& HOTEL QUINTA DO SOL
of, and from, the Hotel, and of Funchal Town, Market, &
& Hotel Gallery
GARDENS & ISLAND TOUR
of Funchal Botanical Gardens, the Monte Gardens, and various
locations on the "West of the Island" Coach tour.
& Island Tour Gallery
we arrived on Madeira, we were struck by the pleasantly warm climate, the lush
vegetation, with flowers everywhere, the spectacular
mountain scenery, and the friendliness of the islanders.
Funchal town centre was a 10 minute walk from
our hotel, past a
park, and near to the harbour. Funchal
is a charming and fascinating town, with a Cathedral, the
Museum of Sacred Art, the Market "dos Lavradores",
together with Shops, Restaurants, and many Gardens and
Parks. It does however, have a very severe traffic
problem; walking is much quicker. At the time of our
visit, elections were taking place, and the
streets were decorated and much noisy but good natured
political campaigning was taking place.
Funchal is also a
popular calling point for Boat cruises, a Russian ship
stayed for a day or so. But we did encounter continual problems
with Begging Children and Timeshare Touts.
most enjoyable pastime was just wandering round Funchal.
The shops, the market (in particular), the gardens, and the harbour
area, stopping for a coffee or two. We went on several coach
excursions, the first being the "Introduction to Funchal"
tour, which took in the town, the Botanical Gardens, and, of course,
during our stay was excellent, Around 70 to 75 degrees, sunny with light
full day "West Madeira" coach excursion was
splendid, taking in Cabo Girao (the highest sea cliff in
Europe) , Camara de Lobos, Ribeira Brava, and Porto do
Moniz, before turning eastwards to return via Sao Vicente
and the Paul da Serra plateau.
coach excursion took us to the Monte Gardens (Quinta
Nossa Senhora da Conceicao) to the east of Funchal. Just
below the steps of Monte's church is the start of the
Toboggan ride, a quaint form of public transport where
you can ride down into Funchal in what looks like a
wicker basket. We also explored, by foot, the exclusive
hotel and Lido area to the west of the hotel, and also a
pleasant wooded ravine immediately to the east.