- Double Bed
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Casa das Videiras – The House of the Grapevines
Sleeping with History
32º 49.5’ N and 17º 5.9’ W - These are the coordinates of Seixal, a picturesque region in the North of the island of Madeira, where Casa das Videiras is located.
Built in the 18th century, in 1792, the house is one of the oldest in the region, and is still reminiscent of those exciting times, in spite of the damage inflicted on it by time.
Today Casa das Videiras was completely restored and extended first in 1995, and later in 2013, and while it still bears the weight of history on its walls, has been completely modernised, and is one of the most ornate houses existing on this island, discovered by the Portuguese in 1420.
Its name is derived from the multitude of vines planted a few at a time by the whole population, yielding grapes thought to be some of the most delicious in Madeira and used to make the wine which has made the island famous throughout the world. More recently they have been used to produce a table wine which is ideal for accompanying a meal or drinking by itself.
The house is decorated in a variety of styles including traditional Madeiran, urban and rustic. Apart from those decorated in the style of the island itself, other rooms are reminiscent of Norway, the Middle East, India and other far-flung corners of the world, all intimately linked to the experience of the present owners.
Apart from the peace and quiet it offers, the house is also an excellent starting point for day trips, walking in mountains which are protected areas, and even bathing in the sea, as it lies just below the building.
The sea on the northern coast is just 100 metres away. This is the harbour beach and the sea pools of Clube Naval do Seixal. Natural swimming pools and the traditional black sand beach of the island, Praia da Laje (Flagstone Beach) are a mere 500 metres away.
This location is perfect for diving, too, and there is no need to wait for the summer. Winter offers plenty of good days for bathing, although this calls for extra care and sometimes warrants some wise advice from the locals, who are always more than willing to help.
Seixal has a small, sheltered, harbour, which is large enough to moor fishing boats and small yachts. Seixal Marine Club is located here, which also provides all the necessary equipment for nautical activities.
While bathing, you might be lucky enough to spy a Mediterranean monk seal. This species is protected worldwide, and the Desertas Isles, to the south-west of Madeira, offer the seals a privileged location, protecting them and allowing the existing colony to grow, helping to ensure that their extinction, once imminent, never happens.
It is said that there was once a young seal which was looking for a beach in Seixal on which to rest. He is said to have lain there for several hours, under the watchful eyes of the people who went to take a closer look at him.This is remarkable, since their normal habitat is on the other side of the island, far from the coast of Madeira.
Take a leisurely stroll around Seixal, and don’t forget to take in Chão da Ribeira, a district located in a large valley overlooking the town.
The area boasts a huge variety of plants and shrubs belonging to the Laurissilva forest, which is a Unesco World Heritage site.
A curious feature of the region is that the river valley is dotted with fields and farm sheds, giving it an unusual appearance.
Another site which should not be missed is the Lookout Point at “Véu da Noiva” (the Bride’s Veil), located close to the old road linking São Vicente to Seixal. There’s a waterfall here, where water from the mountains, under pressure, is forced out in the direction of the sea, looking just like a bride’s white veil.
If you decide to stay at Casa das Videiras you will enjoy the experience of a House lost in the mists of time, although not immune to progress, which has brought good, fast roads. You can feel how genuine the people are here, and they bear witness to tradition and to a hard life in this land where a living was eked out from whatever the land and the sea had to offer. That’s why the locals are so friendly, natural and hospitable in this parish, which was officially founded in 1554.
In light of all of this, it is only natural and with great satisfaction that Casa das Videiras welcomes you and invites you to enjoy a wonderful holiday, far from the hustle and bustle of modern life, which is, nevertheless, not too far from Seixal.
Casa das Videiras has three double rooms with private bathrooms and all the modern conveniences to be expected from a tourist haven such as this.
Within the establishment there is a separate suite. It also has a private bathroom. Due to the way it was built, it offers greater seclusion. This area also offers a public reading room.
All rooms are equipped with a safe.
If required, a child’s bed or cot can be set up.
In the main building, on the ground floor, beneath the guest rooms, there is a spacious sitting and dining room, magnificently decorated, with alcoves and elegant furniture.
Alongside this is a well-equipped kitchen which can be used by any guests wishing to prepare something for themselves.
The upper reception room is on the same floor as the guest bedrooms. It is centrally positioned, next to the entrance which is reached by a traditional Madeiran staircase. Here you enter a hall next to a chapel. These are both decorated with old china plates in the ceiling. Next to this you have an impressive library with hundreds of books in different languages. Some newer and some antique.
The leisure area includes the sitting room, dining room, television room – with satellite reception, a hi-fi system and also a writing desk.
Casa das Videiras also offers the use of its peaceful terraces and patio.
At the end of the day, why not relax with a good book and have our hostess, Natalia, make you a cup of tea or coffee.
Don’t forget that the town plays host to some very popular fairs, and the central location of the house means that you really can’t miss them.
There are a number of excellent restaurants and bars close to Casa das Videiras and in the town itself.
The seafood dishes are highly recommended.
Casa das Videiras is easy to get to. It’s on North side of Madeira Island.
If you’re coming from Madeira Airport, Echium Villa or Funchal, take the main road to Ribeira Brava.
At the end of the tunnel take the left lane. Continue in the direction of São Vicente.
It’s best to take the shortest route, through the tunnel, which takes you to your destination more quickly. Afterwards you’ll have time to enjoy the beauty of the Encumeada, which lies between Ribeira Brava and São Vicente.
When you come out of the tunnel, follow the signs for São Vicente. You’ll come to a roundabout where you take the São Vicente exit (you will see a tunnel). You could also take the following exit onto the regional highway, which also take you to the centre of the island.
However, if you take on the first exit, as we suggested earlier, you will come to some more roundabouts. Just continue in the direction of São Vicente . At the last roundabout, take the turning for Porto Moniz.
At the next roundabout you have two choices: you can either go downhill in the direction of the coast, and once you get there, turn left and keep going towards Seixal; or go straight across the roundabout following the signs for Porto Moniz.
The route alternates between tunnels and open spaces, so that you can enjoy the beauty of the Northern coastline.
When you reach the exit for Seixal be on the lookout for some mud on the right-hand side, after a tunnel. .
A little further ahead, exit where the arrow points, just before this tunnel, where an exit is currently being built.
Once you have passed the tunnel, keep going until you come to a bridge, with a church beside it. You will see a road going downhill on your right-hand side, and a sign telling you that a tourist establishment is 400 metres away.
Carry on down the hill, and after 400 metres you will see an entrance on the left (just before some parking spaces). Keep going, and just after the bend, park and walk towards the sign that reads: Casa das Videiras. The relaxation starts here!
Have a great holiday.