Madeira’s Gardens

When talking about Madeira, someone will inevitably say: oh, the island of flowers! It’s true that at any given time something is in bloom. In fact, Madeira was the first place I saw poinsettias growing in someone’s garden. Since then, I’ve seen poinsettias on the islands of La Palma and La Gomera, but that first […]

Madeira’s High Country

It may come as a surprise that Madeira has a high country, but Pico Ruivo is Portugal’s third highest peak at 1861 m (6,106 ft). There is a fantastic hike from Pico do Arieiro at 1,818 metres (5,965 ft), Madeira’s third and Portugal’s 5th highest peak. We drove up in complete darkness to witness the […]

Hiking Levadas in Madeira

Apart from seeing all the flowers, the main reason to visit the Portuguese island of Madeira is to go hiking, particularly along levadas, i.e. irrigation channels which bring water from the wetter regions of the island to the drier. On our last trip to Madeira 8 years ago we didn’t see much of the island […]

Postcard of Mt. Rigi

I look forward to every chance I have to go to the top of Mount Rigi. It’s easy to reach, offers spectacular views and it’s a great place to go with out of town guests. In winter it’s possible to go on walks, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing or sledding. In summer there are […]