Portugal’s Madeira Island is a Gastronomical Powerhouse
(…) Socalco Nature Hotel is on the other side of the island and has a subtler feel. Away from the central city of Funchal, Socalco Nature Hotel is perfect for those who want a quieter stay away from the nightlife. Situated on a cliff, the warm wood tones calm the incredible Atlantic Ocean views making this hotel a perfect oasis. Book a massage or head downhill to the beach, a 15-minute stroll, where you can order more limpets as you relax and take in the views. However, heading back up the steep hill may not be for the faint of heart, and taxis are available. Chef Octavio Freites (Desarma Restaurant) helms the kitchen at Socalco Hotel, so you’re in for a real gastronomical treat. There’s nothing like waking up from a good night’s sleep in a minimalistic room and heading to breakfast with gorgeous ocean views as far as the eye can see.
To balance out all the culinary experiences, order a car and check out an incredibly scenic levada hike near Socalco Nature Hotel. With waterfalls, spectacular views, the UNESCO Laurisilva Forest, and over 1,500 miles of irrigation channels around the island, walking alongside a water channel brings you to lush jungles at high elevations. You’ll walk through a pitch-dark tunnel, where you’ll need to use your phone or a flashlight, and when you’re through, you’ll hit dense jungle surroundings with new vegetation and the cleanest air. Walking through mountain tops in clusters of clouds brings such serenity and peace that I wish we had done a levada hike every day.01-08-2023 in Honest Cooking