Enjoying a wonderfully warm climate and prestigious position beside the balmy blue sea, the city of Funchal is an idyllic island paradise off the coast of Portugal. Coastal splendour meets cultural wealth in this natural amphitheatre, offering visitors a plethora of alluring attractions and exhilarating activities. The stunning selection museums is breath-taking considering the city’s size, and its historical architecture and gorgeous gardens are famous through Europe and the rest of the globe.
In Funchal’s atmospheric Old Town, the chequered floors of shady squares are surrounded by an architectural array of historical buildings. Many buildings date back to the 15th century and exude an air of Baroque beauty; the Town Hall is a monochrome myriad of horned windows and richly decorated doors.
One of the city’s most magnificent monuments is undoubtedly that of Joao Gonclaves Zarco, an influential figure whose memory is immortalised by the stone sculpture before the classical Banco de Portugal building.
With its colourful and consistent cultural scene, travellers will never go dissatisfied with the city’s artistic offerings; the Municipal Theatre Baltazar Dias presents a daily programme of world class performances, from dramatic plays to kaleidoscopic dance shows. Tickets can be purchased on the day subject to availability.
With a groundbreaking 15 museums presenting exhibitions on everything from wine to electricity, travellers can enjoy at least 3 days in museums alone. Those wishing to discover more about the islands intriguing history are sure to enjoy the Madeira Story Centre, an expertly curated collection of mediums that transports visitors back in time.
The Museum of Sacred Art is sure to induce an artistic epiphany with its fine examples of 16th-18th century religious sculptures and glittering religious relics.
With its verdant and atmospheric outdoor terrace, the rustic casa Velha Restaurant is an ideal place in which to enjoy expertly cooked Portuguese cuisine. The amiable chef is happy to offer personal recommendations depending on taste and temperament, and the extensive wine list ensure diners enjoy the perfect liquid accompaniment to their fine food.(Rùa Imperatriz D Amelia 69, 9000-018 Funchal, Portugal)