What to do in Funchal if you only have a few days
Funchal, the capital of a small Portuguese oasis in the Atlantic. Do you have only a few hours but want to know as much as possible about this delicious island? Ok, we will try to help you then!
The first stop is at the Dos Lavradores market, a lively mosaic of exotic colors and inebriating Atlantic perfumes. The general market of Funchal is one of the main attractions of the city, the art deco structure preserves almost all the elements of the original building including valuable azulejos from Portugal.
The market continues to be the pivot of city trade; frequented by locals who come here for groceries from morning to late afternoon. From the threshold of the market it is possible to see women in traditional clothes selling exotic flowers, plants, bulbs and seeds. Throughout the year you can see a vast assortment of wonderful trifidae as well as an exceptional choice of the island's famous orchids.
Most visitors are drawn to the colorful fruit stalls around the central patio. Prices are mostly similar to those of local supermarkets. In Madeira, a very special fruit grows banana-pineapple ... a must try! After passing the central patio, go up the stairs, you can admire the fish market. Caught at night in the depths of the Atlantic, it is the basis of local food. The skill with which fishmongers handle the knife in cutting both swordfish and large slices of tuna is impressive.
A curiosity already known to many sportsmen is that the great footballer was born here Cristiano Ronaldo. There is a museum near the small port where you can learn about its history and roots. A must is a souvenir photo near his statue ... for those who want, the many taxi drivers offer a real one Ronaldo tour, from his home to his first football pitch!
The area Monte of Funchal is a suburb of aristocratic villas, in the past the privileged residence of wealthier families who, in the heat of the coast, preferred milder temperatures at 500 meters above sea level in summer. Today it is a beautiful neighborhood that is absolutely worth visiting. It's also fun to get there with the cable car that departs from the Velha area and takes visitors past the low clouds that often envelop the mountains of Madeira.
One thing we recommend to do is to take the "carro de cestos", that is sleds made of Camacha wicker with padded seats that can carry two adults (we have brought Nora even more than the stroller!) ...
Drivers wear gondolier-style straw hats, a white shirt, white pants and rubber-soled shoes that help brake when speeding on the asphalt ... in fact the sled acquires a certain speed but nothing dangerous, do not worry! The cost is around € 30 in two for a 10-minute slip ... it may seem excessive but it is a fun experience.
- Madeira was the only wine that could be exported to the British colonies of America without passing through a British port.
- Napoleon Bonaparte, passing through Madeira during his journey to the exile of Saint Helena, received as a gift of Madeira from the English governor of the archipelago.
- Madeira was used by Thomas Jefferson to toast the signature of the United States of America Declaration of Independence.
- During Prohibition, which led to a sharp drop in Madeira's imports to the United States, the wine was exported almost entirely to France, where it was mainly used for the preparation of sauce madère (Madeira sauce).
So, did you feel like going to this small Atlantic oasis?