Situated on the south coast, Funchal is the capital of Madeira and arguably the most popular destination for those who decide to head for the island for their HOT Holiday in the sun.

Founded in the 1400s, Funchal is famous for it’s many historic sights and for some of the most impressive gardens that you could wish to find anywhere in Europe.

You’ll have plenty of time to admire them too, with Funchal benefitting from good weather throughout the year. Okay, so there is the chance of encountering some rain showers if you decide to visit during the winter months, but even then, the average temperatures ten to remain in the mid-to-high teens.

In peak season, expect to be greeted by temperatures that average out into the mid-20s and push up towards the 30s, with lower levels of precipitation.

Spend some time in the city and you’ll be able enjoy plenty of opportunities to explore cobbled streets that are packed with history and culture – including the famous old cathedral that dates back to the early 1500s.

There are also plenty of museums that tell the stories of the island through the years and give a fascinating insight into the Madeira of old.

It’s not all about the past however, with the modern day city also housing a number of modern shopping malls where you can seek out souvenirs to take back home as well as bars and restaurants where you can relax on an evening.

A bustling marina area is also popular and is the place to head if you fancy taking a trip onto the blue waters that surround the island.

With a short walk of the city, there are picturesque beaches on which you can take in the sun whilst you can’t visit Funchal and not spend time embracing the stunning beauty of the six public gardens that come to life every year thanks to a range of majestic floral displays.

No matter whether you are a sole explorer, a couple looking for romance, friends looking for fun or a family seeking to enjoy a break in the sun, Funchal is a great place to consider for a trip overseas.

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  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Airports
  • Birmingham Airport
  • East Midlands Airport
  • Leeds Bradford Airport
  • London Gatwick Airport
  • Manchester Airport
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Things to do in Funchal

Museu CR7

Arguably the most famous son of Funchal, Cristiano Ronaldo has broken countless records as one of the top footballers in the world, enjoying success with the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team. The Museu CR7 features a range of exhibits about Ronaldo’s career as well as some of the various trophies he has picked up.

Santa Maria de Colombo Ship

The Santa Maria de Colombo is a replica of the famous ship used by the explorer Christopher Columbus and is now used for trips out to sea from the marina in Funchal. It provides a fascinating way in which to explore the coast around the capital.

Praia Formosa

If you want to spend some time on the beach during a break in Funchal then the area around Praia Formosa is probably where you’ll want to head. Walk for around half an hour from the city centre and you’ll be able to choose from three black sandy beaches on which to relax, with various cafes and restaurants nearby for refreshments.

Monte

The trip up to the village of Monte is one of the most popular attractions in Funchal, with a cable car running from the Old Town up to the mountaintop village that overlooks the city. As well as being able to take in stunning views across Funchal, you can spend some time visiting the old church and could even make the return trip on one of the famous Monte toboggans; which date back to the 19th century.

Botanical Gardens

If you want to explore impressive gardens packed with colourful flowers then you are in the right place in Funchal, with half a dozen that are worth a visit. The Botanical Gardens is one of the most visited and is not only packed with rare plants but is also a good place to spot various exotic birds, including parrots and macaws.

Lido

The Lido complex is one of the top bathing areas in Funchal and is a popular area with tourists as a result. Here, you’ll find two seawater pools that are filled daily as well as direct access to the sea for those who want to take a dip in the ocean, whilst there is space to sunbathe and various shops, cafes and bars.

Cathedral of Funchal

The cathedral within Funchal is one of the most historic buildings in the city and is famous for its breathtaking design, which includes a gothic canopy and a range of sculptures and paintings that date back hundreds of years. It’s certainly worth a visit whilst exploring the old part of the city.

Museum of Natural History

If you want to explore the history of Madeira then this is the place to visit, with the chance to discover more about the different plants and creatures that are to be found across the island. It’s a great option for anyone interested in nature who wants to discover more about the volcanic history of the island.