Why choose a cruise to Funchal?
Funchal is a beautiful city of whitewashed houses and terracotta roofs, surrounded by sub-tropical flowers. It’s nestled into the craggy escarpments of the Central Massif mountains that rise from the blue waters of the Atlantic. Due to its year-round sunshine, it’s a popular destination for winter sun, although it rarely feels crowded with tourists.
A Funchal cruise will allow you to explore a host of fantastic attractions. From bustling local markets to a colourful botanic garden, there’s never a dull moment. Don’t forget to visit a winery to taste some delicious Madeira wine.
A guide to Funchal’s hotspots
Check out the Zona Velha (old town), with its picturesque cobbled streets and colourful houses, some of which are hundreds of years old. The old town’s newest attraction is Arte de Portas Abertas, an initiative transforming the area into an outdoor art gallery, with artists painting murals on more than 200 doors.
Another highlight of the old town is Mercado dos Lavradores, a farmer’s market bursting with colour and life. Women in traditional costume sell flowers, while stalls are piled high with bright displays of fruit and vegetables. You can also buy local delicacies here, including cookies made with sugar-cane syrup.
Madeira is renowned for its beautiful parks. You’ll love exploring the botanical garden, on the outskirts of the city. You’ll discover a colourful profusion of plants, tropical flowers and cacti from all around the world. Because of the garden’s high elevation, it offers fantastic views of the city, too.
Explore the neighbourhood of Monte, a charming suburb located at an elevation of 550 metres. You can take a cable car from the old town to the top – you’ll be treated to panoramic views as you slowly rise higher. To descend again, take one of Funchal’s iconic basket cars – wicker carts with wooden sled runners. You’ll slide rapidly down the narrow streets, guided by two men who control the speed of the cart.
Cruise lines that sail to the port of Funchal
The best time to visit Funchal
Funchal has balmy summers, with temperatures ranging between 22°C-25°C throughout July and August. You’ll be able to soak up the sun, but you won’t get too hot sightseeing.
We recommend Funchal for Christmas and New Year, when temperatures hover at a pleasant 18°C. Madeirans really push the boat out when it comes to festive celebrations, with 3-D lights, Christmas markets, carols, and fantastic fireworks.
Did you know?
· Iconic footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was born and raised in Funchal
· Funchal throws one of the largest New Year’s Firework displays in the world
· Funchal gained its name because fennel (funcho) grows in abundance in the area