Go up to ‘’Monte’’ by cable car
Enjoy a magnificent ride and watch the city moving away and up the slopes to ‘’Monte’’. Up to 600 meters above sea level, you can admire the landscape and Funchal, also known as a Garden City, with great floristic richness, in a symbiosis between the rural environment and the city. This landscape and environmental harmony provide authenticity to the cable car ride experience with, green hillsides, mountains and the sea as background.
Take a Toboggan Ride down to Funchal
Have you ever seen a car without wheels, made of wood and wicker? This is unique in the world and only Madeira has it. Go down through the steep streets leading to Funchal center, for 2km in an exclusive and unforgettable ride. Toboggan ride in an old tradition among Madeiran people, because the residents used it as a means of transport to quickly get from Monte to the town, aren’t Madeiran people creative?
Admire the ‘’Sé Cathedral’’
Peek inside the Archipelago's main religious temple, Sé Cathedral. It features one of Portugal’s most beautiful ceilings elaborately carved with wood from the island. This historical symbol dates back from the thirteen’s century has been classified as a National Monument since 1910.
When you get in the cathedral and look around it feels like you step back 500 years you are rediscovering the past again, with all the Gothic and Flemish style church, all the culture, history, and artwork.
Watch the traditional Madeira Embroideries being made
You may like to know more about the Madeiran culture, so we recommend you go to Bordal, at Rua Dr. Fernão de Ornelas 77. Bordal is one of the main manufacturers and exporters of the famous Madeira embroidery. You should definitely see the handicraft being done and learn about the history of Madeira embroidery. Some people say they began to be made by noblewomen, as a means of decorating household articles as well as clothes.
Visit the exotic Mercado dos Lavradores (Farmers Market)
Go down the city centre, the sea is the limit, walk along the promenade from Avenida do Mar until you reach the electricity museum and finally go up to Mercado dos Lavradores, a red and yellow big building. The Farmer’s Market is a fruit, vegetable, herb, flower and fish market offering a bustling local atmosphere with several colours around and all sorts of sounds, and smells. If you have time stop here and taste some typical and exotic Madeira fruits such as purple or yellow passion fruit, banana passionfruit, tomato passionfruit, tabaibos, pitahaya or dragon fruit, papaya and banana from Madeira.
Explore the artwork at old town
Walk along the cobbled streets and squares of Funchal to the east, especially through Funchal old town is worth a visit if you want to experience the Funchal authenticity, because is considered a historic area of great architectural and heritage value. Through Rua da Santa Maria find the beautiful street art, some of them referring to Madeira culture, such as ‘’Amália’’ a famous fado singer, people in Madeiran costume, Cristiano Ronaldo and Funchal streets drawings. This street has several local businesses, such as the typical Hat Factory, which has been operating for over 60 years, or the ‘’Peasant Boots Factory’’.
Have lunch and taste ‘’Poncha’’ (a traditional alcoholic drink) with wonderful ocean view on one of the many terraces or visit this place by night, nightlife in the Old Town is currently a major attraction where art and entertainment come together.
Visit the most unique and famous garden ‘’Monte tropical garden’’
Arriving the top this amazing garden is next the upper station of Monte.
This oriental garden is well worth a few hours of your time, due to its 70,000 square meters area, which is decorated with Asian sculptures and Japanese gardens. Travel to this fairy tale place and discover the abundance collection of exotic plants from the four corners of the world, along with swans and ducks, which populate the central pond, together with a manmade waterfall within the beautiful surroundings of a tropical garden.
The Monte Palace Museum features an exhibition, which are dedicated to sculptures and the houses a unique mineral collection, between other ones, you must find out for yourself. What makes this garden unique is also the existence of a large collection of tile panels placed along the walkways and amongst the vegetation, considered the most important in the country after that of the National Tile Museum.
Walk along the waterfront at the boulevard park
On a warm evening it is highly recommended watching the sunset along the boulevard ‘’Praça do Povo’’ which offers different areas for leisure, games, and sports as well as park benches and lush plants and flowers. Take something to drink and a snack, sit down along the waterfront and enjoy the local Funchal life.
Relax in the Santa Catarina Park
Or maybe if you would rather, relax or take a walk at the prettiest and largest park in the centre of Funchal, the Santa Catarina with stunning views on the ocean and coastline. Santa Catarina Park has many different species of flora and a beautiful, enchanting lake with ducks a café where you can’t stop to drink a beer and let your kids playing in the kindergarden.
Wine tasting at Blandy’s wine lodge
Near to Madeira Gems, is one of the good places to discover the world-famous Madeira Wine is here at Blandy’s wine lodge, because it’s the 100 top winery of the world by wine and spirit magazine and due to its old and precious artefacts which include letters from Sir. Winston Churchill, coins from Blandy's bank and the island's oldest wooden wine press, dating back to the 17th century. You can discover the full story about how barrels are made, the process of transforming grapes into Madeira wine and taste Madeira wine.