Portugal / Europe

Funchal (Madeira Island)

Language Portugues
Local Time
Currency Euro (EUR)
Weather

Funchal is the capital of the Madeira Island and its small archipelago. Together with the Azores, the Canaries and the Cape Verde Islands, they make up the Macaronesia region.

Madeira, unlike its neighboring Canary Islands, has a lush setting, tropical climate, fishy sea and fertile land. The Laurisilvia woods, in the northern part of the island have been included by UNESCO among the World Heritage sites, this to make it clear what extraordinary beauty and particularity they are.

Madeira offers a great variety of rare attractions besides of course its blue skies and seas. Imposing valleys and mountains where abundantly differentiated flora grows. Local products add to this long list of natural wonders. Madeira wine, local crafts, tropical fruit and exotic flowers are part of what will make you love “The Pearl of the Atlantic”, as Madeira is called, beyond any doubt.

What to see & what to do

Park & Landmarks

Eira do Serrado

A half hour drive from the Port of Funchal you can reach Eira do Serrado, a town perched at 1026 meters above sea level, which offers spectacular views of both the surrounding mountains and the small village located a little further down. . Curral das Freiras, this is the name of the village, is known above all because it is here that the Nuns who tried to escape from the pirates who often attacked the island found refuge.

Jardim Botanico

Madeira's Jardim Botanico is one of those attractions that you can't help but visit. It is the garden with the largest collection of exotic plants in the world. Place of peace and tranquility will allow you to take a relaxing and culturally satisfying walk. Entering the Jardim Botanico you will also have the opportunity to visit the Louro Parque, a beautiful avian park that is home to a large number of bird species of the island's fauna.

Animal Encounter

Boat Excursions

Directly at the Port of Funchal it is possible to take part in marine excursions that will allow you to get to know the aquatic fauna of the area. The waters of the island, especially the southern area, are the favorite habitat for whales and dolphins and with very good probability during these boat trips it will be possible to spot them and have fun watching them while they entertain the group.

Family

Boat Excursions

Directly at the Port of Funchal it is possible to take part in marine excursions that will allow you to get to know the aquatic fauna of the area. The waters of the island, especially the southern area, are the favorite habitat for whales and dolphins and with very good probability during these boat trips it will be possible to spot them and have fun watching them while they entertain the group.

Jardim Botanico

Madeira's Jardim Botanico is one of those attractions that you can't help but visit. It is the garden with the largest collection of exotic plants in the world. Place of peace and tranquility will allow you to take a relaxing and culturally satisfying walk. Entering the Jardim Botanico you will also have the opportunity to visit the Louro Parque, a beautiful avian park that is home to a large number of bird species of the island's fauna.

History & Culture

Cathedral de Sé

Almost always the first thing to be visited once set foot in Funchal is the Sé, the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, whose bell tower dominates the skyline citizen. The church, dating back to the sixteenth century, is a perfect compendium of sacred architecture Lusitanian. In it, in fact, they occur the same features already met in Lisbon, namely the successful combination of Hispano-Arabic and late Gothic which in turn refers to external domination and colonial history of Portugal. Noteworthy the alfarje, the spectacular cedar ceiling with ivory and shell deposits, and the high altar in the Gothic style.

Monte

Monte is a small suburb of Funchal at 500 meters above sea level, a refuge, at least until the end of the 1800s, for the aristocratic families of the island during the hottest summers. Above all, the care with which the neighborhood is maintained stands out. To absolutely visit the Jardim Tropical Monte Palace and the Parque Municipal do Monte, an unprecedented immersion in the greenery and culture of the area. Most people reach Monte via the Teleferico do Funchal, a spectacular cable car starting from the Zona Velha. To get off, the funniest way is to take the Carrihos, wicker sleds pulled downhill by two drivers with a characteristic straw hat.

Museu Quinta des Cruzes

What was once the residence of Joao Goncalves Zarco, the discoverer of Madeira, now houses the Museu Quinta des Cruzes. The Museum houses furniture, ceramics, tapestries and other objects that belonged to the island's aristocracy from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.

Zona Velha

In the last 20/25 years, the so-called "old area" of Funchal has actually become the area of the city which is the hub of nightlife for the inhabitants of Madeira. What were old fishermen's houses and nineteenth-century houses have over time become very popular bars, restaurants and art galleries where it is always worthwhile to pay a visit. It is highly recommended to have a camera at hand because the whole area can offer truly incredible photographs.

Walking

Zona Velha

In the last 20/25 years, the so-called "old area" of Funchal has actually become the area of the city which is the hub of nightlife for the inhabitants of Madeira. What were old fishermen's houses and nineteenth-century houses have over time become very popular bars, restaurants and art galleries where it is always worthwhile to pay a visit. It is highly recommended to have a camera at hand because the whole area can offer truly incredible photographs.

Shopping

Mercado dos Lavradores

The Mercado dos Lavradores is one of the main tourist attractions in all of Funchal. A meeting point especially for the islanders, over time it has become one of the most visited areas by tourists. Kiosks and shops sell flowers, fruit, fish and meat, all of the highest quality. You can find bananas grown in large quantities directly on the island or freshly caught swordfish in the nearby Atlantic.

Can't wait to see ? Find out the most popular Cruises

instagram #Funchal

Beautiful places at Funchal 🌴
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Sábado? Altura de relaxar ❤️
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📍 Monte Palace, Madeira
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High up in the mountains of Madeira.
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Weather

Dry season

Dry season

From December to April, mostly sunny and fresh. The best period to sail in Caribbean. Having a flat territory and being exposed to the trade winds, Aruba is always windy and with comfortable temperatures.

87°F 70°F

Wet season

Wet season

From May to November, warmer season with more frequent rains. From July till September Hurricanes are not usually a problem for Aruba, which remain out of their track.

90°F 77°F

Good to know

 

  1. Clothing Casual summer wear can be worn during the day any time of the year; but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings from December to March.
  2. Water Shoes Bring them if you go to swim or snorkel. Some of the water can be rocky after you walk from the beach.
  3. Sundries For convenience and cost concerns, bring your own everyday health and beauty products with you.
  4. Port Regulation Be aware that often in port it's forbidden to take off the ship fruits, vegetables and unsealed food items for local agricolture concern.
  5. Currency The official currency is the Mexican Peso, but the U.S. dollar is widely accepted throughout the island.
  6. Credit Card concern Pay attention using credit cards in Cozumel. Here several episodes of cloning happened. Use cash as much as possible.
  7. Time Zone EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC/GMT -5 hours. No DST changes during the year. Make sure to keep the ship's time on your clock to come back board on time. Be aware of automatic changes of your smartphones.

Terminal

Funchal Cruise Terminal is a 20-minute walk from the city center. To date, the record for docking cruise ships is 13 ships at the same time, and it occurred on New Year’s Eve 2018. At the exit of the terminal there are both taxy and shuttles available.

Remind

 

 

Transport

Renting a car or using public buses are certainly the best ways to get around Madeira Island. To visit Funchal, the use of buses is certainly recommended, if instead you want to move a little outside the main city then a rental car is the best solution.

Nearby destinations

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