Best places to visit in Funchal from the botanical gardens to the cable car

Madeira has everything you could want for an Instagram-worthy holiday; beautiful scenery and hiking trails, eye-catching colourful buildings, and heaps of brilliant shops and restaurants.

It's therefore no surprise that its capital Funchal has long been a hit with adventurers – and thanks to a new cruise, you can now enjoy a taster of exactly what's on offer.

That's because Imagine Cruising's new 14-night Ultimate Cunard Canaries Sailcation offers up an itinerary which includes an overnight stay in Funchal (onboard the ship).

Still, that means ample opportunity to explore Funchal – and we’ve put together some of the highlights that are well worth adding to the bucket list.

The Old Town: Colourful buildings, intricate architecture, charming shops and restaurants make up the Old Town. Oh, and make sure to check out Rua de Santa Maria where you'll find some seriously cool street art.

Madeira Botanical Gardens: Filled with colourful floral displays and an impressive array of flora, if you visit these gardens make sure to head to the western edge for incredible views across Funchal Bay.

Funchal Cathedral: A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, it’s well worth leaving some space on the itinerary to check out this beautiful building.

The Monte Cable Car: Want some of the best views across Madeira? The Monte Cable Car takes about 20 minutes from the Old Town and offers up some uninterrupted views of the scenery.

Book the holiday

Imagine Cruising’s 14-night Ultimate Cunard Canaries Sailcation includes an overnight stay in Funchal (onboard the ship), as well ports of call to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Cadiz and Lisbon.

The cruise on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth will sail on a roundtrip from Southampton on October 18, 2021.

Prices start from £1,499pp for an Inside Cabin. You can find out more and book at

Please note that guests 18 years old and over will be required to have completed their Covid-19 vaccination course a minimum of 14 days prior to sailing.

  • At the time of writing the Foreign Office advises against international cruise ship travel. Always check the latest advice before booking or going on a trip.

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