Interview with Miss Anne-Marie Monk

Name: Anne-Marie Monk (Facebook)

Do you travel a lot?
I used to travel a lot … loved the West Coast of USA and Yosemite National Park.

How many times have you visited Madeira Island? And when was the first time?
Eight times. The first time in 2005

Miss Anne-Marie Monk
Miss Anne-Marie Monk

The first time you visited Madeira, what was the reason for your visit?
I was recovering from a long illness

And what is the reason now?
There is no where finer to visit that incorporates everything I desire in a holiday on one small island. Coast, Mountains, Wooded Valleys etc etc etc

Can you describe Madeira in just only one word?
Peace

What are the three best reasons to include Madeira on our travel list?
Scenery Peoples Climate

When is the best season (for you) to travel to Madeira Island?
I haven’t visited in all seasons but as far as I can see there is no “off “ season. I love August….those lovely long hot summer days. Christmas/New Year and the wonder of the Island dressed for Christmas and the New Year Fireworks. Then the Festa da Flor … how on earth can you chose a season to visit Madeira……anytime is Madeira Time!

Madeira Island - North Coast
Madeira Island – North Coast

Tell us about your most favourite and also the least favourite thing about Madeira.
Being brought up on the Coast of Devon and having Exmoor and Dartmoor as my hinterland I have no shortage of Beauty so these things are my favourite things about Madeira. The Coast, the mountains and the wooded valleys. Least favourite….How would a lover answer the question about his/her loved one. I am besotted with the Island.

Lets talk about food: what is your favorite Madeiran food and that you would suggest everyone should try?
Hmmmm Scabbard Fish….or maybe Steak on a Stone….or those lovely custard tarts…or a steak roll for lunch. Then there is Riso….hmmm so many lovely meals there. In Madeira there are many places to try in the Old Town…. the back streets of Funchal…the Hotel Zone. Stroll around and seek out these eateries for yourself. There is something to suit everyones tastes.

What is the first thing you recommend people to do when they arrive in Madeira?
Leave your worries on the plane and Relax into Madeira.. Dont try and do everything in a week /two weeks holiday because there will always be another visit. Stroll around Funchal and take in the atmosphere. Sit outside a pavement cafe and watch the world go by. A few days in maybe take an island tour or a boat trip….catch a bus and visit the Botanical Gardens….join a walk on the Levadas to give you a smell and flavour of the Forest.
Where do you recommend to go for a day trip on Madeira Island?

As above. Island tours … boat trips … levada walks … local bus journeys are exciting especially the Garajau route!

What is the most famous landmark? And which one is your favourite?
Cabo Girao is the most famous landmark I guess. There is no finer sight than the sunsetting and the cliff bathing in its glow or swimming beneath its formidable height.

I like the rock off the Lido in view of the Hotel Zone. I knew I am settled down for a good stay when I can look on that (its name escapes me!) Again there are so many landmarks whether mountain or coast or inland that it is very difficult to name one. I am very very fond of the Balcoes.

Madeira Island - Camara de Lobos
Madeira Island – Camara de Lobos

Do you have a place on the island where you feel most comfortable, or had the most fun? Where’s your secret hangout place on Madeira?
I suppose this would have to be the Lido walk from the Hotel to Camara de Lobos. I like to get up early before the rest of the visitors before its light and watch the sunrise . I feel the Island is mine at this time. The only folk I meet are early morning joggers or locals off to work. It is a special time. I tend to do this walk twice a day (if not all the way to Camara de Lobos) and walk the top road back. I love Gardens so hanging out in any of Madeiras gardens are visits always enjoyed. Rabacal is also a favourite.

What do you think of the locals/people from Madeira?
I admire their love of life….their love of festas…the way they raise their children….their kindness and welcoming nature and work ethic,

Do you know an ‘off-the-beaten path’ place in Madeira? Tell us which one.
I like to wander the back roads of Funchal …walking up hill and down dale and finding hidden delights in the turn of an unexpected street. Walking in the mountains also brings delights and when lost these delights are more special.

We love souvenirs! Which one would you suggest us to buy in Madeira Island?
Oh dear I suppose I should buy Souvenirs.. I have brought Embroidery in the past and it gives me pleasure to use it. I have also brought videos and music from Madeira and books.

Any other thing(s) about Madeira that travelers should know?
I think Visitors should be aware that it is a dangerous occupation to visit Madeira. It very quickly becomes a drug you can not do without.