oooooh, aaaaaah!

If you are asked about fireworks and the New Year you're probably going to think of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or more recently the London Eye, but think again...

Funchal, the capital of Madeira puts on a show unrivalled anywhere in the world and whilst little known amongst the general travelling public it has made the Guinness Book of Records and is well known amongst the cruising (on boats) community.

cruise boats claim their place in Funchal's harbour
For hours leading up to the year's end locals, hotels & restaurants create their displays, but at the stroke of midnight the skies above the town are alight with shock and awe. AND this is no quicky, 10 minutes later it is still going strong. It is spectacular, an experience which these words and pictures can not do justice. The scale if the things is huge, the explosions bounce around the mountains, the light fills the sky and smoke drifts across the town.

There are any number of spots to watch the display, out in the harbour is probably the best but requires a cruise holiday. The waterfront and pier is said to be excellent but the local knowledge says that ash and debris rain down on you or (and this was our choice) in the hills above Funchal - preferably from a private villa.

It is difficult to know where to look next, ignoring amazing explosions of colour can't be helped as bigger and better is happening in front, overhead, behind. GO just go, if you like to see in the New Year in style or want to tick a box of must see things then book a flight or a boat and a hotel and come see something very rare (to be fair you dont need a boat and a hotel - unless of course it's a very small boat!!).

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