Looks like I've made a spontaneous booking I'll need to cancel - Madeira with dc?

(29 Posts)
notagainnellie Mon 22-Aug-16 08:05:58

Yes, wine had been drunk, but the cancellation will be free and I have until June, though I have also found flights well below the average cost for that region, but I've held off those.

After a mainly wet/windy few week in S Wales, I decided last night that I'm going to prioritise holidays and going somewhere warm is essential. Found what looked like an ideal and cheap very reasonable apartment in Funchal on Madeira. It claims to be minutes from the beach, but I have since googled and found there are no beaches at all there - just lidos. I wouldn't need golden sand - pebbles, black sand etc all fine, but no beach at all probably a disaster.

People also say Madeira is not really suitable for dc at all, though mine have never been to kids clubs/resort type places anyway, so not sure if this is a problem or not. We did Valencia last year and loved it - but did go to the zoo, science museum etc... It looks beautiful and plenty of people saying how friendly everyone is etc,. We could do water parks etc here before/after we go...?

Could it work?

AppleSetsSail Mon 22-Aug-16 08:09:09

I just got back from Funchal. There are no beaches, it's a volcanic island. Threw me for a loop as well.
When do you plan on going?

notagainnellie Mon 22-Aug-16 08:11:00

Oh dear - though I think I could sell 'volcanic island' to ds, but I suppose the novelty wears off. We're not due to go until next August. Did you not have a good time, Apple?

AppleSetsSail Mon 22-Aug-16 08:25:04

We had a good time but I wouldn't go back. I'll post more later

SecretSpy Mon 22-Aug-16 08:28:51

Can you take a trip over to Porto Santo? We've been to both, it's lovely. Though we stayed at the other end of Madeira - still a lido but it was cheap entry and nice. The food was great.

I love Madeira but it's definitely not a beach holiday! How old are the kids? Don't count it out, just need to get some activities organised.

BertrandRussell Mon 22-Aug-16 08:28:58

Cancel and pick Lanzarote instead. Beaches and volcanic stuff, and ^ loads^ to do.

SecretSpy Mon 22-Aug-16 08:28:58

Can you take a trip over to Porto Santo? We've been to both, it's lovely. Though we stayed at the other end of Madeira - still a lido but it was cheap entry and nice. The food was great.

TinyTear Mon 22-Aug-16 08:30:20

i went in 2010 pre children.
i loved it and want to go back. if you like walking there are lovely walks in Levadas and up the mountains.

AppleSetsSail Mon 22-Aug-16 11:17:24

-Ocean is v cold and the current swift. If your children aren't old enough to go in the water solo, I would definitely skip it.

-Portugese food is horrible in my estimation.

Portuguese food is lovely! The stuffed potato bread in Madeira is lovely and we had fantastic seafood.

NickiFury Mon 22-Aug-16 12:57:29

There are beaches confused. I was on one this time one year ago. I can send you a photo to prove it if you like.

I adored Madeira. Gorgeous place.

AppleSetsSail Mon 22-Aug-16 15:52:22

Portuguese food is lovely! The stuffed potato bread in Madeira is lovely and we had fantastic seafood.

We went to a naice hotel and their buffet was grim.

I also escaped the hotel a few times to order fish and every time it was overcooked and covered in sauces. I ordered a rare tuna steak and it arrived looking like a tuna stew out of a slow cooker.

notagainnellie Mon 22-Aug-16 21:23:24

Hmmm... still undecided. I often consider Lanzarote and then I see some reviews raving about English fry-ups and change my mind...

sunnydayinmay Mon 22-Aug-16 21:28:42

We went about 11 years ago, when ds1 was a toddler, and had an amazing time. The swimming pools were great, and the food was amazing. Honestly, our main impression was how fantastic the food was, and how good the whole tourist set up was.

AppleSetsSail Mon 22-Aug-16 21:30:03

I'm unfamiliar with Lazarote.

SecretSpy Mon 22-Aug-16 22:49:53

Food wise I'd say if you like garlic, steaks and fish you'll be grand.

BertrandRussell Tue 23-Aug-16 05:47:57

It's only tiny bits of Lanzarote that are fry-up heaven. Honestly- head towards the north- it's fab.

pelirocco123 Tue 23-Aug-16 06:19:34

I know from other people's experience that I'm in the minority , but I hated Madeira. (I may have enjoyed it more had it not poured down all weekend ) it's not really a child friendly place and I second the person ref poor food.Depending on the time of year I would say Lanzarote or Majorca

Idefix Tue 23-Aug-16 06:42:47

So we did this last year after being sandblast for 10 days on the Dutch coast worst storms in over a 100yrs and went to Barcelona and up coast to do sandcastles, snorkelling, Roman ruins etc. Best impulse decision I made in a long time, restoring my wavering faith in the powers of holidaying. Introduced df to authentic tapas and other Spanish delights and not a single fry up in sight grin

Didn't like Lanzarote.

off to Valencia slurping coffee and putting off final packing in a bit and can't wait.

Idefix Tue 23-Aug-16 06:44:03

Df? Nope dc ffs

user1471445492 Tue 23-Aug-16 06:52:42

I took my family to Madeira for a two week holiday in August a few years ago. We loved it. Youngest child was six at the time. Stayed in a hotel complex with several pools so didn't miss the beach at all.

BristolLFR Wed 07-Sep-16 18:10:30

If you're in a hotel with a pool that's fine, but sounds like you're just in an apartment in town.

There is one sandy beach on the island but it's a good drive away.

They have small lido type pools built on to the coast around Funchal, but no good for small children.

Funchal is beautiful, would really recommend for a couples holiday, but not a family place at all.

I second lanzarote, the Brit-pub type resorts are really self contained and the rest of the island is lovely.

If you're still looking for somewhere a bit more cosmopolitan but with a beach try las palmas in gran canaria. It has a beautiful beach over a mile long protected by a reef barrier so lovely for swimming, but is right on the city. It's all gran canarians and spaniards, no tourists at all. But the resorts of the south are only an hour away on the bus if the kids want a water park day.

AbyssinianBanana Wed 07-Sep-16 18:18:02

Don't go. The are steep hills (like San Francisco steep) everywhere. Lots of elderly folk and hotels catering to them. Lots of couples (like we were) going for sun in the late fall. Some older kids, but not many. Also ginormous cruise ships sometimes docked there.

We spent a lot of time reading by our lovely hotel pool and drinking. There wasn't a single child at our hotel pool (and it wasn't one of those poncey types that actively discouraged families). I did see some families when we visited the interior (rainforest like, wet, cold) and took catamaran day trips. And doing a to oven/bobsledding type of a run from a huge hill (it was a botanical garden of some kind)

AbyssinianBanana Wed 07-Sep-16 18:18:30

Toboggan not oven, lol

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