Funchal is the capital of the Portuguese island Madeira. It covers area of 76 square kilometers, its population is somewhere around 110,000 inhabitants. The city got its name because of the “fennel” (funcho in Portuguese), that used to grew abundantly in the area. Fennel was the first thing that hit the eye of first Portuguese settlers and they decided to name the city after this plant.
Accommodation in Funchal
In our offer, you can find many different options - from youth hostels, apartments, guesthouses, to various hotel categories, resorts, villas or aparthotels. The cheapest accommodation offer hostels. Many hotels and also hostels offers wine tasting and have terraces with a spectacular view of a city. Many of them are surrounded by gardens where you can sit a relax. The most luxurious hotels are: The Cliff Bay or the Quinta das Vistas Palace Gardens, both of them feature pool, spa and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. As far as hotel chains are concerned, you can find in Funchal Regency hotels - Madeira Regency Cliff, Madeira Regency Club or the Savoy hotels - Royal Savoy, Savoy Gardens. The most popular accommodation in Funchal is Choupana Hills Resort & Spa, Reid's Palace, Palheiro Village.
Weather in Funchal
The climate is subtropical, divided into two periods - rainy season with lower temperatures and dry season lasting from April to September with temperatures up to 27 degrees. Even in the rainy season do not expect too much cold - temperatures drop to an average 20 to 25 degrees, which is still very enjoyable.The entire island is quite hilly and its northern part is located at an altitude of around 800 meters. The weather here is generally worse than in Funchal and other coastal areas, with frequent fogs and rain showers.
Madeira was discovered in 1419 by the Portuguese seafarer Zarco. The first settlement was founded a few years later. In the early 16th century, Funchal was granted town status and became an important port of call for traveling between India and America. From the early beginning, sugarcane was planted here, later wine. Even William Shakespeare mentioned the delicious Madeira wine in his books. In the mid-19th century Funchal become a favorite destination of aristocrats and wealthy nobility. Among others we can appoint Empress Sissi, Emperor Charles I, or Winston Churchill.
How to get to Funchal
Funchal airport is called Funchal / Madeira / Santa Catarina airport and is regularly ranked in the top ten of the scariest airports in the world. To improve safety, the runway was extended and at the moment, all the aircraft types can land here. However, in order to manage the landing, pilots need special skills, so only pilots who have undergone special exercise can land here. It is connected to a city of Funchal by highway, you can reach the city in less than fifteen minutes. Funchal is also an important port with ships heading not only to Portugal, Germany and Scandinavia, but it is also very popular stopover for cruises going to Caribbean.
Sights and activities in Funchal
The center of Funchal is small, ideal for walks. An interesting hint for a trip might be to visit a part of the town called Monte - as the name suggests, it is located on a hill / mountain above the town. You can reach it by gondola going directly over the town, the ride takes about 15 minutes. For the trip down you can use a local attraction - riding on a wooden sled managed by two drivers. The reason, why are most tourists visiting Funchal, is its breathtaking nature, flowers and rich history. There are also several golf courses, you can also explore the island on horseback. There are many interesting parks and gardens in Funchal, for example, we can appoint Jardins Botanicos da Madeira, park Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro Park and Monte Palace Gardens Hotel. The town has also several significant buildings - for example half palace and half fortress Palácio de São Lourenço, Sé Cathedral and also the Igreja de Sao Joao Evangelista.
Swimming in Funchal
Although Funchal offers a very pleasant weather, it is not that ideal for a beach vacation as you might thought. There are only two sandy beaches in Funchal, others are gravel or there are cliffs. However, almost all the hotels have their own outdoor pools. You can also visit public swimming pools offering not only fresh water, but also a pool with a salty sea water. In case, that you wish to experience true beach holidays, you can visit the island of Santo Ponto, that is located only about 40 km north of Madeira. In Funchal you can also dive - however please note that Madeira is actually of a volcanic origin, so there is black sand in the ocean and therefore there is not a good visibility. However, if you enjoy watching whales or dolphins or fancy a kayak ride down the river, you've come to the right place.
Famous natives of Funchal
One of the best footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo, was born in Funchal.