Madeira Mix

Madeira island news and views.

Archive for August, 2009





Fractional freehold has been gaining in popularity in recent years, and the Palheiro Village scheme is proving to be a great example of how buying a portion of a property can work.

Golf and property journalist Peter Swain explores the concept of fractional freehold in an article in today’s Daily Express (UK) newspaper. After giving some tips for buyers, he mentions three “good value” schemes, one of which is Palheiro Village that he writes “works well”.

Peter highlights some of the fantastic characteristics of the resort, stating that “semi-tropical gardens and a boutique hotel complement the spectacular Palheiro golf course.” The clubhouse’s “brilliant cooking” and “superb view”, plus the “world-class” marlin fishing nearby are also noted.

Fractional freehold at Palheiro has been praised a number of times, and was awarded silver for Best Fractional Ownership Scheme 2008 the prestigious Homes Overseas Awards.

You can get more details about this method of buying at:

Casa Velha do Palheiro opens Palheiro SPA


In May 2009 a new section of Madeira’s Palheiro Estate complex was opened, Palheiro Spa, which joins Palheiro Gardens, Palheiro Golf and the Inn Casa Velha do Palheiro.

The new Spa was designed by the architect Bruno Martins aiming a blend with the surrounding area. There are four treatment rooms, a sauna, a steam bath, two pools (one indoor and another outdoor), and a fitness room available to the customers. The massage menu made up of organic natural products, also directed to golfers, and non invasive body and facial treatments are also available.

Set high in the hills overlooking Funchal, Casa Velha is a five-star country house hotel with a history stretching back more than 200 years. Facilities include 37 rooms, an outdoor pool area with sauna and steam bath, tennis, croquet and a private yacht for deep-sea fishing and/or dolphin- and whale-watching.

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Bill’s 40th Birthday Present!

Bill and Christina from the United States were our guests for a few days in the third week of July.  We were delighted to hear that Christina had booked this charter as a 40th birthday gift for her husband!

Like most of the anglers fishing with us at this time of the year, our guests were hoping to see a big Madeiran blue marlin.  This isn’t always an easy task – most blue marlin caught and released in Madeira are the result of much hard work by the skipper and crew in selecting and working the right grounds, preparing the gear beforehand and coaching the angler during the fight.  Even within prime season, we will experience fluctuations in the fishing as marlin move into and away from the grounds following suitable oceanic conditions, schools of baitfish and their own migratory routes. Fortunately the week that Bill and Christina arrived saw some very good fishing.  The first couple of days were quiet but on the 22nd June, as Captain Anibal was trolling the Ribeira Brava grounds, Bill’s first Madeiran blue marlin came into the pattern, taking the lure on the left short positioned close to the boat.  The hookup was a good one and the fish was successfully released after a short battle.  This was a fish estimated by Captain Anibal at around 700 lbs – a splendid first marlin for any angler and a wonderful 40th birthday present!


Hooked up on the first fish of the trip, with Bill angling the fish on the 130 lb class tackle.


Bill’s first Madeiran blue marlin on the wire.  Incidentally, the leader length we use on most marlin lures is close to the International Game Fish Association maximum, 30 feet.


Bill’s fish on the snooter by the boat.


Smiles all round from our angler and deck crew: Nick (with the snooter) and Anibal’s son Horacio.

Bill angled a 600 lb fish the next day, his last fishing day, to leave Madeira with some great photos and unforgettable memories.


Bill’s second blue marlin by the boat, showing the very high, pointed dorsal fin characteristic of these large Atlantic blues.


Almost ready for release.  The small gaff is placed in the dorsal fin to keep the fish upright during the revival, preventing a tired fish from rolling over.  The small hook is harmless to the fish.

The Balancal team would like to thank Bill and Christina for fishing with us and for sending us the photos that we have included on this blog.  It was a pleasure fishing with you and it was great to be able to make your trip a memorable one.  We all look forward to your next visit.