Funchal was declared a city on the 21st of August 1508 the largest city in the Island and now the main centre of trade. It’s situated on the south coast of Madeira and is one of the Atlantic Ocean’s most popular cruise-ship ports of call. Funchal has a rich historical heritage; a bustling colourful city with stunning views of the mountains. The vibrant Market “Mercado dos Lavradores” where you can buy a variety of exotic flowers and local crafts, tropical fruits, vegetables and fresh fish is a great start from where to explore the rest of Funchal city centre. From here you can visit wonderful museums, monuments, art galleries and gardens. The Sé Cathedral, a landmark located in the centre of the old town was built between 1485 and 1514;
THE ISLAND COAST
Away from Funchal, the coasts and interior offer a diversity of landscapes rarely found in such a comparatively small area. Volcanic in nature and blessed with sheer cliffs, blue seas and skies, verdant mountains and the most wonderful flora, Madeira Island is truly diverse. The popular south coast, sheltered from the prevailing trade breezes is the calmest, whilst the rugged north coast is a spectacle of blue, green and white as the relentless Atlantic surf outlines each cliff, bay and cove.
The mountains are sheer and spectacular, their tops sometimes shrouded in mist, a micro-climate all of their own; it’s hard to believe that they are just a few miles from the warm sunny coast. With so many attractions to visit, why not let someone else do the driving and take a luxury coach tour of the most interesting and picturesque parts of the island.
With so much to offer, it's no wonder that Madeira Island appeals to the discerning tourist looking for something beyond the hustle of many a Mediterranean package holiday.
A charming sandy island is not far from Madeira though the two islands are completely different. While Madeira is generally green with a rocky and steep coastline, Porto Santo has a golden colour due to its 9 km sandy beach. The most popular way to get there is by the Ferry although flying is also an alternative.