Calheta Beach. Hotels for sale. Monarch pricing soars. TAP anticipates General Strike.

Reluctant to post a new blog after all the entertaining (and informed!) comments on the last – it really makes it worthwhile!

I know a few people have commented on the new appearance of the beach at Calheta, but seeing it “first-hand” during a recent visit really brought home what a mess whoever is responsible has made. It may have been deemed necessary from a sea defences point of view, but surely they could have managed something less akin to a concrete jungle. Is it just me or do other people find these huge “lego bricks” unsightly? The less structured concrete blocks used previously – and still in place – seem to blend in so much more.


Looking East – the “sea view” from the centre of Calheta beach


Looking West from the same position


I would have thought that the Calheta Beach Hotel would not be too happy to have lost its sea view from the restaurant and ground floor levels (above), but it doesn’t seem to have put off it’s owners, the AFA Group, from financing a new €25 million 4-star hotel nearby. The 200 room development is to be completed by 2014 and will create 100 new jobs.

This investment is taking place at a time when the Diario recently reported that there were twelve “tourist units” on the island currently for sale (three to five star hotels) with income per room this year being lower than previously enjoyed – apparently 2008 was the best year and income per room is reportedly at a 20-year low. A lot of the hotel sales may just be sounding the market rather than forced, with internet sites providing a low cost means of establishing demand.

imageMaybe a reason for the poor economic climate are some of the bargain flights available! Monarch entered the market not so long ago promising a great deal but currently (Saturday afternoon) offering this mouth-watering price if a couple want to travel from Gatwick to Funchal over the coming Xmas and New Year. Bear in mind this is flight  only. Speaking of which one of the attractions of Madeira to me is that Xmas was only celebrated as a “long weekend” with little of the build-up associated with the UK – imagine my disappointment last week to find that the Dolce Vita shopping centre in Funchal have their Xmas decorations up already!






TAP General Strike 14th November

TAP has announced that a“General Strike is scheduled in Portugal, for the 14th of November, that may cause operational difficulties. Only closer to the date TAP will be able to provide more details about consequences on our operation.

However, in order to prevent any inconvenience for our passengers, it is already possible to change the reservations to other dates. It is possible to do so through our Contact Center or our Facebook page. If your reservation was made through a Travel Agency, we suggest that you contact them directly.

21 thoughts on “Calheta Beach. Hotels for sale. Monarch pricing soars. TAP anticipates General Strike.”

  1. Dear Martine
    (Sorry to re post the following, but I am sure you would be grateful for all fan mail)!
    Or should I refer to you as Mrs Mc Manus (is your new father in law still wrestling?) Hope you had a great honeymoon following your September wedding at Lake Como, and didn’t eat too much cake? Thank you for your kind offer to sign my CD when we next meet. Any chance of a signed copy of ‘Love Actually’ as well? (We always thought the dishy Hugh Grunt would have made a better Prime minister than that awful Blair person) We have installed Goldfish bowls in every natural opening as you suggested and will let you know of any developments.
    With regard to the helmet polishing it has been mentioned by the Memsaab – but as poor pensioners looking at the cancellation of our winter drinking allowance and the surgical removal of our bus passes, we have to take our pleasures as they come – if you see what I mean. Thinking about it – would you mind adding a couple of gallons of Brasso to the other goodies?
    One of the consequences of our Dengue avoidance lifestyle has been the cancellation of our much loved tandem paragliding flights from Ponta da Cruz. Sorry to report that the sheer weight of our outfits make the downward trajectory speed too terrifying to contemplate; and much as we have always fancied being included in the Guinness book of world records – the falling like a brick over a cliff category is not for us!
    On the upside we have been exploring the islands many delightful Diving opportunities, and as we arrive on board already kitted up we are always first over the side! In fact the charming Captain Sparrow and his crew can hardly wait to help us overboard every morning! He even installed our own personal plank! Martine if you are interested his ship ‘The Pink Pearl’ (not to be confused with ‘The Saga Pearl’) sails from the harbour most mornings on his popular ‘Wreck diving for Wrecks ‘trips. On the return journey they sometimes take you out on a spot the dolphin spotting boat excursions, last we spotted fifteen boats + two dredgers and a school of dinghies.
    I have to share with you the most amazing thing which happened to me the other day. Due to the sheer weight of our outfits we found it difficult to climb the stairs in our apartment, and as a consequence we have had a brand new stair lift installed. It has worked very well indeed, and like everything here is superbly engineered. The other night for some reason I had removed my outfit and was sitting in the device about to ascend the stairs, when I looked down and noticed a red button labelled ‘turbo super’ just next to the ‘ejete’ button. Thankfully I pressed the former, and I have to tell you that I have never in my life reached the top of our stairs so quickly. In fact I travelled so quickly that when I reached the top I could still remember the reason for my trip!
    Must close now. Just a quick thought. Now that you have eventually managed to get yourself married, why not think about getting a little weight off, and putting your name down for next year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’? It could be just the thing to revive your career.

  2. Monarch Pricing…..someone we know has recently booked a return flight, with Monarch to and fro’ Birmingham, U.K. over the New Year. True not “peak” times but departing Funchal on the 28th December returning on the 4th January – all, including hold baggage both ways and pre booked seats, on line check in etc, For a reasonable £164 pounds sterling, return…..not bad methinks.

  3. In my younger days I lay on the casting couch for 007 and Sean (Bond, James Bond) had a brilliant idea (he said) for protecting me from Mossies in the tropical climes that we (he) were going to “shoot” in ….. the film was “Goldfinger” and he arranged for me to be covered from (naked) head to toe in a gold like substance, purely for medicinal purposes you understand, that completely covered my body…..O.K. so some of it got “rubbed off” when we did our close up scenes but I’ve never seen a man so flushed and pleased with his sucess….NO Mossie bites at all….just a couple of teeth marks etc..
    Maybe you would like to try this Elkanah? Saves wearing a diving suit etc…and you get to come out of the water like a true bond girl….
    I didn’t get the part (well, not all of it) but do now sell “Golden Gum, for the Mosquito with the golden gun”…… widely available at TupperWare parties near you.

  4. The Diario is reporting that last nights storms destroyed houses and caused landslides in the north of the island. There are accounts of five minor injuries, roads closed and significant increase in the flows of rivers. Apparently the areas hardest hit by the storm were Seixal and Ribeira da Janela. The thunder and rainfall in Funchal was fairly impressive, although no reports of any damage here at the moment.

  5. from dnoticias São Jorge Santana and recorded higher values ​​of precipitation
    Improvements in weather scheduled for Thursday

    Santana and St George were the places where the rain fell more heavily this morning. According Vítor Prior, the Meteorological Observatory of Funchal, between 3 and 9 o’clock were recorded on Santana 94.7 millimeters, 80.8 millimeters of São Jorge rainfall. “These figures are very high rainfall in a relatively short period,” explained Victor Prior advancing even in the same time period was 57.4 mm recorded at Porto Santo.

    The rain will continue to fall during the day, “sometimes strong,” especially “the end of the day and night,” said the Director of the Meteorological Observatory of Funchal adding that the largest peak will register around midnight night-with more intensity zones and Santana Caniçal.

    Improvements in weather only from Thursday. “On Tuesday and Wednesday will still occur sometimes heavy downpours.”

  6. A few planes due in this morning were diverted to Porto Santo and Tenerife due to the very bad weather at this end (I am assuming Porto Santo was as bad as planes had to go to Tenerife).

  7. Orange weather alert now in force from 18:00hrs this eve untill 09:00hrs tomorrow morning – due to the heavy rain and high wind forecast with thunderstorms possible.
    Pt Moniz, St Vincent etc took a real hammering/soaking earlier – mind we had the heaviest “shower” of rain “ever” here at lunchtime, a vertical torrent.

  8. from dnoticias 11 roads closed and 13 conditional on Madeira and Porto Santo

    11 roads are currently closed to traffic due to the effects of the storm, reports the Regional Service of Civil Protection in the update made at 10.30.

    According to ViaExpresso, is closed the stretch between Earth Tea (from the rotunda of St Vincent) and Porto Moniz.

    The RAMEDM – Madeira Road are CLOSED the following regional roads:

    ER 236 – Maroços

    ER 101 – Section between the Arc S. Jorge Boaventura and
    ER 101 – Between Ponta Delgada and S. Vicente
    ER 209 – Between the ER 101 (VE2), Ribeira da Janela and Fanal
    ER 221 – Between the Floor and Seixal Ribeira
    ER 105 – Section between the Encumeada and Paul da Serra

    Porto Santo
    ER 120 – Section between the Serra de Fora and Camacha
    ER 120 – Section between access to the marina and the harbor roundabout
    ER 120 – Section between the Fontinha Cochino Ribeiro and
    ER 261 – Section between the Camacha and Pico castle

    However, 13 regional roads were reopened, where car traffic is processed in a conditional:

    ER 103 – Section between the Ribeira das Cales and Poiso
    ER 201 – Black Path of
    ER 101 – Section between the huts and the Arc S. Jorge
    ER 101 – Section between the Ribeira de S. And Jorge S. Jorge
    ER 102 – Section between the site and Camacha Waters Mansas.
    ER 103 – Between Faial and Poiso
    ER 217 – S. Roque do Faial
    ER 219 – Isle
    ER 235 – Section between the golf course and matur

    ER 232 – Between the Loins of heath and Falca
    ER 101-10 – Section between Madalena do Mar and Ponta do Sol
    ER 105 – Between Serra D’Agua and Encumeada
    ER 223 – Section between Fajã Ewe and Paul do Mar

  9. from dnoticias Madeira under green warning

    The Madeira Archipelago is now under notice Green Institute of Meteorology, which means that it will not “no risk of weather situation.”

    The forecasts are for Madeira “period of cloudy, showers especially in the north facing slopes, decreasing intensity from mid-afternoon.”

    Wind be “moderate (20 to 35 kilometers / hour), running northwest from the end of the afternoon blowing moderate to strong (30 to 45 kilometers / hour) in the highlands and being weak (less than 15 kilometers / hour) in the shed south of Madeira. ”

    With respect to the state of the sea, it is expected waves with a southeast 1.5 meters north and three waves of 3.5 meters.

    The maximum temperature will be 20 degrees and a low of 15 degrees celsius.

  10. from dnoticias 517 confirmed cases of dengue in the Region

    The weekly newsletter of the Directorate General of Health (DGS) on the situation of the outbreak of dengue fever, which began on October 3 in Madeira, reflects, as of today, the operation of a new monitoring system deployed at 29 October. Under this new methodology, the DGS progresses, in a statement published recently, have been notified by the Region, from October 3rd until the day November 4, 1148 cases of dengue fever, of which 517 laboratory confirmed, 631 likely (only with symptoms, some awaiting laboratory confirmation), 57 hospitalized (accumulated data), of which 3 are admitted at this time. Comments No deaths.

    The report also informs that the continent were diagnosed eight cases of dengue (all benign outcome) in people with a history of recent stay in Madeira, and foreign citizens diagnosed by health services in other countries eleven cases, all evolving to healing

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  12. The blocks are now being moved in front of the hotel at Calheta Beach, there was a crain there yesterday moving them on to the top of the present blocks, so it should make the area more appealing.


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