Contrast offers intense and sharp experiences. In Sofia’s Place you breath the local community spirit and culture in a sophisticated and cosmopolitan accommodation, in the heart of one of the most exclusive, dreamy and romantic places around. As Jardim do Mar itself, Sofia's Place offers the local and the universal, the unique and the diverse, the rural environment and the urbane comfort. Sofia was born in the pitoresque village. And as roots are kept intact, Jardim do Mar became more cosmopolitan as it attracted artists (writers, poets, painters), surfers and nature and tranquility lovers from all over.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Madeira Islands: World's Leading Island Destination 2018

Calheta bay, Madeira islands (photo by Nélio Sousa)

Madeira Islands were elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2018 for the fourth time in four years, by World Travel Awards, which are hailed as ‘the Oscars of the travel industry’. Its 25th annual edition (Grand Final Gala Ceremony) took place in Pátio da Galé, Lisbon, Portugal, on the 1st December 2018.

Check Madeira's promotional video.

Madeira Islands had also been elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015, 2016 and in 2017 by World Travel Awards, in the 22nd edition, which took place in El Jadida, Morocco, on the 12th December 2015, in the 23rd edition (Grand Final Gala Ceremony), which took place in the Republic of Maldives, on the 2nd December 2016, and in the 24th annual edition (Europe Gala Ceremony) took place in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the 30th September 2017.

In 201820162014, and 2013 Madeira Islands had also been elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination, and also nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013.

When the world seems to go crazy, you can find peace, security, mild weather all year round and beautiful landscapes in these Atlantic islands. Madeira's Nature exhales energy and inspires emotion and adventure. It also has this profound and empowering quietness, working as a self (relaxing and healing) retreat from modern life rush, stress and anxieties. 

Give yourself a chance to experience Madeira Islands and come to visit us in Sofia's Place in Jardim do Mar, one of the most exclusive, dreamy and romantic places around.

Madeira offers unspoilt and breathtaking scenery with impressive high cliffs emerging directly from the ocean. «It’s the most dramatic landscape I have ever seen», says dear friend and surfer William Henry about Madeira, refering to the towering cliffs, rocky shores, waterfalls and seas of azure.

«As a child I often dreamed of a landscape like Madeira, because one much like it is often described in fairy tales and children’s stories», adds the above quoted friend. «Every year I find something new, and yet every year I am awe-struck by the same cliffs, gardens, waterfalls and waves that I witnessed on my first voyage.» (Read more)

Sofia's Place blog posts on the subject:
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2018 (this post)
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2018
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2014
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2013
Madeira Islands nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013

Previous awards direct links:
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2018
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2018
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2014
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2013
Madeira Islands nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013

More information on Madeira Islands:
www.visitmadeira.pt


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Madeira Islands: Europe's Leading Island Destination 2018

Porto da Cruz, Madeira Island
(photo origin: www.visitmadeira.pt)

Madeira Islands were elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2018 for the fifth time in six years, by World Travel Awards, which are hailed as ‘the Oscars of the travel industry’. Its 25th annual edition (Europe Gala Ceremony) took place in the Zappeion Megaron Hall, Athens, Greece on the 30th June 2018.

Check Madeira's promotional video.

Madeira Islands had also been elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015, 2016 and in 2017 by World Travel Awards, in the 22nd edition, which took place in El Jadida, Morocco, on the 12th December 2015, in the 23rd edition (Grand Final Gala Ceremony), which took place in the Republic of Maldives, on the 2nd December 2016, and in the 24th annual edition (Europe Gala Ceremony) took place in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the 30th September 2017.

In 20162014, and 2013 Madeira Islands had also been elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination, and also nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013.

When the world seems to go crazy, you can find peace, security, mild weather all year round and beautiful landscapes in these Atlantic islands. Madeira's Nature exhales energy and inspires emotion and adventure. It also has this profound and empowering quietness, working as a self (relaxing and healing) retreat from modern life rush, stress and anxieties. 

Give yourself a chance to experience Madeira Islands and come to visit us in Sofia's Place in Jardim do Mar, one of the most exclusive, dreamy and romantic places around.

Madeira offers unspoilt and breathtaking scenery with impressive high cliffs emerging directly from the ocean. «It’s the most dramatic landscape I have ever seen», says dear friend and surfer William Henry about Madeira, refering to the towering cliffs, rocky shores, waterfalls and seas of azure.

«As a child I often dreamed of a landscape like Madeira, because one much like it is often described in fairy tales and children’s stories», adds the above quoted friend. «Every year I find something new, and yet every year I am awe-struck by the same cliffs, gardens, waterfalls and waves that I witnessed on my first voyage.» (Read more)

Sofia's Place blog posts on the subject:
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2018 (this post)
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2014
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2013
Madeira Islands nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013

Previous awards direct links:
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2018
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2014
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2013
Madeira Islands nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013

More information on Madeira Islands:
www.visitmadeira.pt


Monday, 26 March 2018

Peaceful relaxing and adventure

Totally subtropical: mountain terraces near Boaventura (photograph: Peter Watson/Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery)

Madeira is known for its year-round warmth and relaxing vibe. But visitors are now going there in search of thrills (The Guardian, Sunday 25 March 2018)

“Time to off-road,” says Pedro, our jeep driver and guide for the day. It’s the most enthusiastic he’s been all morning; his 4x4 Land Rover is built for it after all, and he isn’t remotely worried that we’re stuck in mud with our back wheels hanging over the edge of the track. “Are we going to fall down the mountain?” asks my seven-year-old, her knuckles white. “We’ll be fine,” I tell her, as Pedro accelerates over a fallen log and hurtles up a steep hill in search of another panoramic view.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Madeira Islands: World's Leading Island Destination 2017

Calheta mountains, Madeira Islands
(photo 
© Sérgio Bettencourt)

Madeira Islands were elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2017 for the third time in three years by World Travel Awards. Its 24th annual edition (Grand Final Gala Ceremony) took place in Phu Quoc, Vietnam, on the 10th December 2017.

Madeira Islands had been elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2016 and 2015 by World Travel Awards, which are hailed as ‘the Oscars of the travel industry’ (in the 22nd edition, which took place in El Jadida, Morocco, on the 12th December 2015, and in the 23rd edition, which took place in the Republic of Maldives, on the 2nd December 2016).

In 20172016, 2014 and 2013 Madeira Islands were elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination, for the fourth time in five years, and also nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013.

When the world seems to go crazy, you can find peace, security, mild weather all year round and beautiful landscapes in these Atlantic islands. Madeira's Nature exhales energy and inspires emotion and adventure. It also has this profound and empowering quietness, working as a self (relaxing and healing) retreat from modern life rush, stress and anxieties.

Give yourself a chance to experience Madeira Islands and come to visit us in Sofia's Place in Jardim do Mar, one of the most exclusive, dreamy and romantic places around.

Madeira offers unspoilt and breathtaking scenery with impressive high cliffs emerging directly from the ocean. «It’s the most dramatic landscape I have ever seen», says dear friend and surfer William Henry about Madeira, refering to the towering cliffs, rocky shores, waterfalls and seas of azure.

«As a child I often dreamed of a landscape like Madeira, because one much like it is often described in fairy tales and children’s stories», adds the above quoted friend. «Every year I find something new, and yet every year I am awe-struck by the same cliffs, gardens, waterfalls and waves that I witnessed on my first voyage.» (Read more)

Sofia's Place blog posts on the subject:
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2017 (this post)
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2014
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2013
Madeira Islands nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013

Previous awards direct links:
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2017
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2014
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2013
Madeira Islands nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013

More information on Madeira Islands:
www.visitmadeira.pt


Sunday, 1 October 2017

Madeira Islands: Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017

Calheta, Madeira Islands
(photo in Acontece Madeira 
© 2014 Madeira Paraglading)

Madeira Islands were elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017 for the fourth time in five years, by World Travel Awards, which are hailed as ‘the Oscars of the travel industry’. Its 24th annual edition (Europe Gala Ceremony) took place in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the 30th September 2017.

Madeira Islands had also been elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015 and in 2016 by World Travel Awards, in the 22nd edition, which took place in El Jadida, Morocco, on the 12th December 2015, and in the 23rd edition (Grand Final Gala Ceremony), which took place in the Republic of Maldives, on the 2nd December 2016.

In 20162014, and 2013 Madeira Islands had also been elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination, and also nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013.

When the world seems to go crazy, you can find peace, security, mild weather all year round and beautiful landscapes in these Atlantic islands. Madeira's Nature exhales energy and inspires emotion and adventure. It also has this profound and empowering quietness, working as a self (relaxing and healing) retreat from modern life rush, stress and anxieties. 

Give yourself a chance to experience Madeira Islands and come to visit us in Sofia's Place in Jardim do Mar, one of the most exclusive, dreamy and romantic places around.

Madeira offers unspoilt and breathtaking scenery with impressive high cliffs emerging directly from the ocean. «It’s the most dramatic landscape I have ever seen», says dear friend and surfer William Henry about Madeira, refering to the towering cliffs, rocky shores, waterfalls and seas of azure.

«As a child I often dreamed of a landscape like Madeira, because one much like it is often described in fairy tales and children’s stories», adds the above quoted friend. «Every year I find something new, and yet every year I am awe-struck by the same cliffs, gardens, waterfalls and waves that I witnessed on my first voyage.» (Read more)

Sofia's Place blog posts on the subject:
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017 (this post)
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2014
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2013
Madeira Islands nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013

Previous awards direct links:
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2017
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2016
Madeira Islands elected the World's Leading Island Destination 2015
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2014
Madeira Islands elected the Europe's Leading Island Destination 2013
Madeira Islands nominated for the World's Leading Island Destination 2013

More information on Madeira Islands:
www.visitmadeira.pt


Friday, 11 August 2017

The 20 funniest Portuguese expressions (and how to use them)

Fernando Pessoa, the famous poet in different colours (arty souvenir shop in Lisbon)

1. A Portuguese does not “give up,” he “takes his little horse away from the rain.” (Tirar o cavalinho da chuva.)

2. A Portuguese does not “have a problem,” he “is done to the beef.” (Estou feito ao bife!)

3. A Portuguese does not want you “to leave him alone,” he wants you to “bother Camões.” (Vai chatear o Camões.) [Camões is the most celebrated Portuguese poet – he wrote the epic Os Lusíadas]

4. A Portuguese does not “cause problems,” he “breaks all the dishes.” (Partir a loiça toda.)

5. For a Portuguese, you are not “sexy,” you are “as good as corn.” (Boa como o milho.)

6. A Portuguese does not “work a lot,” he “gets water up his beard.” (Água pela barba.)

7. A Portuguese does not “talk about the same thing over and over again,” he “turns the record and plays the same song”. (Gira o disco e toca o mesmo.)

8. A Portuguese does not do something “to show off,” he does it “so the English can see it.” (Para inglês ver.)

9. A Portuguese is not “shameless,” he has “a rotten face.” (Cara podre) Or he “has a lot of cans”. (Ter muita lata.)

10. A Portuguese does not just “shut up and listen to things he does not like,” he “swallows frogs.” (Engolir sapos.)

11. A Portuguese does not tell you to “piss off,” he tells you “to go to the place where Judas lost his boots.” (Onde Judas perdeu as botas) Or, he will tell you to “go away and comb monkeys.” (Vai pentear macacos.)

12. A Portuguese does not “wake up angry,” he “wakes up with his feet outside.” (Com os pés de fora.)

13. A Portuguese is not “upset,” he is “with olive oil”. (Estar com os azeites.)

14. A Portuguese is not “experienced,” he has “spent many years turning chickens.” (São muitos anos a virar frangos.)

15. A Portuguese does not “think you have strange ideas,” he “thinks you have little monkeys inside your head.” (Ter macaquinhos na cabeça.)

16. For a Portuguese, something is not “really simple,” it is “bread to bread and cheese to cheese.” (Pão, pão, queijo, queijo.)

17. A Portuguese does not “die,” he “goes from this one to a better one.” (Ir desta para melhor.) Or, he “goes off with the pigs.” (Ir com os porcos.)

18. A Portuguese does not “feel suspicious,” he “has a flea behind his ear.” (Estar com a pulga atrás da orelha.)

19. A Portuguese is not “worry free,” he “is sitting under banana tree.” (Estar a sombra da bananeira.)

20. A Portuguese is not “clumsy,” he “looks like a silly cockroach.” (Barata tonta.)

© Sandra Guedes 2016

Sunday, 25 June 2017

6 typical Madeiran food dishes

Espetada (beef on a skewer© Francisco Correia

The Madeiran gastronomy is traditionally tasty. Its secret consists in the use of fresh and varied ingredients, whose origin can be traced to the rich, volcanic nature of this island, abundant water, and favorable climate. From fish to meat, tropical fruits, sweets, bread (such as “Bolo do caco”) and nutritious vegetables, no one resists its taste. Let’s taste it? Here are 6 of the best typical dishes, not to be missed on your visit to Madeira.

1. Tomato and Onion Soup
This hot soup offers vigorous and comforting flavors. It is made with chopped onions and garlic, fresh tomatoes, oregano and olive oil. In the center of the dish, rests a poached egg; an invitation to dip a slice of toasted bread.

2. Tuna steak with fried maize
Tuna fish is a valuable resource in the fishing industry of Madeira. In this dish, the tuna is cut into steaks, seasoned with salt and marinated in a sauce called “molho de vilão”. This sauce is made with vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and pepper. The corn flour is cooked in a pan, cooled in a soup plate and then cut into small cubes. These are fried and served as a side dish, frequently found in the local restaurants.

3. Black Scabbard fish fillet with Banana
Black Scabbard fish is a fish that is available in few places in the world, such as Madeira, where it is found in the deep sea (around 1000 meters deep). Despite its ugly appearance, fish lovers will be delighted with its flavor. The succulent fillets of black scabbard fish are seasoned with garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Peeled bananas and fish fillets are then dipped in egg and flour, fried in oil and sprinkled with fresh parsley. Side dishes include potatoes, lettuce and tomato salad.

4. “Espetada” and “Bolo do caco”
The traditional “espetada” which is beef on a skewer (metal stick or laurel stick), seasoned with salt, garlic and bay leaves. The meat is roasted in a brazier and served directly from the skewer. “Bolo do caco” is the regular Madeiran bread, made with sweet potatoes, flour, baking powder, salt and water. This sweet bread is crumpled into a ball, then flattened and cooked in a soft stone frying pan. It is usually served hot with garlic butter. Side dishes include fries, fried maize and salad.

5. Wine and Garlic Pork
This dish consists of small cubes of pork, marinated and cooked in white wine, garlic cloves, vinegar, bay leaves, and pepper. It is served with slices of fried bread or in “Bolo do caco” sandwiches. It is mostly appreciated during the Christmas Season.

6. Passion Fruit Pudding
Passion fruit is one of the most valued fruits in Madeira. There are different species of passion fruit, such as banana passion fruit. The most common are Passiflora edulis. Its sweet taste, strong aroma and variable acidity make this the ideal fruit to use in desserts and local drinks. The passion fruit pudding is made with passion fruit pulp, jelly, condensed milk, and cream. Savour this impressive combination of aromas.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Guest message 89


Key words and ideas:

"We loved to stay in your beautiful house;" "From the first day we felt at home"; "We had a great time here"; "Whenever we return to Madeira you'll be our first choice!"; "Impressive pictures"; "Great music collection"; "Many places top relax"; "Comfortable bed"; "And thanks for the tasty bananas".

Please, click on the image for better reading