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Love at first sight

I’ve been in ‘move mode’ for a while but now ensconced in the Somerset countryside and slightly less frantic – did someone say it’s Christmas next week? Oh.

Despite the transition I’ve still managed to squeeze in some cheeky excursions.  I was on a press trip a few weeks ago to the beautiful Island of Madeira.   Not sure what I was expecting, perhaps something reminiscent of (a not so great) Tenerife experience. I feel ashamed now…I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’ve been criticised for the length of my blogs so I’m keeping this one short and sweet.  This may also be something to do with the growing angst I have, knowing the lovingly crafted home made gifts that I was so determined to produce are yet to be made. Bugger.

I have raved about Madeira since returning – three days was such a short time but in that short time it wasn’t hard to come up with a hundred reasons to go back, I said I’d keep it snappy so here’s ten;

Top ten reasons to get on the next flight to Madeira;

  1. The temperature seldom falls below 17 degrees in the winter and summer is steady at around 25 – 30 degrees, fabulous.
  2. Dolphins are in residence all year, not far off shore.  It was the last weekend in November when I visited and we were in bikinis sunning ourselves whilst watching these beautiful creatures playing elegantly  around the catamaran – amazing how relaxed you feel just from watching them. http://www.madeira-marlin.com/whales-dolphins.html
  3. It’s quick and cheap to get there – it’s three and a bit hours flight, direct – EasyJet fly there from many airports in the UK and Europe (it isn’t expensive when you’re there either – unless you stay with the big boys).
  4. Home of Madeira wine making – this absurdly delicious wine along with the locally made Poncha gives a very unique, and in hindsight, rather wistful memory of this beautiful island.  Everyone drinks the Poncha http://www.all-about-portugal.com/to-eat/to-eat-madeira/poncha-strong-beverage-from-madeira/  I must warn you though, it’s super strong but very moreish – between that and the Madeira there’s no place to hide.
  5. The scenery is jaw droppingly spectacular http://www.visitmadeira.pt Known as the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’, Madeira has lush, exotic gardens and an abundant and diverse plant life.  The vibrancy of the environment energises as well as calms.
  6. The landscape is undulating to say the least! If you’ve got some fitness goals to meet quickly there would be no better a place to bring your bike, open water swim and run (up very steep hills).  Guess where I’m going to train for next year’s triathlon races?!
  7. The spa scene could be the industry’s best kept secret – I only managed four in three days – you can imagine what a drag that was in between Poncha and Maderia wine consumption. There is a FANTASTIC Thalasso spa at the CS Atlantic Hotelhttp://www.csmadeiraatlanticresort.com/en/atlantic-sea-spa.html They charge €17 to use the wet facilities as a day rate – yip that’s right – the best facilities I saw.  I’ll be expanding on all of the spa experience in the second edition of  ’Spa Business’ magazine in 2012 so keep an eye out.
  8. Crime is close to zero. It is VERY safe. If I was taking some young teenagers (or even older ones for that matter) I’d feel more able to give them some liberty.
  9. There’s a cable car that takes you near to the highest point on the island and then, if you wish, you head back down in a basket!  I’ve never seen this anywhere else – everyone loved it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sfhR3uwGgk&feature=related
  10. The food. Fresh, exciting, healthy.  The spa at The Vine insist on a tot of Madeira to increase anti-oxidant levels post massage…when in Rome. http://www.hotelthevine.com/

What I haven’t said, but should have, is how gorgeous the people are. There are a few hotties for sure but their looks aren’t just skin deep.  It wasn’t just a turn on for a press trip.  This little island is packed with genuine people living in a healthy, crime free society and it shows in their faces.

Thank you Madeira, I adore you.

Lots of love,

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About Anni Hood

A sassie Brit from the north east of England, Anni left to explore the world many years ago and has spent recent years globetrotting for both work and pleasure. Somewhere in the melee of culture, inspiration and joie de vivre, she discovered a great passion not only for sport, fitness and activity, but also a zeal for all things healthy.

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