Funchal is the centuries old capital of Madeira, an island in a Portuguese Archipelago consisting of Madeira, Porto Santo and the uninhabited islands of Selvagens or Desertas. Funchal is located in an absolutely unique area. The almost ‘amphitheatre’ like formation it rests in begins on the beach and rises almost 1200 metres on gentle slopes.
Funchal is an enchanting town set on a glittering bay against a background of soaring green mountains. Its historic core overlooks the harbour and features some fine government buildings and stately 18th century mansions.
Attractions include the botanical gardens located on the edge of the city, and after that the famous Monte toboggan ride back into town. East of the city and rising to a height of almost 600 metres is Cabo Girão, the world’s second-highest sea cliff. The rest of the island is easily reachable from Funchal, including the characteristic triangle-shaped houses at Santana on the north coast, and the secluded deep-valley location of Curral das Freiras, where nuns sought refuge from invading pirates in the mid 16th century.
Things to See & Do
* Levadas – An impressive system of aqueducts
* Jardim Orquídea – Orchid garden
* Jardim Botânico -Funchal Botanical gardens
* Jardim do Monte Palace – Magnificent gardens of the former Monte Palace hotel
* Madeira Story Centre
Cruise Season – Feb to Dec
Currency – Euro (€)
Language – Portuguese
Land Area – 797 sq km’s
Population – 340
Electricity – 2 round pins European style
Time –GMT/UTC plus 0 hours
International Country Telephone Code – +351 (Portugal)
Port Location – The Port of Funchal is a 15-minute walk from the city centre.
Transport Links – The Islands have two airports, one in Santa Cruz (known as Funchal Airport (FNC)) on the Island of Madeira. Flights to the islands are mostly made from Lisbon and Porto, but there are also direct flights from other major European cities and other countries, like Brazil, Venezuela and South Africa. Transport between the two main islands is done by plane or by ferries which allow for the transportation of vehicles.