Fashionable since the early 19th century, the island continues to captivate tourists with its leisurely atmosphere and spectacular scenery.
Extinct volcanic mountains, dense forests and cascading waterfalls contrast with the pastoral countryside. A myriad of irrigation water courses with accompanying footpaths, known as ‘Levadas’, enable keen walkers to explore most of the island.
A suburb to the east of Funchal, Monte is noted for its older gardens and green spaces. One of the most popular features here is the toboggan run, which transports visitors downhill through the streets, at fairly high speeds in large wicker baskets.
Sao Goncalo is home to the Palheiro Estate which was acquired by the Blandy family in 1885 and includes the Gardens and Golf Course. Estreito is a traditional fishing village, favoured by Sir Winston Churchill who liked to paint the scenery.
Funchal is one of Portugal’s main tourist attractions, due to its high cultural and historical value. Many visitors enjoy using the cable car to visit Monte and the Madeira Botanical Gardens, which were formerly part of an estate belonging to the family of the founder of Reid’s Hotel. This delightful sub-tropical destination is a must for botanists who will appreciate the ﬂourishing ﬂora and fauna.