Funchal
Family-friendly Activities

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Our most recommended Funchal Family-friendly Activities

Funchal: Catamaran Dolphin and Whale Watching

1. Funchal: Catamaran Dolphin and Whale Watching

Take a scenic sail in a catamaran along the Madeira coast.  See dolphins, whales, and turtles playing in their natural habitat. Throughout the year Madeira has different aquatic mammals journeying through its blue waters. Whether you come in summer or winter, the chances are high you’ll see one these amazing creatures. Stop for a swim during the summer season, and make use of the complimentary snorkeling equipment. Bar service is also available.

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All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

2. All Inclusive Whale and Dolphin Watching Luxury Tour

Your 3-hour luxury catamaran tour begins at the docks of the new marina of Funchal. Board the catamaran and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine before setting off. Sail into the ocean to find dolphins, whales, and turtles. Spot these creatures in their natural habitat. After sailing around spotting dolphins, whales and turtles enjoy a 30 minute stop next to Cabo Girão, the 1920 foot (586m) seaside cliff. Here you have a change o go swimming in the crystal clear waters. After a quick swim, you will get back on the boat where you can relax and enjoy the views of the coast of Funchal as you head back to the marina.

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Funchal 3 in 1: 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

3. Funchal 3 in 1: 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Discover the extraordinary beauty of Madeira at your own pace with a 2 or 5 day ticket for the yellow hop-on and hop-off sightseeing bus. Jump off at the sites in the capital of Funchal that interest you most, and get access to its surroundings, including the panoramic viewpoints of "The Pearl of the Atlantic." Jump off at any of the 30 stops along a route that takes you through Funchal’s quaint, cobblestone streets. Enjoy breathtaking views from observation points, such as the one at Pico dos Barcelos. Discover landmark monuments such as Town Hall Square and the Cathedral. Marvel at pretty gardens, and hop off at the Madeira Wine Museum to enjoy a glass of the island’s famous wine! The 3-in-1 ticket also provides access to the picturesque fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, thought to be the original landing point for the Portuguese explorer João Gonçalves Zarco. Gaze out at the Atlantic Ocean from Europe’s highest cliffs at Cabo Girão on a shuttle bus service from Câmara de Lobos.

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Botanical Garden Cable Car Ticket

4. Botanical Garden Cable Car Ticket

Climb aboard the Botanical Garden cable car and ride to the mountains surrounding the city of Funchal. Botanical garden cable car is situated between 10-12 minutes (by car) from Funchal city center. Start out near the Botanical Garden, located about 3 kilometers from the center of Funchal. The Botanical Garden was created in 1960 and quickly became one of the major attractions on the island of Madeira. The cable car will take you over the Valley of João Gomes Ribeira, passing forest-covered mountains. Take some spectacular photos of the Bay of Funchal, the surrounding mountains, and the sea. The ride takes approximately 15 minutes. Your trip ends at the village of Monte, at an elevation of 1,025 meters above sea level. Monte is a small village that was initially a health resort for the upper classes in the early 20th century. Today it is one of Funchal’s main attractions and the site for trying a toboggan ride down the hill. Depending on the option selected you can end your journey in Monte or take the cable car back to the Botanical Garden. The cable car was designed and operates in accordance with the most strict European and international security standards, ensuring that you can focus on enjoying the ride.

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Madeira: Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour from Funchal

5. Madeira: Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour from Funchal

Climb aboard a comfortable catamaran for a relaxing trip along Madeira's south coast from the Marina do Funchal. Look for dolphins and whales (and even turtles) playing in the cold waters of the sea. During the summer months, stop to swim below the cliffs of Cabo Girão, one of the highest sea cliffs in the world. A qualified crew will provide detailed information in various languages about the species of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) you see. In the event you don’t spot any whales or dolphins you will be offered a 2nd trip. Get historical and technical information from your crew for a truly unique experience.

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Madeira: Canyoning Ribeira do Cidrão

6. Madeira: Canyoning Ribeira do Cidrão

The beautiful Ribeira do Cidrão canyon lies in the middle of the island of Madeira, within the valley that the nuns from Santa Clara Convent fled to when Funchal was attacked by pirates in 1566, giving it its name as the Nun's Valley. After a walk of approximately 20 minutes on a dirt road and along a levada, the canyoning adventure begins. Along the way, get ready to conquer six rappels, the highest being 15 meters. Discover a series of refreshing pools that you can jump and slide into, and take in the beautiful mountain views which serve as a constant backdrop. After the canyon, walk another 20 minutes back up.

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Madeira: Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria de Colombo

7. Madeira: Flag Ship Tour of Santa Maria de Colombo

Have a unique experience and climb aboard a convincing replica of Christopher Columbus’s original vessel the Santa Maria, built right here on lush Madeira Island. Enjoy a time-travelling journey back to the 15th century, and walk along the southern coast of the island before reaching Cabo Girão. There, stop for a refreshing swim in the azure waters off the coast. Keep your eyes open for possible sightings of dolphins and whales peeking above the blue waves as you walk along the Atlantic coastline.

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Funchal: 3D Fun Art Museum

8. Funchal: 3D Fun Art Museum

Experience a different concept of museum which combines art and fun in a relaxed way. Encounter 40 different scenarios, including 3D images and optical illusions which will allow you to enter a world of fantasy and imagination whilst helping you believe that anything is possible. You can be Van Gogh’s doctor, take a safari, or even have a dinosaur as a pet. You can also see the world upside down, have your head being served on a table, fly through the cosmos, drink a wine served by God in Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam", and have Madeira folklore dance on your way out. The museum combines the science of visual perception with the magic of illusion and makes everything seem possible. Photographs are allowed and even encouraged in this space appropriate for all ages to visit.

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Funchal: Madeira Island Group Surf Lesson

9. Funchal: Madeira Island Group Surf Lesson

Join a surf lesson in the clear Atlantic waters off Madeira Island, and learn the fun sport for the first time or hone your surfing skills with an expert instructor. Enjoy the ease of a hotel pickup from Funchal, and be directly dropped off at the best surfing spots on the island. Kick-start your lesson with a warm up and a technical demonstration on the beach before hitting the water to catch some waves. Feel the cool waters beneath your gliding board, and the adrenaline course through you after catching your first wave. Enjoy the top surfing spots for beginners on Madeira Island, including Praia do Seixal, Praia de Machico, and Porto da Cruz, where your instructor will bring you to make sure you get the best experience possible.

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Madeira: Private Cristiano Ronaldo Tour with CR7 Museum

10. Madeira: Private Cristiano Ronaldo Tour with CR7 Museum

Discover the impressive life story of one of the world's greatest footballers ever, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, born in Madeira. The tour is conducted in partnership with Elma Aveiro, Cristiano Ronaldo's older sister, and the museum CR7 to bring to you all the stories of Ronaldo's childhood to the adventures of present day. The tour begins with a visit to the place where Ronaldo once lived and first touched a football. Then we head towards Andorinha Football Stadium, Ronaldo's first official club. Here, we see striking images of his childhood and his biography. Next, we continue to downtown Funchal for a visit to the impressive CR7 Museum, where we view four trophies, including the best footballer in the world. Finish the tour with a visit to the CR7 Store owned by Elma Aveiro, Ronaldo's sister.

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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

So professionally organised. Pedro and Fabio where absolutely great, friendly and very welcoming. They were knowledgeable and always happy to share with us. I highly recommend this adventure and would definitely be back for round two. Thanks

The lights are beautiful and we would never have seen so many by foot. Wilson was a super guide and made sure we saw the best of them. A perfect thing to do in our last night in Madeira.

We already did the excursion 2 years ago. It was a nice excursion again and this time we saw whales. Gladly again!

Great to see dolphins in the open sea and guide explanation of the different species

It was a lot of fun. We saw a lot of dolphins, unfortunately no whales.