Holiday Ideas: Funchal, Madeira

Monte Botanical Garden

Remember in the news a few years ago there was a story about a Ronaldo bust that looked nothing like Ronaldo? Well, it definitely looks nothing like Ronaldo. It’s home being Madeira Airport. Last year, however, the sculpture was replaced by one with a bit more likeness. Although, petitions have been made to replace Ronaldo 2.0 with the original. Only time will tell if that iconic cult bust makes a return. Ronaldo is certainly a huge name in Madeira: the airport was renamed after him, CR7 museum on the seafront, CR7 hotel and restaurant on the seafront and, a CR7 clothes shop. There’s also a bronze Ronaldo statue outside the museum.

Now, for those who don’t have a care about football or those that do, there’s far more to Madeira than Ronaldo.

Stunning countryside, local events and traditions, gardens, food, drink (wine and rum in particular).

The streets of Funchal are impressively colourful and tidy, with little shops, restaurants and all sorts; some of which are obvious, others are more hidden. Some of these are tourist traps for Madeira souvenirs or English food, others are more local.

Now, here’s a couple of local things to do in Funchal:

  • Wicker Toboggans. For around 15€ per person (not the most budget friendly), there’s the opportunity to sit in a wicker toboggan being pushed downhill by two men wearing white and rubber shoes (the brakes). The ride is roughly 2km. It is absolutely brilliant fun!
  • Madeira Cable Car. Spectacular views but quite pricey.
  • Botanical Gardens. These are beautiful. Home to all kinds of plants and trees (Monte Botanical garden is home to a 1,000 year old Olive tree). Monte Botanical garden is a short walk from the cable car and has art collections, a house and a cafe as well as the gardens. Under 15s go free and 10€ for an adult ticket. This is a visit well worth the entry.

Of course, there is plenty more to do in Madeira, so have fun and explore!

**Any trip made at the beginning of August, be sure to keep an eye out for the Madeira Wine Rally!

3 thoughts on “Holiday Ideas: Funchal, Madeira

  1. I’m never quite sure about Madeira – I’ve something in my head about dodgy weather and it being very expensive, And yet everyone who has been there has been positive about it. I love the colour in your photos – certainly enough to make me reconsider it as a destination.


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