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CASE STUDY “I moved here with my two children”

Samantha Cox moved to Madeira from Guildford 11 years ago. She runs her own online newspaper,

I fi rst came here on holiday to cheer myself up after my divorce, and loved it so much that after

doing three months of research, I moved over here with my two children, then aged fi ve and seven. I hoped to carry on my job as mobile hairdresser and massage therapist, but complimentary therapy was regarded as hocus pocus here even that recently, so by chance I got into journalism. It’s not easy running a business in Portugal – so much bureaucracy, so little help – but on the other hand, it was moving here that gave me the boldness to try something different. And it’s such a wonderful place to live. If I ever get bored of the scenery here I’ll know it’s time to go home. My favourite festival is Friday before Carnival, called Transvestites’ Night, when the sexes swap clothes! The problems with Madeira – few jobs, a very diffi cult language to learn, you don’t have sandy beaches for the kids, and the education system isn’t brilliant – are outweighed by the fantastic scenery, the warm climate and the friendliness of the people.

carpeted in thousands and thousands of fl owers in a celebration that includes plenty of folklore, dancing and drinking. Walking: The central mountains of Madeira are famous for their “levadas”, former irrigation channels now used as cycling and walking tracks. Gardening: With plenty of rain and a warm climate with no frost, Madeira is gardeners’ paradise. You can get up to four crops of potatoes a year and an astonishing variety of tropical plants and fl owers. Drinking poncha: The national drink is a sweet and refreshing concoction of “aguardente” (cane brandy), lemon, sugar and honey. When you’ve just bought your dream property, this is what you celebrate with.

GETTING THERE Thomson fl ies from Gatwick,

Luton, Birmingham, East Midlands, Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow, though not from every airport all year. TAP fl ies from Gatwick, and EasyJet fl ies from Gatwick, Stansted and Bristol. Jet2 fl ies from Leeds Bradford and Manchester. The fl ight takes just under four hours.

CLIMATE Offi cially a temperate maritime

climate, in practice that means that Madeira’s year-round temperature is around 24ºC in summer and 18ºC

in winter. It can be very wet in winter – hence the fl oods of February 2010.

WHERE TO LIVE Greater Funchal: Properties around the capital are for those who prefer easily accessible shops, nightlife, and support networks such as the Holy Trinity Church. Popular areas are around the Lido, Praia Formosa, and the prestigious Palheiro development overlooking the city. West: The south-western area from Ribera Brava, via Ponta do Sol to Calheta is a more rural option, with excellent weather and a new motorway to Funchal. Further west, a new Sir Nick Faldo-designed golf course is being built at Ponta do Pargo. Adjacent to this Morgan Forbes is selling fractional property from under £20,000 at a fi ve-star hotel development, where buyers receive an income stream along with usage of the hotel. North: Beautiful but rugged, the north of the island has a small population and tends to be cooler and wetter (though that’s all relative – it’s still lush). Although more rural, it’s still only 30 minutes from Funchal. East: Beyond the airport are resorts such as Santa Cruz, Machico and Gaula. This area is slightly cooler and windier than the south and west, but it has the benefi t of being near the airport and Funchal.

ESSENTIALS The property market

Robin Stickells of says: “It’s still a buyer’s market, though we haven’t seen the huge rises and falls of Spain. It really comes down to the motivation of the seller. There are renovation projects from €30K (£26K), right up to €5-million (£4.3-million) mansions, so something for everyone. Good quality one-bed apartments are from €90K (£77K), two-bed from €110K (£94K), three-bed villas from €250K (£214K), and four beds and a pool from €450K (£385K). Building your own villa is a good option, assuming you get a quality architect (such as msb-arquitectos. net) and for building costs, excluding land, you would pay on average €800 (£684) per square metre, or this much for 80 cents...


Where: Calheta Price: €169,000 (£144K)

Two-bedroom (plus small bedroom/study) and two bathrooms with sea views. Perfect low-maintenance holiday retreat close to the beach, health centre and restaurants.

Nobrega Realty,

Where: Estreito de Calheta Price: from €185,000 to €325,000 (£158K-£278K)

Four beautiful new homes in a quiet neighbourhood on the sunny south coast, with stunning Atlantic views, yet just 25 minutes from Funchal.

4 Madeira Views,

Where: Arco da Calheta Price: €220,000 (£188K)

Attractive hillside villa with great sea views on the favoured southern coast close to Funchal. Features new bathroom and outdoor barbecue area.

Madeira Properties in the Sun,

Where: Santa Cruz Price: €300,000 (£256K)

Three-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom villa over two fl oors, 500 metres from the sea. Includes open- plan kitchen, terrace with sea views and a garage.

Madeira Properties in the Sun, APRIL 2011 A PLACE IN THE SUN 71

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