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Holidays in Funchal

Welcome to Madeira’s 500-year-old capital, perched on a hill along the Garden Island’s southern coastline. Cobbled streets, stunning gardens, and a cosmopolitan marina are all part and parcel of Funchal holidays. This place flawlessly blends old with new, from the historic Old Town to the smart boutiques and bars. And it’s home to some super-stylish clubs, too, along with rustic restaurants serving up classic local fare. Don’t miss the famously colourful gardens; you can enjoy spectacular views across the bay from some of them. Looking for a beach? There are four of them nearby, just a half-hour walk from town.

6-23 °C

Expect year-round sunshine in Funchal

View live forecast

3 hours 40 minutes

Fly to Madeira Airport (FNC)

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

Orca Praia

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Stunning sea views in quiet area
  • Great evening entertainment
  • Relaxing outdoor pool area

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 474 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

Hotel Jardins d'Ajuda

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Close to shops, bars and restaurants
  • Great indoor pool
  • Complimentary shuttle bus to Funchal

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 747 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

Four Views Monumental

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Gym
  • Spa

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 1318 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 23 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

Pestana Village & Miramar Residence

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Charming traditional property
  • Three swimming pools
  • Set within beautiful gardens

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 1135 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

Alto Lido Hotel

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Amazing sea views
  • Two à la carte restaurants
  • Courtesy bus to Funchal centre

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 694 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

You could spend hours and hours exploring the cobbled streets of Funchal’s Old Town, dipping in and out of the shops and museums. How about a trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art? It’s housed in the 17th century São Tiago Fort. But there’s so much more to this place, too. Holidays to the Garden Island are a change to explore the great outdoors, so pack your swimsuit and your hiking boots and see where your trip takes you.

Funchal is perhaps best known for its glorious gardens. In fact, it’s often nicknamed ‘the Floating Garden’. These spectacular spaces are brimming with exotic flowers (like orchids, birds of paradise and azaleas), plus beautiful lakes and waterfalls. Shaded spots are perfect for picnics. Head up to the Monte Palace Tropical Garden for a jungle-like experience, and enjoy fine views over the town and bay from the top of the hill. Take the cable car if you don’t feel like climbing.

Not far from Funchal, there’s an array of beaches and lidos. Praia Formosa (a set of four beaches) is only a 25-minute walk from town. You’ll find black sand and pebble stretches to laze on, and there are handy changing rooms, snack bars and restaurants. Discover a mix of pebble beaches and pool complexes along the way, along with a lido. Many of them are tucked away between the cliffs and rocks.

Did you know than this town is named after the fennel that grows in the area? So it’s no surprise that there’s such a big focus on food here. Juicy pork in wine and garlic is a traditional dish; it’s served as Christmas dinner. See if you can find it in a local restaurant, and wash it down with a glass of fortified Madeira wine. For the fullest flavours, head to the lively Mercado dos Lavradores, which is the farmers’ market; it’s a highlight for any foodie traveller. Need a sugar fix? Pick a hearty slice of honey cake or sip a glass of the sweet poncha cocktail made with sugar-cane brandy.

RESORTS NEAR FUNCHAL


Funchal is best for...

Walkers: Beyond the manicured gardens, there’s a whole landscape to explore. Madeira’s lush volcanic terrain is laced with hiking trails, so follow the levada routes and see where they take you. Spring is particularly beautiful, when the spring flowers are in full bloom.

Couples: There’s a colourful vibe here when the sun goes down, with plenty of stylish cocktail bars and sophisticated restaurants around the marina. Where better to enjoy a romantic meal?

Culture lovers: Head for a film festival or an art exhibition; or join in with the annual wine harvest. And then there’s a wealth of local dishes just waiting to be sampled, too, so it’s perfect for foodies as well.


Fast facts

Language: The language spoken in Funchal is Portuguese

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

Local time: Funchal is the same time as GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Madeira Airport. It takes about 1 hour to transfer to Funchal.

Flight time from UK: The Funchal flight time is 4 hours.

Tourist Information: Before your Funchal holidays, find our more at www.visitmadeira.pt

Visa and health: Check out www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal for visa and health recommendations for holidays to Funchal.


Weather and climate

Temperature: 16-23 (°C)

The weather in Funchal is pleasant all year round. You can expect average highs of 18°C even in January. If you’re not a fan of the heat, book your Funchal holidays for spring, when the mercury hovers around the mid-teens. Summer temperatures are warm but comfortable, typically hovering in the mid-20s throughout the peak season. The weather stays warm and bright throughout the autumn and winter, with up to 10 hours of sunshine a day. But pack a mac, as there’s more rain at this time of year (it keeps the gardens looking lovely!).

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


Getting around

On foot: It’s the best way to explore the narrow streets Funchal’s Old Town. Why not stop for a break at a charming coffee shop?

By open-top bus: Hop on and off at all the key spots with the Yellow Bus Sightseeing Tours. Tickets are valid for 24 or 48 hours, and they can be used on public transport.

By cable car: Head up the hillside to the Monte district to discover breath-taking views. It only takes 15 minutes. Feeling brave? Whizz back down in a man-powered basket car.

By hire car: Explore Madeira with a hire car, and stop to soak up panoramic views and explore as many quaint villages as you like.


Events

Carnival: During five jubilant days before Lent, Funchal’s city streets sparkle with lights and spirited parades.

Spring blooms: After Easter, Funchal’s annual Festa da Flor welcomes in spring. Expect glorious parades and don’t miss the floral Wall of Hope (Muro da Esperança).

Film festivals: From the famous Madeira Film Festival to the lesser-known Mudas Fest, Madeira has a full calendar of events for movie-lovers.

Christmas and New Year: What a magical time to be in Funchal. Festivities take place through December until Twelfth Night. Highlights include the Night at the Market just before Christmas and spectacular fireworks on New Year’s Eve.


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 177 years of travel experience
  • Award winning travel company
  • Thousands of destinations worldwide

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