Holiday Information for Funchal, Madeira Islands
Types of Holidays
Funchal is the capital city of Madeira and great deals can be had from low-cost airlines to get there at a cheap price.
There is a variety of accommodation available, so you can choose the best type of holiday for you, from self-catering apartments to a luxury 5-star hotel that will cater to your every need. With the flight only being around four hours, Funchal is easy to get to, making it ideal for a short weekend break or a longer holiday with the whole family.
Best Time to Go
The weather in Funchal is essentially summer all year round, so the best time to go is when itâs most convenient for you. Funchal has a north side and a south side; the south is typically warm and sunny, and the north tends to be somewhat cooler, so choosing where to stay largely depends on what type of weather you prefer.
The average temperature in summer, which is July to October, is 24°C, while in the winter they average around 20°C.
Sights To See
The natural beauty is one of the most incredible things about Funchal, from the cliffs of Cabo Gir£o to the numerous protected reserves.
Madeira is often referred to as the âFloating Garden in the Atlanticâ, so tourists will be pleased to know there are many gardens and parks in Funchal. Madeira even won a gold award for the European Flowering City in 2000.
A must-see is the Volcanism Centre & Caves of S£o Vicente, a village on Madeiraâs north coast. The centre demonstrates volcanic eruptions to the visitors thanks to audiovisual demonstrations, and allows you to visit the volcanic caves.
There are also stunning gardens.
Culture-vultures will be thrilled to learn that Madeira has a number of museums. Madeira Story Centre is open every day except Christmas Day and is an interactive museum that lets visitors go on a virtual journey back in time, reliving the areaâs historic events, from its inception to the times of Napoleon and Churchill.
There is also the Contemporary Art Museum, showcasing Portuguese contemporary art, while the Sacred Art Museum displays 16th-18th century religious sculptures alongside 17th and 18th century sacred jewellery.
There are 18 museums in total.
There are plenty of activities on offer in Funchal.
There are many walking trails through the forests, which provide breathtaking views from the mountains.
Golf lovers will be pleased to know that there are multiple resorts that will allow them to practice their game.
Those looking for more adventure can take advantage of the clear waters in the Garajau Natural Reserve, which are ideal for scuba diving and snorkelling.
If you prefer to be on the water rather than below it, Funchal offers excellent waves for surfing.
Madeira also boasts an aqua park in Santa Cruz. The park has five toboggan rides, four fast slides, two swimming pools â" one of which is for children only â" a river that runs around the two pools, and lockers for keeping your valuables safe.
Beaches are often the main focal point of many holidays as tourists flock to the golden sand to relax, soak up some sun and cool off in the sea.
Madeiraâs beaches are unusual in that, as the area was formed from a volcanic eruption, some of the beaches have black volcanic sand.
Of all the beaches to be found in Madeira, the 9-kilometre beach of Porto Santo is one to behold, with its clear waters and golden sands. The sand apparently helps to alleviate the pain of rheumatism and helps the healing of broken bones.
Funchal itself has the Praia Formosa beach, comprising of three sandy beaches and one pebbled beach. The Praia Formosa beach is so clean that it has been certified Blue Flag and it attracts many because of the number of sports activities, contests and great nightlife on offer.
Ponta Gorda offers something more contained, with two swimming pools, a childrenâs swimming pool, sandy areas for sports practice and access to the sea.
Funchal also features a number of discos catering to all ages. Kool is one and is open every night until the small hours of the morning, and the Chameleon is open from 7pm to 4am.
The Copacabana is a club that often has a themed evening, and aerobic shows are often occurring. Bands perform until 1am and then the club night starts, so everyoneâs tastes are catered to.
There is also a casino for those with money to burn, and many dinner shows and themed events take place in hotels.
Whatever type of accommodation youâre after in Funchal, whether itâs self catering apartments of a luxury hotel, youâll be able to find it.
The Royal Savoy Hotel has been voted the Second Best Resort Hotel in the World and packs 172 luxurious rooms and suites. The hotel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and has heated salt-water swimming pools.
For something more unusual, the Cliff Bay Hotel sits right on the edge of a cliff over the Atlantic Ocean, offering panoramic views of the sea and is within a few hundred yards of countless cafes, bars and restaurants.
The Apartments Sao Paulo are ideal for anyone that wants the flexibility of self catering. The apartments are centrally located and the low prices will suit any tourist on a budget.
The Santa Catarina Hotel in Santa Cruz is a four star hotel that also offers great value for money and is conveniently, centrally located.
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