Madeira (Funchal), Portugal

The capital of Madeira is named after the fennel (funcha) that once flowered there in profusion. The largest island in the Madeira Archipelago was discovered in 1419 by Portuguese explorers venturing south into the Atlantic. The island is nearly equidistant from Lisbon and the African coast, and its unique geographical position allowed Madeira to play a pivotal role in European discovery. Seamen such as Christopher Columbus gained knowledge and experience plying the routes of the island's sugar trade. When sugar declined, the island's famed wines continued to provide a robust trade. By the late 18th century, Madeira's mild climate, rocky peaks, and lush valleys provided a winter haven to Europe's aristocrats. Visitors still flock to the island today, drawn by its scenery and its weather.

Funchal is noted for its superb hand-embroidery and wicker ware, both Madeira specialties. The island, of course, is also noted for its superb wines: they are perhaps the world's most complex and long lasting wines.

Read More about Madeira (Funchal), Portugal description

Points of Interest

  • Monte
  • Wine-tasting
  • Cable-car
  • Toboggan Rides
  • Botanical Garden
  • Ribeira Brava
  • Cabo Girão
  • Island Drive

More about Madeira (Funchal), Portugal Points of Interest

  • Monte

    This small village overlooks Funchal and was originally a health resort for Europe's high society. Take the flight of stairs to Nossa Senhora do Monte at the top for an impressive view.

  • Wine-tasting

    No trip to Madeira would be complete without a visit to one of Funchal's wine lodges for a wine sampling. Vintages range from a dry Sercial to a rich and fruity Malmsey.

  • Cable-car

    The Funchal to Monte cable-car ride takes approximately 15 minutes to ride. It is 12,000 feet long with a vertical rise of 1,837 feet, and provides stunning views in Maderia's most remote areas. As a means of downhill transport, these sledges appeared around 1850. Today, they attract tourists who want to experience sliding at high speed on narrow, winding streets down to Funchal.

  • Toboggan Rides

    As a means of downhill transport, these sledges appeared around 1850. Today, they attract tourists who want to experience sliding at high speed on narrow, winding streets down to Funchal.

  • Botanical Garden

    At Quinta do Bom Sucesso, the climate conditions are ideal and boast more than 2,000 plant species. It also has a Science and Culture Center and is home to some rare bird species.

  • Ribeira Brava

    This small town's name means "wild stream" it was one of the first parishes on the island. Mainly a tourist town now, it features a host of charming street cafés and shops.

  • Cabo Girão

    Known to be the highest sea-cliff in Europe and second in the world, with panoramic views of the ocean, the village of Camara de Lobos and Funchal in the distance.

  • Island Drive

    Explore the scenic wonders of Madeira with a leisurely journey that showcases the island's dramatic sea cliffs, waterfalls, central plateau, and charming villages. Plenty of photo stops complete this memorable experience.

14 EXCURSIONS

Already Booked Your Cruise? Reserve excursions in Cruise Personalizer
Special Child Pricing Available! Children age 12 and younger, savings up to 50%.
Display as:

Cabo Girao & The Blandy Wine Lodge

3 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 2 1 5
  • Wine-tasting
  • Cabo Girão

Explore Madeira's rugged coast on a scenic drive that travels to Cabo Girão, site of the second highest sea cliffs in the world. The cliffs plummet nearly 1,500 feet to the crashing waves below. Visit The Blandy Wine Lodge in Funchal - Blandy is one of the island's oldest and most respected producers of fine Madeira.

Read More about Cabo Girao & The Blandy Wine Lodge description

Moderate Activity

From

$59.95

Average Guest Rating

Cabo Girao & Mercado dos Lavradores

4 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 2 1 0
  • Cabo Girão

Travel to Cabo Girao for views of the world's second-highest sea cliff, a 1,500-foot drop to the waves below, and then tour an embroidery factory, one of Madeira's major exports, on this half-day tour.

Read More about Cabo Girao & Mercado dos Lavradores description

Moderate Activity

From

$59.95

Average Guest Rating

Flavors of Madeira

4 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 3 1 0
  • Monte
  • Wine-tasting

Indulge your senses with the beauty and flavors of Madeira. Enjoy tea and cake at the Santo da Serra Golf Club, a scenic 27-hole golf course overlooking Machico Bay. Then, sip and sample Madeira wine at the Blandy Wine Lodge. Photo stops add to the add to the day's excitement.

Read More about Flavors of Madeira description

Easy Activity

From

$69.95

Average Guest Rating

Easy Madeira

3.5 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 0 0 4
  • Monte
  • Island Drive

Experience Madeira's wild and untamed scenery on a drive aboard a motorcoach. Take a short walk to the summit of Pico do Serrado for views of the island's mountainous interior with its steep valleys and rugged peaks. Enjoy a traditional English tea with scones, Chantilly cream and jam in Eira do Serrado.

Read More about Easy Madeira description

Easy Activity, Includes snack

From

$69.95

Average Guest Rating

Botanical Gardens & Monte Cable Car

3.5 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 0 0 3
  • Cable-car
  • Botanical Garden

Founded in 1960, the Botanical Gardens are noted for their wide collection of rare plants, from native species to rare orchids and cacti. Ride the modern funicular up the mountainside to Monte. Visit the small church, home to the island's patron saint. Take the thrilling snow-less sleigh ride down to Funchal.

Read More about Botanical Gardens & Monte Cable Car description

Strenuous Activity

From

$89.95

Average Guest Rating

Best of Madeira

7.5 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 1 0 5
  • Ribeira Brava
  • Cabo Girão

Capture the wonders of Madeira's stunning landscape on an all-day adventure that boasts dramatic sea cliffs, jagged mountains, and fertile southwest coast. Visit a quaint village for a lunch of island specialties. Tour a rum distillery and sample poncho, a blend of rum and honey.

Read More about Best of Madeira description

Moderate Activity, Includes meal

From

$89.95

Average Guest Rating

Cable Car, Traditional Sled Ride & Wine Tasting

3.5 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 2 0 5
  • Monte
  • Wine-tasting
  • Cable-car
  • Toboggan Rides

Discover the fun and fabulous side of Funchal with an excursion that begins with a cable car ride to Monte and ends wine tasting at the Blandy Wine Lodge. Inbetween, you'll visit Our Lady of Monte Church, take a 'snowless' sled ride and stop for photos at Pico dos Barcelos.

Read More about Cable Car, Traditional Sled Ride & Wine Tasting description

Moderate Activity

From

$99.95

Average Guest Rating

Madeira 4WD Adventure

4 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 4 6 0

Explore the island interior by 4WD safari vehicle on this half-day tour. Discover the island's unique valleys and ecosystems along the way. A drink is included on this half-day excursion.

Read More about Madeira 4WD Adventure description

Strenuous Activity

From

$99.95

Average Guest Rating

Cable Car, Traditional Sled Ride & Botanical Gardens

4 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 2 0 0
  • Monte
  • Cable-car
  • Toboggan Rides
  • Botanical Garden

Experience fabulous Funchal from three unique perspectives: sky-high views as you glide up and over the city in a cable car to Monte, traveling in a 'snowless' sleigh down to Livramento and wandering through the exotic and rare plants in Madeira Botanical Gardens.

Read More about Cable Car, Traditional Sled Ride & Botanical Gardens description

Strenuous Activity

From

$99.95

Average Guest Rating

Ultimate Madeira

7 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 1 0 0
  • Island Drive
  • Monte
  • Wine-tasting
  • Toboggan Rides

Explore Madeira on a scenic drive about the island. Travel to Camacha, the heart of the island's fine wickerwork industry. Visit Our Lady of Monte Church and see the tomb of the last Hapsburg emperor. Climb into a wicker basket to experience the island's famous "Snowless Sleigh Ride" and sample Madeira wines at a wine lodge.

Read More about Ultimate Madeira description

Shopping Opportunities, Moderate Activity, Includes meal

From

$139.95

Average Guest Rating

Foodies on Foot: A Perfect Blend of Local History, Flavors & Cultures

4 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 3 8 0

Indulge in a four-hour local gastronomic tour, guided by a local 'foodie' passionate about sharing the very best regional flavors and historical sites that Madeira has to offer. You'll be escorted through the old streets of Funchal and to places that only the locals know on this interactive culinary adventure.

Read More about Foodies on Foot: A Perfect Blend of Local History, Flavors & Cultures description

Moderate Activity, Includes snack

From

$159.95

Average Guest Rating

Local Connections: Madeira Cook Experience with Chef Luisa Freitas

4 hours | Madeira (Funchal) | F N C - 2 5 0

One of the best ways to learn about a country is through its cuisine. Join a local restaurateur, chef Luisa Freitas, who created the Madeira Cook Experience. Stroll through the cultural delights in Old Town and visit the local marketplace, where you'll have the opportunity to taste and try some local fruit and purchase ingredients prior to preparing and tasting regional specialties.

Read More about Local Connections: Madeira Cook Experience with Chef Luisa Freitas description

Moderate Activity, Includes meal

From

$169.95

Average Guest Rating