1419, during an exploration of the North Coast (from “Ponta de São Lorenço” to “Ponta do Pargo”) when the explorers have made a cross with some woods from the small river.
Every town and village in Madeira has it’s own Christian saint. The Porto da Cruz Saint is the virgin “Guadalupe”, and there’s a church in her honour, drawn by the Portuguese architect called Raul Ramalho Chorão. It was inaugurated on the 19th of May 1957, the year the village was connected to the electricity grid.
In the past, Porto da Cruz possessed many sugar cane plantations and still today you can find a sugar cane engine. However, it’s now used for honey syrup and a typical and local alcoholic drink called “aguardente”. With this drink, we produce another beloved and local drink called “Poncha”. From the honey syrup we make delicious honey cake.
This old engine was constructed in 1927 and still works with steam machines. Also, there are two other factories that still exist on Madeira, which are Engenho do Ribeiro Seco and Calheta.
However, from the past to the present day, vineyards are part of the landscape. Porto da Cruz is known for producing homemade wine called “Americano”. This dry wine has no chemical additives and expires after a maximum of 2 years. In the past, when there were no cars or communications ways, the wine was distributed by a group of hikers called “Borracheiros”. They carried the wine in bags made of treated goat leather (“Borrachos”) and brought them to all other parts of the island by foot, walking over small and steep mountains paths. You can still walk or cycle these paths, which are called “levadas”).
There are several levadas in the mountains, but the most popular are these:
Levada do Castelejo: This levada, follows a creek called the “Ribeiro Frio” and passes through a place called “Terra Baptista”. Start your walking tour at Terra Baptista.
Boca do Risco: This tour has been used in the past as a means of communication with Machico. It follows the steep northern slope and allows you to see Porto da Cruz and part of the “Ponta de São Lourenço”.
Portela – Ribeiro Frio: This levada is mostly flat and easy to walk, with varied vegetation. Perfect for nature lovers who enjoy contact with nature.
Portela – Funduras – Maroços: This levada was used in the past as another means of communication with Machico.
Penha d’Aguia – Faial: Levada that leads to the top of the mountain Penha d’Aguia. Is the highest mountain in Porto da Cruz, and is 590 meters high. On the top of this mountain you’ll have a spectacular view of the village Porto da Cruz.
Levada Nova – Referta: Levada of average difficulty walk which starts in Sitio da Referta.
Other sightseeing spots are e.g. the former lookout point “Fortim do Pico”. In a small basaltic rock mountain, 46m high, in the village of Porto da Cruz itself, you’ll find a fort called “Fortim do Pico” which was built in 1708. Its aim was to serve as lookout for the protection of populations throughout the XVIII century. In the year 1804 it was dismantled, however today you can still see the masonry walls built in gray basalt.
There is also a small harbour known as “Furnas”. These are made out of man-made caves, dug out of the volcanic mountains and are important in geological heritage. Originally these caves were made for cattle, but oral tradition mentions that in certain periods it worked as well as a prison.