Not being a bank holiday, the following day found us meeting up with Maria – another realtor in Madeira.  Maria was from South Africa and had recently returned to Madeira.  We started our day with a coffee and a chat about the type of properties that we were looking for.

Marie took us to see a fabulously located house owned by a Dutch couple in their 90’s.  After many, many years in Madeira they were returning to The Netherlands to be close to their family.  The house was divided into two, with the upstairs being set-up as a separate flat – for guests, bed & breakfast, etc.  The house was on about 600sqm of land, with a developed apple orchard.  The views were great.  We discussed whether the views could be changed with further development below this house.  It was confirmed that property cannot be sold in Madeira if it does not have access.  The land below this house has no access, therefore we believe that the views were protected.  This was a house that we could move straight into and unless we wanted to, there really wasn’t anything to do to it.  A great benefit of this house was that it was on the edge of the lower tree line, so looking at a tourist business, the bed & breakfast facility provided as part of the design of this house could be used by those wanting to walk the levada’s.  ‘

‘Levada’ is a Portuguese word which is derived from the word ‘levar’.  ‘Levar’ means ‘carry’.  In this way levada is translated into water carrier or mini-canal; but are actually irrigation systems developed to move the water from the wet/rainy regions on the north of the island to the dryer regions in the south of the island.  The levada’s date back as far as the early 16th century and now criss-cross the island and cover a distance of approximately 2,500kms.  The Levada Walks are well known with tourists as walks beside these mini-canals, which are not accessibly by vehicle, and allow you to meander across the island, up-down the mountains, at your own pace.

We stopped on our way to the second property we were to see with Maria tosample a local delicacy!  Freshly baked local sausage and bread on the side of the road.  Fabulous!  We had to wait as this is a popular stop for the tourist trade and the baking is done through-out the day on an open fire.  We sat in the open sunshine, chatting and enjoying our impromptu cultinary experience.

The next property we saw was in Arco da Calheta – on the south west of the island.  It was two smaller houses being sold as a single property.  Fabulous idea, as we thought that this could be designed as our home and ‘guest’ accommodation – family, friends, guests – giving each party their own privacy; but on a single property.  The size of the land was good for the price being asked – approx. 1800sqm; but would need a vast amount of terracing as it was all down the slope in front of the house.  The views were incredible, and due to the steepness of the incline no-one could build in front of the houses and disturb the view.  There was a small piece of land beside the houses that would accommodate a small pool, BBQ, and seating area.  Parking here was a small challenge and again we would need to build a full drive-way/garage to allow us to park off road on a flatish piece of land.

Although these were two great properties, neither ticked all boxes.  We had made the decision last night that the only properties we were going to pursue were those that ticked all boxes – at this stage in our investigations we did not believe we need to compromise.

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