Basia Zarzycka Minerva Memories – Maderia


Funchal has much to offer the visitor. Its wealth of historic monuments range from cherished convents and sturdy sea forts to venerable museums and a cathedral that dates back to the early days of the island’s colonization.


Funchal is the vibrant capital of Madeira, a sub-tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean around 960 kilometers southwest of Lisbon. Framed by a dramatic backdrop of towering cloud-tipped mountains on the island’s south coast, the city unfolds over a series of steep hills and flattened terraces, a landscape that helps define the character of this extraordinary destination.


Madeira’s abundance of colorful and exotic flora is apparent in the parks and gardens that enliven the city’s urban fabric. The daily market tempts with ripe, succulent fruit and vegetables and the freshest of fish and seafood.


Wander the Old Town for an authentic glimpse into the past before taking a cable car for a stunning overview of the city – a truly uplifting sightseeing excursion. Later, head for the harborside promenade and marvel as twilight Funchal begins to sparkle as if sprinkled with diamonds


About four kilometers northeast of Funchal city center is one of Madeira Island’s greatest tourist attractions, the Botanical Garden. Draped over the slopes of the Quinta do Bom Sucesso estate, the garden dazzles with its rich and diverse sub-tropical flora. Thousands of Indigenous plants, trees and flowers share the grounds with other exotic species from around the world.


Lots of interesting shops and cafes.


Ernest Hemingway once described the Monte Toboggan run as “exhilarating” such was the great writer’s sense of amazement after being whisked down a steep hill in a wicker basket. Originating in the 19th century as a rudimentary form of public transport, the tradition continues whereby passengers seated in a wooden sled mounted on wooden runners are steered downhill by carreiros – two men dressed in white and wearing straw boaters – who use their rubber-soled boots as brakes to negotiate the four-kilometer descent from Monte to Funchal in 20 minutes.

BENF0M Toboggan drivers awaiting their next passengers, the Monte Toboggan run, Monte, Funchal, Madeira

Final view of colourful Maderia


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About Basia Zarzycka