November is filled with promise as it heralds the beginning of the winter activities and the Chestnut Festival held in Curral das Freiras between the 31st October and 1st November is no exception. Chestnuts have been an integral part of Madeiran life, and this is a chance to see the humble chestnut in a completely different light. The 21st International Bridge Tournament held at the Vidamar Resort Hotel in Funchal plays host to this very prestigious bridge tournament from the 1st to the 12th with players coming from all over the world to participate. Musicians will love the 5th Madeira Piano Fest held at the beautiful and majestic Baltazar Dias Municipal Theatre on the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 9th and 10th and with seven international pianists covering everything from humorous to dramatic pieces this is a treat for any classical music lover and those new to the genre.
International thrill seeking cyclists will be taking part in the 6th Sandokan Enduro race on the 10th and 11th, while the Festival of St. Martins (Festa de São Martinho) will be ideal for those less energetically inclined. Steeped in tradition and held at St. Martins Church in São Martinho, Funchal, the eve of the festival is very important as it is traditional to taste the wines and enjoy roast Bacalhau. Wine enthusiasts will love the Essence of Wine – Madeira event held between the 22nd and 24th. This is one of the islands must important viniculture events and includes wine tasting and show cooking demonstrations. The month ends as spectacularly as it begins with the MadeiraDig Festival taking place between the 30th November and the 3rd December. Held at Quinta da Rochinha and the Mudas Contemporary Art Museum, this music festival combines environmental awareness and urban rhythms in what is generally described as an ‘avant guarde journey through the world of serious music’ and a must for all serious music lovers both young and old.