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Funchal, Madeira

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Madeira

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Madeira
by DK Eyewitness
  An unbeatable, pocket-sized guide to Madeira, packed with insider tips and ideas, colour maps, top 10 lists and a laminated pull-out map, all designed to help you see the very best of MadeiraMore information and prices from: - British pounds - US dollars - Canadian dollars - Euros - Euros

Funchal, Madeira

Funchal, Madeira

Funchal is the capital of Madeira, an autonomous province of Portugal located in the Atlantic Ocean.

Lady Isabel Burton (The Romance of Isabel, Lady Burton: The True Story of Her Life ) gave an enchanting description of her first sight of Madeira in 1863:

"We dropped our anchor a quarter of a mile from the town of Funchal. We rose at six, had a cup of coffee, packed up our water-proof bags, and went on deck to get a first glimpse of Madeira. A glorious sight presented itself, producing a magical effect upon the cold, wet, dirty, sea-sick passenger who had emerged from his atrocious native climate but ten days before. Picture to yourself a deep blue sky, delicately tinted at the horizon, not a cloud to be seen, the ocean as blue as the Mediterranean. There was a warm sun, and a soft and sweet-smelling breeze from the land, as of aromatic herbs. Arising out of the bosom of the ocean in splendour, a quarter of a mile off, but looking infinitely less distant, were dark mountain masses with fantastic peaks and wild, rugged sides, sharply defined against the sky and streaked with snow, making them resemble the fanciful castles and peaks we can imagine in the clouds. The coast to the sea is thick with brilliant vegetation; dark soil- basalt and red tufa are its colours - with the variegated green of fir, chestnut, dark pine forests, and the gaudy sugar-cane. Here and there a belt of firs runs up a mountain, winding like a serpent, and is its only ornament. Wild geraniums, and other flowers which only grow in a hot house in England, and badly too, are in wild luxuriance here."

"The island appears to be dotted everywhere with churches, villas, and hamlets - little gardens and patches of trees intermingled with them. There are three immense ravines, deep and dark; and these with all the pleasant additions of birds, butterflies, and flowers of every sort and colour, a picturesque, good-humoured peasantry busy on the beach, and a little fleet of fishing-boats, with their large white lagoon sails, like big white butterflies on the blue water. Most of the capes are immense precipices of rock."

Funchal market

Covered market, Funchal, Madeira

Today, Funchal is a bustling city of 160,000 people with an excessive amount of traffic. The main roads can be busy but the town has many quiet areas and traffic can be fairly easily avoided

Some of the best views of Funchal can be observed from the cable car that takes visitors from the seafront to the mountain village of Monte. The cable cars run over Funchal's rooftops up the steep slope of the mountain. You can walk, bus or tobbogan back to town.

More about Madeira:

Madeira - An Introduction

Madeira's history and attractions

Funchal, Madeira

Hotels in Funchal, Madeira

Reid's Hotel, Madeira

Madeira: Car Tours and Walks (Landscapes)

Madeira: Car Tours and Walks (Landscapes)
by John Underwood, Pat Underwood
  THE book that made walking on Madeira so popular. In print since 1981, with over half a million copies sold. Pocket-sized and in full colour, the guide describes six car tours (with fold-out touring map), highlighting places where you can stop for a walk or just a stroll to a lovely picnic setting. But the major part of the book is devoted to 100 different long and short walk routes, illustrated with large-scale topographical maps (1:40,000). More information and prices from: - British pounds - US dollars - Canadian dollars - Euros - Euros makes minimal use of cookies, including some placed to facilitate features such as Google Search. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to the use of cookies. Learn more here

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