Funchal

Funchal hosts all sorts of adventurers in the island paradise. Madeira's capital serves as a base from which to walk the dramatic terrain, climb a volcanic mountain or fish for blue marlin in the Atlantic Ocean. After exploring Madeira, the compact city is the perfect place to relax in a café or shop for handmade crafts.

Madeira specialities include fish dishes such as espada com banana (black scabbard fish with banana) and caldeirada (fish soup), as well as other meat entrees like espetada (grilled beef on laurel wood). The island also offers its world-famous wine in four grape varieties, including Malvasia and Bual.

The Mercado dos Lavradores (Worker's Market) is your one-stop shopping destination for fresh produce alongside local crafts like tapestries and embroidery. Take home some Funchal folk art or wickerwork made in nearby Camacha, and don't forget a bottle of Madeira wine.

Must See

Levada Walks
The best way to experience the island's wondrous terrain is to hike its numerous nature trails over hills, volcanic mountains and along its cliff shores.

Madeira Botanical Gardens
More than 2,000 plants - and parakeets and parrots - dot these hillside gardens 3 kilometres from downtown Funchal.

Sé Cathedral
A rustic 15th-century church with a carved cedar ceiling, Gothic arches and baroque altars.

Blandy's Wine Lodge
The working winery gives tours that finish with wine tastings.

Sacred Art Museum
An extensive collection of Flemish masterpieces acquired during Madeira's sugar trade.

Must Do

Ride the Monte Cable Car for the most picturesque transport to the top of Monte. Then toboggan back to Funchal in a 2-person wicker basket on wooden runners.

Go horseback riding up into the mountains for dramatic views at high altitude.

Fish for a blue marlin or long-tail tuna off the Madeira coast.

Take scuba-diving lessons or go snorkeling in the Bay of Funchal.