There is a lot to see in Madeira and a great place to start is with a holiday to Funchal, its capital city.
It has around 150,000 inhabitants, making it Portugal’s largest city outside of the mainland. It’s the bustling, cultural centre of the island with narrow cobbled streets, mosaic pavements and an interesting mix of traditional and modern architecture.
Funchal is a great place to shop for local produce and souvenirs, and has an excellent selection of friendly restaurants and cafe bars. On your holiday to Funchal you can combine your love for nature, history and good food (and wine).
Here are some ideas of what you can do out there:
Popular activities in Funchal
Whale and dolphin watching
Get ready to do some serious whale and dolphin watching in Funchal. Madeira’s position in the North Atlantic combined with the island’s temperate winter weather makes it the best year-round destination for spotting Cetaceans.
Madeira is fast becoming Europe’s go-to island for Canyoning – although our friends in the Azores might have something to say about that. It’s a great activity whatever your age and level of experience, although you do need a good head for heights and grippy footwear.
Exploring different flavours
If you are interested in the history of Madeira’s wine you shouldn’t miss out on a tour of the Blandy’s Wine Lodge, including some wine tasting at the end.
Enjoy the view and a great meal
The Teleferico (cable car) is a great way to view the city, as you climb the 600 metres up to the Monte Palace Botanical Gardens. A favourite pastime in Funchal is to sit on one of its many terraces to watch the world go by followed by a fantastic meal. Funchal has an endless selection of restaurants and the menus tend to be a mix of traditional Portuguese dishes with some nice, Madeiran twists.
Where to stay on your holiday to Funchal
After a busy day exploring you will be able to relax in one of the city’s stunning hotels, picked out specially for your. Some people feel that hotels are meant only for sleeping, but we disagree. We believe that staying at a great hotel is an important part of your holiday experience. We’re sure that you’ll agree with us when you see some of the options available.
It’s difficult to find a hotel that’s better placed for exploring Funchal than the Hotel Madeira.
The marina and Avenida do Mar are just a minute’s walk away, making the hotel an ideal base for Whale & Dolphin Watchers, whilst the famous Café Ritz, one of Funchal’s oldest and most well-known restaurants and Gelaterias, is virtually on your doorstep. In the evening, it’s a short walk down through Funchal’s lively shopping district to the Zona Velha (Old Town); our favourite location for dinner and live music.
Quintinha São João
If you’re looking to strike a balance between easy access to the centre of Funchal, and the peace and quiet of a traditional rural Quinta, Quintinha São João is it.
A charming, family run hotel providing a relaxing escape from the bustle of downtown Funchal, Quintinha sits within a lush, subtropical garden in the city’s residential area – a fifteen-minute walk brings you down into the heart of the city or you might prefer to take advantage of the hotel’s courtesy bus, which will take you up the hill giving your legs a well-deserved break.
Madeira Holiday Specialists
Our team of Madeira activity holiday specialists at Archipelago Choice give the best choices when combining activities, accommodation and holidays ideas so you can have a holiday that you will never forget. Get in touch with us and we will put you in the right track and organise a perfect holiday to Funchal.
We are a member of AITO (the Association of Independent Tour Operators) which encourages the highest standards in all aspects of tour operating. All members must adhere to the AITO Quality Charter.
Contact us today on 01768 721 070 or request our Madeira holidays brochure.