Towns and Villages
No-one visiting Funchal can be indifferent to its beauty and the hospitality of its people. There are many places to visit in this 500-year old city, and some cannot be missed…
The capital of Madeira, Funchal is situated on the south coast of the island, on a beautiful bay of the same name. It was awarded its first charter in the mid-15th century, and its name comes from fennel (funcho), an aromatic herb common in this region.
The city became an important trading post, first with the trade in sugar cane and bananas and then due to Madeira wine, and it was a key stopping point for maritime expansion voyages. Due to its mild climate throughout the year, it became early on a favourite destination for the European elite.
Rich in history, cosmopolitan, and with a fantastic life of its own, Funchal today has much to see and admire, beginning with the historic centres of its parishes, such as São Pedro, Santa Maria and Sé, which are very interesting to walk around. Funchal also has a strong cultural life, including museums and other cultural amenities of similar interest.
Don’t miss the Farmers' Market, where the flavours and aromas of fruit and flowers mingle with the usual bustle of a market.
Since Funchal is known as a "garden by the sea", we cannot fail to mention its green spaces, such as the Botanical Gardens and the Garden of the Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro, both containing plants from the four corners of the world.
There’s nothing better than a cable car ride to best enjoy the beauty of the city and its surroundings, and you can take either the cable car from Monte to the Botanical Gardens or to the city centre. Once in Monte, a return in the "basket car" is a must.
Back in the city centre, you can stroll towards Funchal Marina and watch the yachts and, further ahead, the cruise ships, coming from various points of departure.
The range of events and tourist activities is constant throughout the year, the most important of which are Carnival, the Flower Festival and the New Year’s Eve festivities. But there are many other activities: golf, tennis, diving, fishing, horse-riding and boating are always good suggestions. These activities are complemented by the large number of terraces and restaurants in historic sites, where you can refresh yourself with a drink or simply take delight in the typical flavours of the region.
Whatever the option, you can relax and enjoy the charms and magnificent conditions that Funchal has to offer. And discover the hospitality of the people of Madeira in the varied range of quality accommodation that will make you feel at home.