A paradise called Funchal awaits you.jpg

A paradise called Funchal awaits you

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

In this travel feature, Paulo Silvestre takes readers on a guided tour of the best places to visit in Portugal. Paulo provides inside information and useful tips to assist you in planning relaxing trips and enjoyable days out. You’ll discover the best of Portugal and enjoy celebrating its unique culture! Paulo holds a degree in Media Studies and his hobbies include playing in a band.

Madeira Island capital Funchal is a cosmopolitan city that is home to various well maintained pleasant gardens, plus the botanical gardens. Funchal name origins come from the abundance of fennel (funcho) that existed on the island. In its debut days it was an active port town throughout the Age of Discovery.

Funchal is situated in a totally exclusive area. The showground begins at the port and rises approximately 1200m high on gentle slopes proving a natural shelter.

The city can be easily explored on foot. You will find no difficulty in walking into the city centre and enjoy all its sights and sounds.

The places that you don’t want to miss are Sé Catedral, the Cidade do Açúcar Museum focussing on the sugar business that was the key basis of profits on the island until the early 1700s, the 17th and 18th century buildings near the Praça do Municípiom, the Museu de Arte Sacra, the town hall, the Jardim Botânico and the Igreja do Colégio.

Funchal is also great for shopping because there are numerous large shopping centres open seven days a week. Bars and restaurants spill out onto paved streets and town squares turn this town into a fantastic mixture of old and new.

Also don’t leave without drinking Madeira wine. Shaped from diverse grapes by local farmers, it is a superb drink.

With history, nightlife and natural beauty, Funchal is the ideal holiday destination. Explore the wonders that Madeira has to offer.