Desertas Islands Full-Day Catamaran Trip from Funchal
- Duration: 9 hours
per group up to 999
per group up to 2
per group up to 5
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A tour to experience a market mainly frequented by locals, so unlike the Mercado Dos Lavadores in Funchal where the only Madeirans you will see are the sellers, this is the real thing and prices are competitive and low. There's authentic local specialities too, Poncha, cider, stone baked bread and so much more ...... The gardens are a must visit too. So peaceful, with lovely birdsong. I could easily have spent an hour there. Santa Cruz is a lovely place too. It would have been ideal to spend an hour or more there enjoying the promenade, enjoying a snack in one of the tavernas. For me the wickerwork factory was a commercialised showcase for tourists, way too “staged” and inauthentic. I would rather have spent my time at the other venues. Maybe because over the years I've visited villages involved in creating one craft, mainly sat at their doors, which is what wickerwork used to be here ...... The tour delivered a unique experience without the need for a hirecar.
An interesting trip with three stops. First stop was a small village with enough time for a quick coffee by the sea. Then to a viewpoint for photo taking. Finally, to the local Sunday market at Santo da Serra. We only had about an hour here but the market is small so it was enough time. It's a low key affair where you can try/buy home made Poncha and cider as well as fruit, veg and cakes. All very reasonably priced. It felt very authentic - not much English spoken but everyone very friendly. Pick-up was on time and minibus was very comfortable. An interesting and informative commentary was given by our driver, Roberto.
Although the staff on the catamaran was very friendly and professional (no complaints there whatsoever), I found the whole experience to be rather disappointing. The trip to and from ilhas desertas takes a long time, and too much so in comparison to the time spent on deserta grande. The tour there is extremely short (10-15 minutes) which is really too bad. While one group does the tour, the other group has the opportunity to engage in some activities such as stand-up paddling and snorkling, but in my opinion this doesn't make up for the short stay on the island.
This tour was excellent . The two guides Marco and Neeno did everything in their power to ensure we had a great time. We were picked up at 9.00am as promised and from the outset the tour was informative and lots of fun. Well worth the money and if we are ever back we will do again but choose another route the next time as I am sure it would be as informative. They are enthusiastic about their work and very proud of their island Ten out of ten boys . Pat June Billy and Alistair
We went on the old roads with no other touristy traffic, with beautiful views expertly described by our very able drive Felipe who answered all our many questions. Felt extremely safe on the bike & we had a running commentary through our helmets in between the many varid stops. Definitely one tour to go on that will live on in your memories for many years. Thank you once again Felipe.