Located on the Portuguese peninsula of Madeira, Funchal is the island's fascinating capital city that you definitely don’t want to miss! Filled with natural beauty everywhere you turn, this is a wonderful destination to escape from your stresses and enjoy some tranquil relaxation. Explore Funchal’s many parks, gardens, rolling hills, estates, wine cellars, and more. You will also discover numerous museums, scenic lookouts, and iconic landmarks that are certain to captivate all your senses. Plus, Funchal is famous for its delicious and hearty cuisine! From thick tomato soups to exotic seafood dishes, and garlicky beef skewers, you definitely won’t go hungry when spending time here.
A great time to visit Funchal is between April and September if you want to enjoy the best weather, though the weather tends to be nice year-round! The city can get very hot, so you might plan on ensuring you bring plenty of water and refreshments, especially if you plan on hiking.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise from Funchal. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines feature cruises leaving from Funchal. Select a cruise line to view upcoming cruises that they're offering from Funchal:
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Funchal, along with a brief description:
♦ Madeira Botanical Garden
Madeira Botanical Garden is the most top-rated attraction in Funchal. In addition to featuring some of the most breathtaking views of the city, these massive gardens cover over 800,000 square feet of ground! Among the kinds of horticulture, you can view trees, shrubs, succulents, medicinal plants, and plants native to Madeira. You’ll also discover a bird park (featuring over 250 exotic birds), and a Natural History Museum where you can learn more about the many kinds of flora and fauna. Plus, you can take a cable car to the entrance, which will also reward you with fabulous views.
♦ Monte Palace Tropical Garden
If you can’t get enough of outdoor fun in Funchal, another attraction that’s worth checking out is the Monte Palace Tropical Garden. Just slightly smaller than Maderia Botanical Garden, you can discover a giant collection of exotic plants from all over the world! The walking trails are decorated with tiles from the 15th to 20th centuries. Also, don’t be surprised if you see wild animals, such as chickens or peacocks, wandering the grounds with you! You might also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a black or white swan. This garden also features a museum, where you can view artistic sculptures and a global mineral collection.
♦ Funchal Cathedral
History buffs will certainly not want to miss Funchal Cathedral, an original 15th century church that has been standing since the peninsula was colonized. Admire this cathedral’s stunning Gothic architecture along with its cedar wood roof and beautiful exterior stone walls. Inside, you can view a silver cross donated by one of Portugal’s kings (it is considered a metalwork masterpiece). There is also a statue of Pope John Paul II outside. You don’t have to be religious to admire the stunning history and art of this magnificent landmark!
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