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    Madeira, the island of eternal spring

    Madeira, the island of eternal spring

    You should definitely add Funchal and the island of Madeira to your bucket list. Unique landmarks, breathtaking hiking trails, endless beaches, dolphin and whale watching, appealing temperatures and one of the most impressive fireworks shows in the world. What are you waiting for?

    Wonderful views of Madeira

    Wonderful views of Madeira

    When visiting Funchal, take a ride on the cable car to Monte or the Botanical Garden to enjoy unique views of the city and the surrounding nature.

    Funchal, the capital of Madeira

    Funchal, the capital of Madeira

    In addition to being the capital of the island of Madeira, Funchal is also the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous football players, Cristiano Ronaldo. If you’re a football fan, then do visit the CR7 Museum.

    Fly to Funchal Madeira

    Flights to Funchal, Madeira

    Funchal is the capital of Madeira, an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean and one of Portugal’s autonomous regions.

    Set on a glittering bay surrounded by jagged mountains, Funchal is an enchanting town known for its appealing temperatures all year around, exotic gardens, shopping streets, historic buildings and crafts. Whether you are looking for some relaxing time in the sun, nature discovery walks through exceptional sceneries, or sports fun riding the waves, Funchal is sure to gain your heart!

    So don’t wait a moment longer, and book your Brussels Airlines ticket to Funchal, Madeira!


    What to do in Funchal and Madeira?

    1. The city centre is small enough to explore on foot, so why not take a stroll down the cobbled streets winding between elegant colonial-style buildings. Make sure to stop by the Gothic style Sé Cathedral, featuring a Moorish-inspired design cedar roof, and continue to the Mercado dos Lavradores (the worker’s market), a delightful old building. Visit the Santa Clara Convent and its beautiful azulejo tiles dating from the end of the 15th century.
    2. A must-do when visiting Madeira: the toboggan ride from Monte to Funchal! This peculiar mode of transport consists of two carreiros, or runners, pushing a wicker toboggan (with you in it) downhill. Fun, exhilarating and rather unique!
    3. Funchal toboggan ride
    4. Join a wine tasting tour and try the world-famous Madeira wine. There are plenty of tours to choose from: some offer a tour of wine cellars and vineyards while others focus on pairing wine with delicious Madeiran cuisine. Take your pick!
    5. Madeira Botanical Gardens (Jardins Botânicos da Madeira), display over 2000 plants from all over the world, including desert cacti and rainforest orchids, making this one of the major attractions of the island. Other gardens worth a visit include Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, Jardins do Palheiro, Jardim de São Martinho and Quinta da Boa Vista.
    6. If you’re more into some exciting sailing Funchal answers your needs with some of the best surf spots mentioned in several sporting reviews for the excellence of the waves.
    7. Madeira is an excellent spot for dolphin and whale watching. There are several companies which offer dolphin and whale watching tours on catamarans or speedboats.
    8. Fans of football will know that Cristiano Ronaldo is originally from Madeira; the island is even home to an entire museum about him. The CR7 Museum displays many of Ronaldo’s trophies and guides you through the highlights of his career.

    Practical information for your trip to Funchal

    • Brussels Airlines flights arrive and depart from Funchal Madeira Airport, which is located 16 km from the city centre.
    • Current local time in Funchal:  
    • Currency: Euro. Cards are widely accepted, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for smaller purchases.
    • Telephone calls and Wi-Fi: Country dialling code: +351
    • Electric sockets: Type F, two pin plugs with 230 V and 50 Hz.
    • Travel information: Portugal is part of the Schengen zone, meaning that under normal circumstances, EU citizens may travel without a passport. Non-EU citizens must have a valid passport. Citizens of the following countries may enter Portugal without a visa: Countries of the European Union, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Citizens of other countries require a visa. For all information on visas and travel documents, visit the website: iatatravelcentre.com.
    • Vaccination: No vaccinations are necessary to visit Portugal. For more health information, visit the website iatatravelcentre.com.

    What to do and not to do in Funchal

    • Take the cable car up to Monte and its botanical garden to enjoy a wonderful view of the bay.
    • Bring sturdy shoes. Madeira is a volcanic, mountainous island; to make the most of its beautiful landscapes, you’ll have to do some hiking.
    • If you plan on hiking in the mountains, bring warm clothes and a waterproof jacket.
    • Don’t forget your sunscreen. Madeira is closer to Africa than it is to the Portuguese mainland, so you’ll be exposed to tropical sunlight even if the weather isn’t too hot. The same goes for mosquito repellent.
    • In restaurants, don’t forget to ask for the dish of the day or prato do dia.

    Local phrases & essential vocabulary

    Many people do speak English in Madeira, but you shouldn't presume this applies to everyone. Similarly, Portuguese may look rather similar to Spanish, but its spoken form is hugely different. Locals may be slightly offended if you just speak in English or Spanish and expect to be understood, so learning the basics is a good idea:

    • Please - por favor
    • Thank you - obrigado (for men) or obrigada (for women)
    • Hello - olá or bom dia (in the daytime)
    • Good afternoon - boa tarde
    • Good evening - boa noite
    • Excuse me - com licença
    • Yes/no - sim/não
    • Goodbye - adeus or tchau
    • Do you speak English? - Fala inglês?
    • You're welcome - de nada
    • Sorry - desculpe

    Funchal market

    When to go to Funchal, Madeira?

    Madeira enjoys great weather all year round. The summer months are the driest months and temperatures can peak at 30°C. However, if you would prefer milder temperatures for a more active holiday, autumn and spring offer temperatures of around 20°C with little to no rainfall. If you’re in need of some vitamin D during the winter, a visit to Madeira is also worth considering. There might be more rainy days than during the other seasons, but temperatures still average 15°C and there’s plenty of sunshine.

    What to eat in Funchal, Madeira?

    Madeira’s location provides excellent seafood and fish. The most popular fish dish is fried scabbard fish: what it lacks in aesthetic appeal, it makes up for in taste! Other seafood and fish to try include mussels, calamari, tuna and shrimp.

    Don’t like fish? Then try espetada instead: a grilled meat dish served on long metal skewers.

    Have a sweet tooth? Try bolo de mel or honey cake. If you want to opt for something healthy, you’ll love the wide variety of tropical fruit Madeira has to offer. Mango, passion fruit, papaya – you name it, Madeira has it!

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    Book your flight to Madeira

    Don’t wait a moment longer and book now your getaway to Madeira with Brussels Airlines.
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