Funchal
Culture & History

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Funchal Culture & History

Madeira: Full-Day Skywalk & Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools

1. Madeira: Full-Day Skywalk & Porto Moniz Volcanic Pools

Depart from Funchal and head towards San Vicente along the north coast. Visit one of the most famous viewpoints, where you can look out to Porto Santo Island in clear weather. You will also be able to see the waterfall resembling a bride's veil, named Veu da Noiva. Next, stop at the natural volcanic pools in Seicxal, where you can swim in crystal waters. Also visit Porto Moniz's lava pools and Paul da Serra, the biggest plateau on the island at nearly 1500 meters high. This beautiful place provides stunning views and is an ideal spot for lunch. Visit Fanal, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal filled with centenary trees. As the last stop, go to Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second highest in the world. Try out the suspended glass floor viewpoint. Finally, return to your accommodation. 

...
From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

2. From Funchal: Best of Madeira's West Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Funchal on a full-day scenic tour of the west of Madeira. Admire the unspoiled natural beauty of the area and visit the charming villages of Câmara de Lobos and Porto Moniz. Following pickup from selected hotels in Funchal, pass through the traditional fishing village of Câmara de Lobos. Continue to Cabo Girão Skywalk, Europe's highest cliff skywalk at 589m. Next, head towards the Ribeira Brava and go north through the deep and narrow valleys of Serra D'Água. Upon arrival at Encumeada, enjoy an incredible view of the south and north coast of the island. Cross a mountain pass, and witness the rugged beauty of the north coast, where Atlantic rollers deposit white surf on the cliffs. Traverse Madeira's highest plateau, and enjoy more spectacular panoramas. Continue to São Vicente on Madeira’s north coast. Visit the beautiful village of Porto Moniz and take 1 hour for lunch, as well as time to admire the volcanic swimming pools. Finish your tour at Paul da Serra to see one of the biggest natural reserves in the world.

...
Tour to the West of Madeira

3. Tour to the West of Madeira

After pick-up from your hotel, make your way to Camara de Lobos where beautiful landscapes were painted by Sir Winston Churchill in the 1950s. The drive takes you along the old narrow roads of Estreito de Camara de Lobos, where the vines were first introduced and still exist today. Visit Madeira's pride and Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe and the second highest in the world. Then, the route descends to Ribeira Brava so you can visit old monuments including the church. Continue the drive through to Paul da Serra Madeira´s popular flat plateau at 1500m above sea level. Embrace the beautiful laurel forest views through Madeira´s little green Scotland. Arrive at Porto Moniz, natural volcanic pools, where it's time to take a break and have a swim. You will also have the chance to buy lunch here. The tour continues along the north coast where waterfalls are visible. Drive through the village of São Vicente where nature will escort you up to the Encumeada Pass, where the North meets the South at 1007 meters above sea level. At the end of the tour you will be dropped back at your hotel.

...
From Funchal: Nuns Valley, Monte and Sleigh Ride Tour

4. From Funchal: Nuns Valley, Monte and Sleigh Ride Tour

Depart Funchal and journey to the Pico dos Barcelos to experience one of Madeira's unique viewpoints. Get a breathtaking view of all points of the island, before making your way up to Eira do Serrado. Admire the surrounding chestnut trees and eucalyptus plants of the natural wonderland. The ancient footpaths are still used by locals and tourists, and the narrow road and tunnels can still be seen. From an altitude of 1,094 meters above sea level, you will be able to see across to the Nuns Valley (weather permitting). Isolated from the rest of the island, the Nuns Valley (Curral das Freiras) is surrounded by lava rock and takes its name from the nuns that once inhabited the valley as they fled from pirate attacks during the 16th century. Try some traditional chestnut cake and pastries only found in the region, along with different traditional liquors. Then, go to Monte, one of Madeira´s old touristic stops, and visit the church where the tomb of the Emperor Charles I of Austria can be found. The last of the Habsburg rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he died in exile on April 1, 1922. Add a little adventure to the day and enjoy an unforgettable 2-kilometer toboggan ride down the old road of Livramento, where the bus will pick you up at the bottom.

...
Madeira: Nuns Valley Half-Day Tour

5. Madeira: Nuns Valley Half-Day Tour

Explore the stunning landscapes of the Curral da Freiras (Nuns Valley) on a scenic half-day tour from Funchal. Journey to the center of Madeira to find dramatic, cloud-topped mountains and verdant valleys. Board the minibus in the center of Lido, and make your way to Eira do Serrado for one of the most beautiful views in Madeira. Continue down to Curral da Freiras, traveling past forest bushes and the quaint houses typical of the Madeiran countryside. Once in Nuns Valley, see a small village nestling between almost perpendicular mountains. How the huge cauldron in which the Nuns Valley formed is open to debate. Some people say it was the result of erosion, while older theories maintain it was a result of volcanic activity. What is beyond dispute is that the village is very isolated. The locals mainly live off what they cultivate, including the delicious chestnuts that are the centerpiece of the annual Chestnut Festival. Return to Funchal, stopping at the fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, where Winston Churchill painted his beautiful landscapes. Try some of the legendary Poncha drink before you leave.

...
Funchal: 90-Minute City Tour in a Tukxi

6. Funchal: 90-Minute City Tour in a Tukxi

With a local guide on the driving seat this tour provides a fantastic introduction to Funchal’s history, culture and landmarks. The tour will take you to the 15th century Old Town, with stops at the fantastic viewpoints of Socorro and Villa Guida. Later, appreciate a mix of landmarks from different centuries in the city center, including the 15th century cathedral, the Mercado dos Lavradores (Farmers Market) and the Municipal Square where the City Hall and the Jesuit Monastery are found. Visit the neighborhood of São Pedro where the island's oldest convent, Santa Clara, the famous Museum of Quinta das Cruzes and the Church of São Pedro can be admired.  To finish your tour, drive by the Municipal Garden and Santa Catarina Park to get a taste of Madeira’s famous gardens. The Tukxi is small and maneuverable enough to take you comfortably around the city’s small back streets. This tour is the perfect introduction to the city of Funchal!

...
From Funchal: Enchanted Terraces and Porto do Moniz Tour

7. From Funchal: Enchanted Terraces and Porto do Moniz Tour

Depart Funchal and travel by 4WD vehicle towards Madeira's northwest coast, passing a stunning green landscape to locations such as Serra de Água. Journey along forgotten and enchanted old roads and get a glimpse into the island's everyday life. Go to Encumeada, where one of the island's famous walking trails leads to Madeira's highest peak. Pass through the laurel forests of Chão dos Louros and marvel at the mountains and valleys from Ginjas and Paul da Serra. Continue to Fanal in the middle of the Laurissilva Forest and then proceed to Porto do Moniz, famous for its natural swimming pools. If weather permits, enjoy the warmth of the sea or continue to Seixal known for its black sand beach. Stop for lunch (optional and not included) in Seixal, before continuing to the coastal town of São Vicente. Make your way back to Funchal at the end of the tour.

...
Madeira: Nature & Wine 4x4 Tour from Funchal or Caniço

8. Madeira: Nature & Wine 4x4 Tour from Funchal or Caniço

From Funchal, head to Serra d'Agua, a valley at the center of the island. Afterward, go to Encumeada viewpoint with its great views over north and south of the island, a high point that connects Ribeira Brava, São Vicente, and Paúl da Serra. After passing Chão dos Louros Forest Park, whose name comes from the abundance of laurels trees, take a nice off-road drive with fantastic views over Porto Moniz, Ribeira da Janela, Paul da Serra, and São Vicente. Then, have a fabulous experience with a very important wine producer in Madeira, enjoying a guided tour through the vineyards, followed by wine tasting. Enjoy a professional explanation about traditions, wine culture, and wine production given by an oenologist. Finally, move on to Cabo Girão, the highest cliff in Europe and second in the world at 589 meters, known for its suspended glass floor balcony that offers a spectacular panoramic view over the Atlantic, Câmara de Lobos, and Funchal.

...
Funchal: Old Town Walking Tour

9. Funchal: Old Town Walking Tour

Meet your guide at Jesuit's College of Funchal, Madeira University to begin this 2-hour guided walking tour of Funchal. Learn how the history of Madeira and Funchal shaped the city centre as you visit the most important points of interest. Travel down the 19th century public walkway between the Municipal Theatre and the Cathedral, where sugarcane was first planted in Madeira, during the 15th century. Explore the city’s medieval heart dating from the Golden Age of Sugar and discover the beautiful 17th century religious monuments. Visit the ruins of the old Pilory Square and other remnants from past floods and the area damaged by the Great Fire of Funchal in 1584. This tour helps to support students at the University of Madeira who are facing financial difficulties.  

...
Northwest Madeira 4x4 Tour

10. Northwest Madeira 4x4 Tour

The tour will start at your hotel, cruise port, or guest house, taking you to Serra d'Água, where you will have the opportunity to learn about the island of Madeira. At the North side you will see Ginjas village. Then continue on, using the old roads and some forest roads where its only possible to go with a 4X4. Head to the top at 1500 meters at Paúl da Serra. Explore the natural beauty of this island, meet the people, and explore the cultures, traditions, and local food and drinks. Enjoy the expertise of a multilingual driver, who will take you on this full day journey to Encumeada, Ginjas, Estanquinhos, Paúl da Serra, Fanal, Ribeira da Janela, Porto Moniz, Seixal and São Vicente, with additional opportunities to see and swim in the volcanic lava pools.

...

Other Sightseeing Options in Funchal

Want to discover all there is to do in Funchal? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,307 reviews

A great and varied day, full of laughter, good food and insider information. Lucy never hurried us(we got back well after six) and always seemed to have another little surprise up her sleeve. The lunch in Santana (included) was excellent value and really tasty. Lucy was a mine of information and it is very clear she loves her island, and passes this love on to her guests. Thank you Lucy. Elizabeth

Very good tour with a professional jeep driver. I really liked the fact that we could stand up in the jeep and admire the views. Highly recommended!

Great tour with spectacular views and a friendly driver. Highly recommended!

Very good tour with a professional tour guide. Highly recommended!

Fantastic day out. Up high on of the old mountain roads