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Funchal Holidays

At a glance

CurrencyEUR: Euro LanguagePortuguese Flight Duration3 hours (from the UK) Time ZoneGMT +0 hours

As the capital of Madeira, Funchal offers a prime position from which to explore this beautiful Portuguese island. Situated on the south coast, it’s rich with tradition and history, yet the stylish marina helps to bring it right back to the present. With perfect temperatures all year round, Funchal is an ideal spot for a sunny winter city break or summer beach holiday.

Madeira Regency Palace
Porto Santa Maria
The Vine
The Cliff Bay Resort

Great Things to Do

At the weekend, nightlife becomes a big part of Funchal’s appeal, but its beaches, lidos, shopping and cobbled old town are big hits, too.

See the Sights on an Open Top Bus

While you could explore the city by foot, a great way of ticking off all of the iconic sights in one go is via a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. These sightseeing buses are a great way of cramming everything in, and commentaries help you to appreciate the landmarks, including the Botanical Garden and the Tropical Palace Garden.

Catch the Cable Car to the Monte

Offering phenomenal panoramic views, this fun cable car trip takes around 15 minutes to go between the station at the Parque Almitante Reis in the old part of Funchal, and the Monte Station next to the Tropical Palace Garden. You can pay for a return trip if you like, or head back down to the base station via the famous Toboggan Run.

Soak up the Scents of the Gardens

Madeira is often considered to be a Floating Garden, and Funchal is full of reasons why the nickname fits so well. The Tropical Palace Gardens found at the top of the Monte offer superb views of the city, but also some incredible sculptures, artwork and a diverse range of flora and fauna, whose scents fill the air around you.

Enjoy some Wine Tasting

Is it even possible to visit Madeira without sampling its famous wine? We don’t think so, and Funchal is home to Old Blandy’s Wine Lodge, where you can wander through the cellars and museum, before sampling some of its delicious wines – some of which are vintage and a little expensive, but some are reasonably priced.

Getting Around

Hiring a car is a great way of exploring Madeira, but you probably won’t need one if you’re staying in Funchal because the city is compact. City buses can take you around the city and to Monte, and are orange in colour, but walking is a great way of seeing the sights. There is a cable car that takes you up to the peaks of Monte, and toboggans take you back down to Funchal, if you’re up for the ride!

By Bus

Almost all of the island buses, which are part of the Madeira bus network, run through Funchal. You can find bus timetables at the local tourist office, which can be bought for pocket change.

By Car

If you’re hoping to explore beyond Funchal, hiring a car is a great way of doing that independently and at your own pace. Driving here is on the right hand side. Hire is available with ease from the airport.

Weather

Temperature and rainfall

Passports and Visas

You don’t need a visa to enjoy a holiday in Madeira, but your passport should be valid for at least the duration of your visit. For more information and advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal/entry-requirements or the Foreign Office at www.fco.gov.uk/en/

Health and Safety

Travel insurance is essential, and complements the EHIC which is valid in Madeira and entitles you to free emergency care. For more info, see www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal/health

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Book with confidence

you're in safe hands

100% ATOL protected
Years of experience
Millions of happy customers
90% Rated good or excellent by our customers
Full protection with ATOL & Travel Trust
Happy Customers in the millions
20+ years experience in travel