Set amongst gardens and dense woodland, the centre of the small Monte district is a place for tranquil strolls, stopping at the Church of Nossa Senhora do Monte, erected in honour of the patron saint of Madeira, inside which you will find the tomb of Charles I, Emperor of Austria, and Quinta Jardins do Imperador, the Emperor’s last home. The festivities in honour of Our Lady of Monte, the island’s patron saint, are celebrated here on 15 August every year.
The Monte Palace Tropical Garden is also worth a visit, with its collection of exotic plants from every continent and numerous works of art dotted around the grounds, in addition to those gathered in the Museum which is part of this complex.
Exploring the gardens of the Monte Municipal Park, also known as Parque Leite Monteiro, you can discover many indigenous and exotic species, and some hundred year old trees.
There are two excellent choices to get to Monte and back to Funchal: go up in the cable car and back down again in a basket car.
The Monte Cable Car connects the historic centre of Funchal and Monte. The journey takes approximately 15 minutes and enables you to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
The traditional toboggans, or basket cars, leave from Monte. They are made in rattan and mounted on wooden skids, which are dragged by two men, the "carreiros" (typically dressed in white and wearing a straw hat), who control the speed of the car with the aid of ropes. The route runs for 2km from Monte to Livramento, takes about 10 minutes and is the ideal complement to the ascent to Monte by cable car.