Located on the island of Madeira in Portugal, Funchal is a city that is rich in history, culture, and architecture. It is famous for its harbor, gardens, and Madeira wine cellars. You will find plenty of things to do in this beautiful city, so plan your next trip to Funchal today!
Blandy's Wine Lodge
Visiting Madeira, one of the most beautiful winegrowing regions in the world, is not complete without exploring Funchal. The island has a long history in winemaking, and the most interesting wine museum on the island is the Old Blandy Wine Lodge.
The Old Blandy Wine Lodge is located in a complex of buildings that were once wine cellars. The cellars date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The wine lodge also has a super shop, which sells a variety of wines.
The Blandy's Wine Lodge offers a tour of the cellars, which includes tastings of their wines. They produce a variety of styles of Madeira wine. They use a traditional "canteiro" method to age their wines, which involves varying humidity levels and changing temperatures.
In addition to the wine cellars, the Blandy's Wine Lodge has a museum that is worth visiting. It has a unique collection of historical documents and artifacts. It features a collection of wooden lagers, old cash registers, goat skin, and letters from Winston Churchill. The Blandy's Museum is the most popular wine museum in Funchal.
Another unique tourist attraction in Funchal is the wicker basket sled ride. These rides are pushed by two runners in white costume. They are suitable for children and adults, and can seat up to three people. They are popular with both families and individuals.
Lastly, the Convento de Santa Clara is a 15th-century working monastery. It is an interesting place to visit, and the entrance costs just 2 euros. The convent is open a few hours each day (between 10 and 12).
Aside from the Blandy's Wine Lodge and the Convento de Santa Clara, there are other wine museums to explore in Funchal. They include the Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro, which is a lovely garden outside of the city. It is difficult to get to without a car.
Funchal Botanical Garden
During your visit to Funchal, you may want to explore the city's best gardens. One of the most beautiful in the island is the Madeira Botanical Garden. It is located on the Bom Sucesso estate.
The Botanical Garden has a museum of natural history. It includes an amphitheatre for recreational activities. It is also home to a large collection of plants, including some of the world's most exotic species. The park is located on a hill above Funchal and has amazing views of the city.
Another excellent garden is the Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro, an English style park outside of the city. This garden was originally a private park but was later opened to the public. It features more than 3,000 plant species and a number of art exhibits. It's also difficult to get to without a car.
The Rua da Santa Maria is Funchal's oldest street. It was renovated by a local arts movement and now showcases more than 200 works of art. It's also a good place to do some people watching.
The Funchal Old Town walking tour is a great way to see Funchal's medieval center. You'll learn about the town's history, and visit the Fortress of St. James, the oldest building in the city. You can also try a farmer's market. It's a nice way to see the island in the daylight.
The botanic gardens are also a must-see. They are home to a large number of exotic plants and a natural history museum. They're not as impressive as the Mercado dos Lavradores, but the Botanical Garden is a worthwhile place to see.
Visiting Funchal is a lot more enjoyable if you have a car. You can rent a car from the airport or from the town's main bus station. You can also take a taxi.
Ilheus da Ribeira da Janela
Located in the Northwest of the island, the Ilheus da Ribeira da Janela rocks are a collection of two unique rock formations. They are a great place to visit in Madeira. The view from the Mirador Ilheus da Ribeira da Janela is breathtaking and is an ideal photo stop. The rock formations are a must-see for travel photographers.
There is a small car park near the entrance to the forest. The forest is a green wonderland of laurel trees and subtropical flora. A trail runs through the forest, linking it with the sea above. The PR9 trail is 1.9 miles (3.2km) and starts at the entrance of the forest.
A short walk from the forest leads to a viewpoint. This viewpoint is an excellent option for photographers, especially those looking for long exposure shots. It offers a higher perspective than the beach and also has a modern WC.
The viewpoint is situated outside of the village of Ribeiro Frio. It is a great place to watch the sunset. The waves create pale white foam that contrasts beautifully with the deep blue water. The viewpoint is very popular and can get busy.
Another spectacular spot to see is the Miradouro Francisco Alvares Nobrega. This unofficial viewpoint is a short drive from Funchal. It offers panoramic views of Madeira. It is also a good location to watch sunrises.
Another great viewpoint is the Eira do Serrado, which is the highest mountain in Madeira. It is just north of Funchal. The panoramic view of the sea from this viewpoint is stunning. It is an unofficial viewpoint so you may want to arrive early or late to avoid the crowds.
Madalena do Mar
Located on the south-west coast of Madeira, Madalena do Mar is one of the island's most peaceful fishing villages. Known for its pebble and black sand beach, this village is also a good spot to soak up the sun. A small playground and solarium are available on the beach, as well as a bar with a terrace. There is also a lifeguard, toilets and changing rooms.
A church dedicated to Santa Maria Madalena is located on the edge of the village. This is the site of an annual Banana Exhibit in July. The convent is a 15th-century working monastery. It's open only a few hours a day, but visitors can take a tour for a couple of euros.
There's also a good selection of mid-range hotels in the area. In addition, there are some good beaches to explore nearby. The Praia Formosa is the best, with a large sand beach that stretches 1.5 km. It's a lovely spot to watch the sunset or watch a fireworks display on New Year's Eve.
You can also explore the gardens of Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro, which is a little tricky to get to without a car. There's a large number of plant species and interesting sculptures and structures. You can even walk around the adjacent garden for free, which has finds from old palaces and churches.
The main shopping streets in Funchal are Rua do Aljube and Rua da Carreira. There are also several shops and restaurants in the Funchal Old Town.
The island has a long history of sugar cane cultivation. In 1960, the Madeira Botanical Garden was opened. This was part of the Reid family estate, but is now open to the public.
Located on the south coast of the island, Cabo Girao is a popular tourist destination. This scenic coastal cliff is one of the highest in Europe and is a great place to enjoy panoramic views of the ocean and Funchal. It is also a good starting point for hikers.
The most spectacular views of the coastline are during sunrise and sunset. The best time to visit is during the summer months of July and August. It can get quite busy during peak season.
Cabo Girao is also the perfect spot for paragliding. There is a suspended glass platform at the lookout that offers panoramic views of the ocean and Funchal. The viewpoint is also the home of the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Fatima, which was built in 1974.
There are numerous historical attractions to see in Funchal. There are a variety of guided tours that include a stop at Cabo Girao. A 4x4 off-road excursion can also be arranged. The fortress of Sao Tiago, which was built in 1614 to guard Funchal against pirates, is also located in the old town. The fortress is painted in striking yellow.
The cliffs of Cabo Girao are also accessible by cable car. The cable car was installed in August 2003. The ride takes about 3 minutes to reach the bottom of the cliffs. On the way, you'll have the chance to see the sea cliffs and enjoy welcome refreshments.
In the nearby village of Camara de Lobos, there is a market that sells local produce. There is also a small harbour with brightly painted boats. The 16th-century church of Sao Sebastiao can be visited. The town has several restaurants and cafes.