We started our day at a bus stop in front of our hotel, trying to figure out where we could go using public transportation. One kind lady recommended bus number 81 to Curral das Freiras and it was a brilliant idea!
The bus number 81 took us to the clouds – to the lookout point at Eira do Serrado, 1094 meters above sea level.
At the bottom of this valley there is a small village called Curral das Freiras – Nun’s Valley.
We decided to hike down from the viewpoint to the village. We went very slowly because the trail is very steep and difficult for our knees.
The little town of Curral das Freiras is an interesting place to discover but first let’s look at the mountain where we came from:
This beautiful Nun’s Valley was used in the past by the nuns of the Santa Clara convent whenever pirates attacked the island. Today, the valley is famous for its chestnut trees and products.
“The local chestnuts are harvested between October and January, but are available all year round as an ingredient in soup, bread, biscuits, cakes, liquors and sweets. The village even holds a chestnut festival – Festa da Castanha in early November.”
Source: Lonely Planet Pocket Madeira Guidebook.
In our restaurant, Sabores do Curral, we tried Madeira’s famous tomato soup with an egg and onions inside:
Then our favourite fish fillets with a banana in a passion fruit souce:
But the best was our dessert, two pastries made with chestnuts. Pastel de Curral and a chestnut cheesecake:
Here is our newly discovered village:
And the bus that took us back to Funchal: