A Portuguese island off the coast of Funchal is Madeira's capital. Visit the Portuguese islands of Madeira for an experience like no other. Discover quaint towns, stunning landscapes, stunning flora, and tasty local wines. Enjoy a glass of local wine while toasting your sails from Funchal. Southwest of Portugal, this island is more than 500 miles away. With flower-filled vegetation covering its mountainous volcanic landscape, this island is known as "Garden Island." The sea air of Portugal will fill you with the sweet scent of flowers.
There are many excellent hand embroidery shops in Funchal, as well as wicker ware shops, both of which are Madeira specialties. Of course, the island also produces excellent wines, which are among the world's most complex and long-lasting. Continue reading to discover more about the destination.
Explore the island's culture through women in traditional clothing selling fresh produce, flowers, and wicker items. There's also a Fish Market next door, where, if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the local specialty, Espada.
The wines of Madeira are meant to be sipped, swirled, and tasted. Learn about the history of the wine industry and how the wine is made as you get a glimpse into the production process. There is even a chance for visitors to try some of the different styles of wine produced in this area and learn about several varieties of wine.
On a Madeira cruise, you can sample local cuisines that you probably haven't seen anywhere else. One of the must-try desserts in this region is honey cakes, called Bolo de Mel. A typical Portuguese wine from the area should also be tried. There is no better place in the world for meat lovers than Madeira. Local menus feature salt-and-garlic-rubbed meats, such as espetadas or roasted beef. Suppose you don't want to stick to one type of food. In that case, there are plenty of Italian and Mediterranean restaurants and cafes on the island.
Portugal considers Madeira to be part of its territory even though it is an autonomous island. Tourism has become an integral part of Madeira's economy over the years, as wine has been its most important export. This region is best known for its namesake Madeira wine, which is commemorated annually with a festival. Funchal and Madeira's customs are also celebrated every year through dance festivals. Besides its incredible nature and unique cuisine, Madeira is a luxurious island destination today. Here, Portuguese is the primary language, but English is also heard quite often.
The largest town on Madeira, Funchal, is less populated than its smaller neighbor, Santa Cruz. Still, any visitor will find plenty of things to do there. In Funchal, you'll find an abundance of things to see and do, from historical sites to museums and botanical gardens.
In Funchal's Old Town, also known as Zona Velha, you can discover a charming, lively atmosphere. There are a lot of shops and restaurants in this area of the city. There might be a bit of traffic from cruise ships when the town is busy, but the local feel still prevails. Rua do Aljube and Rua da Carreira are the main shopping streets. Local guides can also provide guided walks through the Old Town for cruisers.
Whenever you visit this port city, you'll be able to enjoy gardens like this one in bloom, thanks to its constant spring-like weather. Located on a private estate in a British colonial style, Palheiro Gardens is an outstanding example of botanical gardening. Approximately 3,000 species from around the world have been planted there. There is a rose garden, a sunken garden, a Japanese garden, a French garden, a ladies' garden, and a tea room among the many flowerbeds and sculpted hedges. Wisterias and exotic species such as proteas are already in bloom if you visit this place in winter.
You have a few options when it comes to a beautiful view of Funchal. Moving up the mountain or to the left or right. The Miradouro Pinaculo offers an incredible view of Funchal. This is an excellent spot for sunset, especially if you are close to the city center. It is possible to drive up this road with your rental car, or you can take a bus along the route. A well-known attraction in Funchal, the Cabo Girao Skywalk, is also visible from this viewpoint.
Among all the sights in Funchal, the Monte toboggans probably stand out the most. Their wooden and wicker products have been in use since the early nineteenth century. You will be transported 2 kilometers down the hill by two carriers after sitting in the wicker basket next to Nossa Senhora do Monte Church. The men use their rubber-soled boots to brake while wearing white clothing and straw boater hats. You'll be surprised how comfortable the ride is, but you're sure to have an exciting time! Toboggan steerers guide baskets through traffic intersections and around winding roads with precision.
A popular activity in Funchal is walking the Levada footpaths. There are dozens of these unique channels on the island that one can hike along, making it one of the greatest pleasures for visitors. Water is carried to all four corners of Madeira by levadas, which collect rainwater all year round. Along the levadas, maintenance paths connect remote parts of the island with scenic footpaths. Some skirt the coast. For the best hiking experience, join a guided walking tour instead of walking alone. With the assistance of a local with expert knowledge of the outdoors, you'll benefit from the company of like-minded individuals.
A typical Mediterranean climate prevails in Funchal throughout the year due to its location on the island's south coast. Summer is the best time to visit Funchal because it is hot. During August, there are only nine rainy days spread over the month, which is the hottest time of the year. Fog, rain, and cloudiness are more common on the northern slopes and in the surrounding area. As well as cooler temperatures near the sea, higher altitudes also have clear skies and warmer temperatures. In Funchal, the average sea temperature is around 26°C from August to October. Its lowest temperature of 18°C is reached between February and March when the water remains mild for most of the year.