Additional information about Madeira
On this page there is further information as also tips and tricks for a pleasant holiday in the island Madeira. And of course, I also arranged some interesting links to other interesting websites of Madeira.
Car rental in Madeira
Those who fly to Madeira should not only have a pure beach holiday. The island is much too beautiful to spend one or two weeks only in the hotel and at the pool. The best is to explore the island Madeira with a rented car. Madeira has a very well arranged road network and there is even a motorway.
After I made very bad experiences with car rentals during my last holiday as also during my first holiday in Madeira, at my second holiday in Madeira I played it safe. In Madeira, there are numerous large and small car rentals that compete against each other, partly with dumping prices, to get the vacationers preference. It is evident that at low prices, the quality and the service often fall by the wayside. It already happened to me two times that I got rental cars in which I didnt't feel safe and where from the beginning I was ripped off by the rental.
But how can one find a good car rental among such an abundance of providers? Finally, the most expensive must not be the best. There is a little trick or rather a meaningful method: the very good hotels also work in cooperation with very good car rentals; finally, a very good hotel does not want to annoy a guest by guiding him into a car rental - trap.
Tipp: Very good hotels work in cooperation with very good car rentals. If one is already guest in a good hotel, he can normaly rely on the hotels' recommendation.
With this tip, I relied on my last holiday in Madeira on the hotels' recommendation, thus I came to amigos do car, a middle-sized car rental with more than 100 cars for rent; Everything worked marvelous and I am very satisfied; thus, the car rental for my next holiday in Madeira is already certain. But let's go step by step.
At amigos do car it is possible to book the car previously from germany at the web side www.madeira-autovermietung.com or book it in a short term locally. Those who go for holiday to Madeira during the main season should better book the rental car in advance. I experienced once that within the whole island there was nearly no car available. But normally, it is possible to book the car locally in a short term and amigos do car deliver it to the hotel for free.
Tipp: If one rents a car on a short term from the hotel, the car is delivered for free to the hotel. Moreover, one saves the rental fee for the arrival and departure day.
I already booked my car from Germany in advance. Thus, a friendly lady of amigos do car was waiting for my arrival with a little name plate on which my name was written. The contract was rapidly filled out. I have to give a big compliment to amigos do car concerning the rental contract: for the first time I saw a rental contract that was either written in portuguese as also in english. Unbelievable, for the first time I was able to read what I was really subscribing!
On the contract it is also mentioned that all insurances are included and that the car can also be driven by the partner of the car renter. The kilometres are anyhow included limitless; What more do you want? - Of course a good and funciotning car. At amigos do car there are cars for rent starting from the little Smart up to a van, or from a sport utility vehicle up to a convertible.
Tipp: If one books the smallest model, one only pays a little price, even if most of the times, one gets a bigger model. And if so - finally, a Smart is also a Mercedes...
I got a Peugeot 206 that was recently cleaned, either form the interior as also from the exterior. It was really a pleasure to get into this car. In order to be fair, an employee of amigos do car immediately informed me about a scratch at the door. Car rentals that are not serious, they just conceal the damages of the car and if one is unlucky, he will be blamed for this afterwards. Moreover, I got from the employee of the car rental a phone number that was available 24 hours per day. Such a service is also unusual in the case of big car rental companies. One assumes that there will be no accident with the car, but such a number is really comforting.
The tank of my rented car was nearly empty; thus I also had to return the car with a nearly empty tank; Apropos return, it is hardly possible to return a rented car in a more comfortable way: the employee simply told me to park the car somewhere at the airport and to put the car keys into the glove box. So much for...! At first, I wondered about this casual method, but then it became clear to me that in an island, cars are not stolen...
Tipp: The car rental Amigos do car is my tip for a car rental in Madeira. The facts of the convenient prices, the pick-up service at the airport, the delivery service at the airport, the contract in englisch language, the friendliness, the 24h-service-number, several chaffeurs and in general the seriousness of the company support a conviction.
Conclusion: for a reasonable price, I got a good rental car in a good condition. I was not deceived or vamped in no way, it was rather the opposite: I was attended and welcomed in a very friendly way. This is the reason why I recomend Amigos do car to each visitor of Madeira. And it is self evident that in my next visit to Madeira, I will be again the client of amigos do car .
Camacha - the city of basket makers
At the south east of the island, at a height of approximately 700 m there is the little place Camacha. The community that counts approximately 7.000 inhabitants is famous on one hand for its basket makers and on the other hand for its football history. The place Largo da Achada forms the centre of the location. At this place, there is a plaque that reminds on the first football game of Portugal in the year 1875. At that time, an englishman named Harry Hinton brought the first football into the country.
Apropos english people: at the end of the 19th century, rich commerciants choosed Camacha that is located a outside the capital Funchals as their residence. Those well-off english people initiated the basket making in the island by demanding the manufacture of wicker furniture for their own use. Out of it, a little impire of basket makers evoked in the island that lasts until now.
The coffee bar Relógio (= Coffee Clock) is the centre of the visitors at the main place Largo da Achada. A huge building complex arises around a clock tower of the 19th century that the english people apparantly built in accordance to the Big Ben. Today those buildings have insofar something to do with a coffee bar that in a bar or a restaurant it is also possible to get a coffee among other things.
In the Café Relógio one gets any kind of basketry. From a simple souvenir for tourists up to a living room suite, everything that can be braided is available. On weekdays it is possible to watch in the basement of the building the basket makers during their work. But those basket makers just form a little part of hundreds of freelance basket makers that make their basketries at home in a mass production and deliver them to a company. Although these items are handcrafted, they can not be considered any more as individual items of a classic manufacture.
Those who love basketries will find here a bigger choice than somewhere else. Myself, I found my visit in Camacha rather disappointing, as in the centre of the town there where huge busses leaving legions of tourists there. In this turmoil of strangers one rapidly gets annoyed. Thus I found it more interesting to walk a little around the area and to look at the houses and the people. In some houses, it is visible from outside that in the inside people do braid. As the people have little space in their houses when the finished basketries are piled up until they are picked up, they are put outside in order to entertain. It is highly interesting to watch the habitants of the street how they form little groups and talk together or they simply stand around there.
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Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz