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Holidays in Funchal

Perched amongst the hills on the coast of the ‘Garden Island’, Funchal is Madeira’s 500-year-old capital. You’ll find all sorts to explore, from the cobbled Old Town to the flower-scented gardens with views across the bay. Life here may be cosmopolitan, but more than a hint of tradition survives in restaurant menus, the costumes of market traders and the age-old customs, such as grape-picking during September’s Wine Harvest Festival.

16-23 °C

Funchal enjoys glorious sunshine throughout the year.

3 hours 40 minutes

The island’s airport is Madeira Airport (FNC), about 21km east of Funchal.

Book your holiday to Funchal with Thomas Cook to hike along Madeira’s famous levada channels, relax in exotic gardens, and enjoy spring weather in winter.

Featured Funchal holidays

Pestana Bay

7 Nights, All Inclusive
Hotel highlights

What is included ?

  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort Service

Aparthotel Imperatriz

7 Nights, Room Only
Hotel highlights

What is included ?

  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort Service

You could spend hours exploring the cobbled streets of Funchal’s Old Town, dipping in and out of the shops and museums. Buy some local lace at the Embroidery Museum. Browse the modern Portuguese artworks on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art, housed in the 17th-century São Tiago Fort. Or immerse yourself in the island’s heritage at the Madeira Story Centre. The Garden Island is also a place for enjoying the great outdoors, so pack your hiking boots or golf clubs, hire a boat, go horse riding, or see if you can land yourself a big fish.

The most famous places to visit in Funchal are its gardens. Filled with flowers from around the world, such as orchids, birds of paradise and azaleas, they’re perfect for a romantic stroll or time to sit and daydream in the sunshine. There are several, but the Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro and Monte Palace Tropical Garden have the best views. You’ll feel on top of the world while you’re in Monte’s gardens, as it’s a very tranquil district on a hill above the rest of Funchal. Get back down to earth with a ride in one of the toboggan-like basket cars, travelling the 2km downhill in a swift ten minutes.

Named after the fennel (funcho) that grows in the area, this is a city with food close to its heart. Pork in wine and garlic (carne de vinho e alhos) is such a traditional dish that it’s served for Christmas dinner, perhaps with a glass of the fortified Madeira wine. For the fullest flavour of Madeira, the lively Mercado dos Lavradores (the farmers’ market) is one of the best places to go in Funchal. And when you need a sugar-fix, bite into a hearty slice of honey cake (bolo de mel) or sip a glass of the sweet poncha cocktail, made from sugar-cane brandy, fruit juice, sugar and honey.

Madeira’s known for its web of rural hiking routes, which aren’t just limited to the renowned levadas (irrigation channels). The scenery’s incredible, especially when the spring flowers are blooming, but the going can be tough so choose a guided tour to suit your ability level. A real must is the trail up Pico Ruivo in the Ribeiro Frio Forest Park (about 17km north of Funchal); you’ll have a view of the whole island from above the clouds. The array of fresh-air activities in Funchal itself includes golf at the par-72 Palheiro course and boat trips from the marina – go at sunset for a glowing view of the rocky coastline.

Recommended offers in Funchal

Enotel Quinta do Sol

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights

What is included ?

  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort Service

Pestana Bay

7 Nights, All Inclusive
Hotel highlights

What is included ?

  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort Service

Enotel Quinta do Sol - Adults Only

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights

What is included ?

  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort Service


Nature lovers: The scenery’s simply lovely, whether you’re sitting in a flower-filled garden or standing at the top of a mountain.

Walkers: Madeira’s lush volcanic terrain is laced with hiking trails. Follow the levada routes when the spring flowers are blooming.

Culture fans: Take in a film festival or art exhibition, join the annual wine harvest and sample time-honoured local recipes.


Language: The language spoken in Funchal is Portuguese

Currency: The currency used in Funchal is the euro (€)

Local time: The time in Funchal is the same as GMT/UK time

Fly to: The island’s airport is Madeira Airport (FNC), about 21km east of Funchal.

Flight time from UK: Approximately 3 hours 40 minutes

Tourist Information: Further Funchal tourist information can be found at

Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Funchal.


Temperature: 16-23 (°C)

The weather in Funchal is delightful all year round, with average highs of 18 (°C) even in January. For the coolest weather, come in the spring, when you can enjoy pleasant temperatures in the mid-teens. Summer temperatures are usually comfortable, typically hovering in the mid-20s throughout the season. The weather stays warm and bright throughout the autumn and winter, with up to 10 hours of sunshine a day.


On foot: By far the best way to explore Funchal’s Old Town.
By open-top bus: You can hop on and off the Yellow Bus Sightseeing Tours at all the key spots. Tickets are valid for 24 or 48 hours and can be used on public transport.

By cable car: The journey up the hillside to the Monte district gives you incredible views and takes about 15 minutes. If you’re feeling brave, whizz back down through the streets in a traditional man-powered basket car.

By hire car: See more of Madeira with a self-drive tour, stopping for panoramic views and strolls through quaint villages.


Carnival: The city’s streets sparkle with lights and spirited parades for five jubilant days before Lent.

Spring blooms: Held after Easter, Funchal’s annual Festa da Flor welcomes spring with parades and a floral Wall of Hope (Muro da Esperança).

Film festivals: From the renown of the Madeira Film Festival to the silent short films of Mudas Fest, Madeira has a full calendar of events for movie-lovers.

Christmas and New Year: An incredible time to be in Funchal, festivities last right through December until Twelfth Night. The Night at the Market just before Christmas (centred around the Farmers’ Market) and the New Year’s Eve fireworks are major highlights.

Why choose Thomas Cook

With hotels available to suit every person and every budget look no further than Thomas Cook for your getaway this year!

  • Thousands of hotels to choose from
  • Dedicated online customer service
  • Over 175 years of travel experience
  • Award winning travel company
  • Thousands of destinations worldwide

Holidays In Funchal 
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Weather In Funchal 
Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec

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