On June 21st the Organizing Committee of the 5th European Universities Table Tennis Championship promotes a tour between Funchal, Eira do Serrado, Curral das Freiras and Monte. The departure is at 2.00 pm from the Four Views Hotel and the arrival is at approximately 6.30 pm. In order to take part in this tour, participants need to register by contacting the organization.


Eira do Serreado

Situated 25 minutes north of Funchal, Eira do Serrado is one of the most beautiful places in Madeira with breathtaking views of its surrounding mountains and the village in Nun's Valley. Descending from the pass you will find Curral das Freiras (Nun’s Valley); a secluded little village located in the heart of the Island where in 16th century Nuns took refuge from the Pirates who frequently attacked Madeira.
Most of the present inhabitants live on the land that produces the chestnut and the cherry; typical and traditional for this area. Many chestnut trees are found growing all around the forest and every year on the 1st of November a Chestnut Festival is held. Many traditional recipes include the chestnut and just about anything can be made with them, mainly a variety of liqueurs, cakes, puddings and soups. Enjoy the many excellent walking routes, great for exercise, clean air and beautiful scenery.


Nun's Valley (Curral das Freiras)

Curral das Freiras ('Nuns Valley') is a small village nestling between almost perpendicular mountains in the heart of the island.
The huge cauldron in which Curral das Freiras is sitting was either formed by erosion, which is the more recent theory, or as many still believes, by volcanic activity. In 1566 the nuns from the Santa Clara convent fled from pirates attacking Funchal and found seclusion here where they also brought the convent treasure.
The village is very isolated and locals mainly live of what they grow. The local chestnuts are delicious and are used in everyday cooking.
Curral das Freiras was the property of a couple that sold this land to the captain of Funchal, João Gonçalves da Câmara. This captain gave the lands to his daughters when they entered into the Santa Clara convent (also built by him).
Today’s ‘Nuns Valley’ has a great annual celebration. Every year locals celebrate the ‘Chestnut Festival’ – this festival originated when the local parish had a surplus of chestnuts. They were then used in several culinary delights from soup to cakes and from pudding to liqueur. Today the festival is a big attraction with plenty of food, music, dancing and of course wine.



This small village perched up in the hills overlooking Funchal, 6 km away from the centre of the capital, was formerly a health resort for Europe's high society.
One of its long lost features was a rack railway, which connected Monte with Funchal. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of steel to help fuel the war against the Nazis in the Second World War, the track was dismantled and the train taken out of service. Vestiges of the railway can still be seen today, particularly at the bottom of the hill where the original base station still exists.
One of the most traditional feasts, and certainly the largest, is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which takes place on the 15th of August. It is incredible the amount of people who pay reverence to the Virgin Mary of Monte. If you are on the island at this time of the year you might like to go up there and get your own impressions.
The Austrian Emperor Charles I found exile on the island after having abdicated during the First World War. He and his family stayed in the historic ‘Quinta do Monte’, but only six months after his arrival he died of pneumonia. The ex-monarch was buried in the famous pilgrimage church ‘Nossa Senhora do Monte’, situated at the top of an impressive flight of stairs.

Source: Madeira-live.com