Madeira is a Portuguese island between the Canary Islands and the Azores Islands, in the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean. Considered a paradise for its many microclimates and famous for the amount of flora that populates the island. In this post, I will explain something about Funchal and how to get there. Are you ready? Gooooo
HOW TO GET TO MADEIRA
The only way to arrive is by air, the Cristiano Ronaldo airport of Funchal, or by cruise.
Situated 1.30h of flight from Lisbon, do not miss the famous airport terrace in order to be able to resume live air departures and landings. Once out of the airport I recommend you take a picture with the bust of the famous football player. XD
At the arrival terminal, you will find several companies to hire, I personally chose not to rent the car but book various excursions, and once there it seemed a great choice… why? The slope of the streets.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Know that Madeira is not an island for young people, the average age is 50 years and up. I chose to sleep in this Enotel Quinta do Sol hotel with a spectacular breakfast and a good quality/price. It is not in the center of Funchal but it is easily reachable within 15min walk, it is quiet and offers various excursions at a good price. We made the East + West coast tour and the Nuns valley with 80€.
The city of Funchal consists of several districts, the center is not very large so you can visit the capital in half a day, we start from the western part of the center where you will find the statue of Princess Sissi in front of the Pestana Casino Park hotel.
Then we go to the Quinta Vigia Park, price € 1, a magnificent garden that offers a splendid view of the city, together with Santa Caterina Park, free entry.
I was lucky enough to visit the island in the Flower Festival of Funchal (mid-April – early May), so the center was decorated with floral decorations everywhere on the main avenue. Many concerts, many performances of songs and typical dances have made the atmosphere even more pleasant.
In the city center, you can visit the cathedral, the town hall and the old quarter. If you want to take a walk by the sea you will find the Cristiano museum.
BOTANIC GARDEN OF FUNCHAL
The botanical garden of Funchal is one of the most visited attractions on the island and you will soon understand why. Garden price € 6, unlimited time. To get there you have 3 choices:
TAXI: Treat the price before going up, do not pay more than € 8 in total.
BUS: From the center, there are several buses that lead to the garden, 29 and 31A, price € 2 / adult, time 20 / 25min. It is the best quality/price option.
TELEFERICO: is the most used option and the one that most discouraged, price from 12 to 20 €, you have to take 2 vehicles as there is no direct line. The first cableway goes to the mountain, and then to get down to the botanical garden you have to take the second.
WHERE TO EAT
If you do not have half or full board at the Funchal hotel it offers a number of very nice and reasonable to eat. Restaurants are used to manage reservations by the Fork app. Check it! and reserve trough my link and you will win 1000yummy (10€) for your first reservation.
Now we are ready to explore the island, I have prepared a map and a post with the most common tours of the island.