Funchal Madeira Portugal
Funchal is Madeira's capital city and home to Funchal's International Airport. Situated on the south eastern lowlands of the island, Funchal enjoys much of the finest weather Madeira has to offer making it a perfect holiday destination all year round.
Population of Funchal
The population of Funchal is around 100,000 making up over 40% of the island's total population.
Origins of the name 'Funchal'
Funchal's name is derived from the word fennel which is "funcho" when translated to Portuguese. You can find fennel growing along the river banks of the island.
Funchal Cable Car
A great way to see the capital is to take a ride on the Monte cable car. The cable car can be boarded at the Zona Velha or Old Town, and will take you over the colourful rooftops of Funchal to the final destination of Monte, 4 miles north of Funchal. The service operates daily.
Madeira Toboggans - Monte
If you've taken the cable car to Monte, why not take the return journey by toboggan. If you're feeling brave then the tobogagan drivers will skillfully guide you back down to Funchal through the narrow streets.
The covered Funchal market (Mercado dos Lavradores) is situated next to western end of the Old Town. The market is open Mon-Sat with Fridays and Saturdays being the best to find fresh flowers and vegetables. There is also a fish market in the basement.
Don't miss the roadside bread makers selling the local speciality which is Bolo do Caco, a flat flat round bread which is especially delicious when eaten warm. More info and recipes can be found here... Bolo do Caco Recipes.
Madeira Botanical Gardens
Situated just 3km outside of Funchal are the Madeira Botanical Gardens, one of Madeira's top tourist destinations. Established in 1960 these gardens are owned and run by the island's government. They are open every day (except Christmas day) from 9am until 6pm.
Free entry is permitted on the following days:
- 21st March - World Forests Day
- 30th April - Anniversary of Founding of Madeira Botanical Garden
- 18th May - World Museums Day
- 1st July - Madeira Region Commemorative Day
- 27th September - World Tourism Day
Further information can be found on their website http://www.sra.pt/jarbot/
Reid's Hotel Funchal
The world famous Reid's Palace Hotel is a luxury five star hotel opened in 1891. The hotel is a conversion of a much older quinta and offers great views over Funchal's seafront. Whilst you'd need deep pockets to stay at Reid's it might still be worth having afternoon tea there on the terrace overlooking the sea.
The hotel has had some famous visitors over the years including George Bernard Shaw, Lloyd George, Winston Churchill and many royal family members and political figures.