Come to get away from the big bad world. Climb up the hill from bustling Funchal to a large old family house surrounded by vines, formal gardens, serene pool, tennis court, mature trees and plenty of places to hide away however many people you come with. There’s tons to do if you prefer to be active: an on-site ceramicist will help you throw your best ever pot; workshops include meditation and 5-rhythms dance; there’s a beach in town for swimming. Return to masses of space, beautiful furniture, polished floorboards rescued from an old coaling boat, original art, lots of books, fresh lofty bedrooms with cool views, a big billiard room in the basement – and a lifetime (or several) of family history and pictures. The large modern kitchen is the hub of the house and has all the gear you need to cook up a storm; eat at the antique, convivial table in the dining room – or out on the terrace overlooking the garden, with a sea breeze. Wander through the vines that still produce madeira wine, find out about the family history. Interesting, intelligent people will love it here.