Funchal
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Funchal Culture & History

Madeira: Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools, and Fanal Tour

1. Madeira: Skywalk, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools, and Fanal Tour

Depart from Funchal and head towards San Vicente along the north coast. Visit one of the most famous viewpoints, where you can look out to Porto Santo Island in clear weather. You will also be able to see the waterfall resembling a bride's veil, named Veu da Noiva. Next, stop at the natural volcanic pools in Seicxal, where you can swim in crystal waters. Also visit Porto Moniz's lava pools and Paul da Serra, the biggest plateau on the island at nearly 1500 meters high. This beautiful place provides stunning views and is an ideal spot for lunch. Visit Fanal, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal filled with centenary trees. As the last stop, go to Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second highest in the world. Try out the suspended glass floor viewpoint. Finally, return to your accommodation. 

From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

2. From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Funchal on a full-day scenic tour of the west of Madeira. Admire the unspoiled natural beauty of the area and visit the charming villages of Câmara de Lobos and Porto Moniz. Following pickup from selected hotels in Funchal, pass through the traditional fishing village of Câmara de Lobos. Continue to Cabo Girão Skywalk, Europe's highest cliff skywalk at 589m. Next, head towards the Ribeira Brava and go north through the deep and narrow valleys of Serra D'Água. Upon arrival at Encumeada, enjoy an incredible view of the south and north coast of the island. Cross a mountain pass, and witness the rugged beauty of the north coast, where Atlantic rollers deposit white surf on the cliffs. Traverse Madeira's highest plateau, and enjoy more spectacular panoramas. Continue to São Vicente on Madeira’s north coast. Visit the beautiful village of Porto Moniz and take 1 hour for lunch, as well as time to admire the volcanic swimming pools. Finish your tour at Paul da Serra to see one of the biggest natural reserves in the world.

Madeira: Folklore Show Tickets with Dinner and Drinks

3. Madeira: Folklore Show Tickets with Dinner and Drinks

Indulge in the simple delights of Madeira cuisine at a restaurant specially chosen for this 2.5-hour evening activity. Experience traditional espetada, marinated beef cooked over the open fire on a fragrant laurel skewer, accompanied by milho frito (golden fried maize), and perhaps mouth-watering, homemade garlic bread. Combine these dishes with delicious wine and energetic entertainment by a local folklore group and you can be assured of a very enjoyable evening out. Folklore music is popular throughout Madeira and is typically performed using local musical instruments such as the machete, rajao, brinquinho, and cavaquinho. During the folklore show this music accompanies traditional dances, such as the Bailinho da Madeira.

Madeira: Nature & Wine 4x4 Tour from Funchal or Caniço

4. Madeira: Nature & Wine 4x4 Tour from Funchal or Caniço

From Funchal, head to Serra d'Agua, a valley at the center of the island. Afterward, take a nice off-road drive with fantastic views over Porto Moniz, Ribeira da Janela, Paul da Serra, and São Vicente. Then, have a fabulous experience with a very important wine producer in Madeira, enjoying a guided tour through the vineyards, followed by wine tasting. Enjoy a professional explanation about traditions, wine culture, and wine production given by an oenologist. Finally, move on to Cabo Girão, the highest cliff in Europe and second in the world at 589 meters, known for its suspended glass floor balcony that offers a spectacular panoramic view over the Atlantic, Câmara de Lobos, and Funchal.

Madeira: Nuns Valley Half-Day Tour

5. Madeira: Nuns Valley Half-Day Tour

Explore the stunning landscapes of the Curral da Freiras (Nuns Valley) on a scenic half-day tour from Funchal. Journey to the center of Madeira to find dramatic, cloud-topped mountains and verdant valleys. Board the minibus in the center of Lido, and make your way to Eira do Serrado for one of the most beautiful views in Madeira. Continue down to Curral da Freiras, traveling past forest bushes and the quaint houses typical of the Madeiran countryside. Once in Nuns Valley, see a small village nestling between almost perpendicular mountains. How the huge cauldron in which the Nuns Valley formed is open to debate. Some people say it was the result of erosion, while older theories maintain it was a result of volcanic activity. What is beyond dispute is that the village is very isolated. The locals mainly live off what they cultivate, including the delicious chestnuts that are the centerpiece of the annual Chestnut Festival. Return to Funchal, stopping at the fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, where Winston Churchill painted his beautiful landscapes. Try some of the legendary Poncha drink before you leave.

Tour to the West of Madeira

6. Tour to the West of Madeira

After pick-up from your hotel, make your way to Camara de Lobos where beautiful landscapes were painted by Sir Winston Churchill in the 1950s. The drive takes you along the old narrow roads of Estreito de Camara de Lobos, where the vines were first introduced and still exist today. Visit Madeira's pride and Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second highest in the world. Then, the route descends to Ribeira Brava so you can visit old monuments including the church. Continue the drive through to Paul da Serra Madeira´s popular flat plateau at 1500m above sea level. Embrace the beautiful laurel forest views through Madeira´s little green Scotland. Arrive at Porto Moniz, natural volcanic pools, where it's time to take a break and have a swim. You will also have the chance to buy lunch here. The tour continues along the north coast where waterfalls are visible. Drive through the village of São Vicente where nature will escort you up to the Encumeada Pass, where the North meets the South at 1007 meters above sea level. At the end of the tour you will be dropped back at your hotel.

Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

7. Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

This tour of the east side of Madeira island is designed to show guests how truly magical it is. Come and be awed by its spectacular beauty. To begin the day, pick-up is from the hotel at 8:00 to 9:00. The first stop will be at a viewpoint above Funchal. Continue to Camacha, famous for its beautiful wicker works, and stop to have a look around and then take a scenic drive up to Poiso where the start of the Laurissilva forest can be found. After this, make your way to the majestic views of Pico do Arieiro. Pico do Arieiro is the third highest peak on the island, standing 1818 meters. Next is what some consider to be the most beautiful spot on the island, Ribeiro Frio. Here you will visit a trout farm and do a levada walk to the Balcões. Following the walk, make your way to Santana to see its famous A-framed cottages and then continue along the northern coastal road to Faial. Stop for lunch in the northern part of the island. After lunch, carry on to the eastern part of the island, to the famous viewpoint of Pico do Facho. From here you will have incredible views of Ponta de São Lourenco, Machico and the airport. On a good day one can see the Desertas Islands as well Porto Santo, the small island adjacent to Madeira. The last stop will be a famous viewpoint above Machico. You will arrive back to Funchal by 17:00.

Northwest Madeira 4x4 Tour

8. Northwest Madeira 4x4 Tour

The tour will start at your hotel, cruise port, or guest house, taking you to Serra d'Água, where you will have the opportunity to learn about the island of Madeira. At the North side you will see Ginjas village. Then continue on, using the old roads and some forest roads where its only possible to go with a 4X4. Head to the top at 1500 meters at Paúl da Serra. Explore the natural beauty of this island, meet the people, and explore the cultures, traditions, and local food and drinks. Enjoy the expertise of a multilingual driver, who will take you on this full day journey to Encumeada, Ginjas, Estanquinhos, Paúl da Serra, Fanal, Ribeira da Janela, Porto Moniz, Seixal and São Vicente, with additional opportunities to see and swim in the volcanic lava pools.

Funchal: Old Town Walking Tour

9. Funchal: Old Town Walking Tour

Meet your guide at Jesuit's College of Funchal, Madeira University to begin this 2-hour guided walking tour of Funchal. Learn how the history of Madeira and Funchal shaped the city centre as you visit the most important points of interest. Travel down the 19th century public walkway between the Municipal Theatre and the Cathedral, where sugarcane was first planted in Madeira, during the 15th century. Explore the city’s medieval heart dating from the Golden Age of Sugar and discover the beautiful 17th century religious monuments. Visit the ruins of the old Pilory Square and other remnants from past floods and the area damaged by the Great Fire of Funchal in 1584. This tour helps to support students at the University of Madeira who are facing financial difficulties.  

Madeira: Private Cristiano Ronaldo Tour with CR7 Museum

10. Madeira: Private Cristiano Ronaldo Tour with CR7 Museum

Discover the impressive life story of one of the world's greatest footballers ever, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, born in Madeira. The tour is conducted in partnership with the museum CR7 to show you all the stories of Ronaldo's life. The tour begins with a visit to the most iconic viewpoint of Funchal, the Barcelos viewpoint. See the place where Ronaldo once lived and first touched a football. Then, head towards Andorinha Football Stadium, Ronaldo's first official club. Here, see striking images of his childhood and his biography. Continue to downtown Funchal for a visit to the impressive CR7 Museum to view four trophies.

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What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,307 reviews

Richard is a nice, polite fellow who tries to satisfy his clients. We saw the northeastern part of Madeira Witze the beautiful triangle houses and the mystic woods. IT was great. Many thanks! Monika & Ingrid

Kia was an excellent and knowledgeable guide. It was a very interesting tour which we would highly recommend to other travellers to Funchal.

Very nice. Nice young ladies, very friendly, received us wonderfully. Answered all questions in detail. As I said, everything is fine.

Very pleasant drive with the car and a nice travel companion who took care of everything.

The entire day was fabulous!!! Really enjoyed swimming in the volcanic pools!