Funchal (Madeira), Portugal

Local Reading

Sugar Islands: The Sugar Economy of Madeira and the Canaries, 1450–1650
on Provides the history of sugar on the island from many angles -- land, water and s...

Poncha da Madeira
View This strong traditional cocktail -- made from sugar cane liqueur, honey, ...

A Birdwatchers' Guide to Portugal, The Azores & Madeira Archipelagos
The first and only birdwatching guide to cover all of Portugal including the Azores and Madeira arc...

Read More about Funchal (Madeira), Portugal



The scenic coast of this tiny island offers visitors plenty to do and see. Whether its time spent enjoying the outdoors, hiking through beautiful landscapes, or exploring quaint villages and historic museums, a trip to Madeira offers unique opportunities to experience the region’s present and past from outdoors and in.

May and October are great times to explore Portugal's famed Madiera; the days are longer and cooler than in the hot summer months. June through August bring many tourists, especially Europeans, as well as very warm weather. Rates will tend to be higher during these months. Early spring and fall are ideal for warm weather, fewer crowds, and natural beauty—flowers in the spring and fall color in the countryside.

The island's historic irrigation channels wind through more than 1,300 miles of countryside, offering visitors numerous options for exploring the landscape. Hike the well-traveled aqueducts that connect to other trails, and begin discovering the entire island by foot. You can also tour the coast and stop for a dip in the chilly Atlantic before warming up with glasses of Madeira wine and slices of sweet honey cake. Or, head to the Madeira Story Centre, where the island’s past is laid out in a chronological multi-media display that includes interactive games and audio tours.

Travel Tips


  • The Euro is the official currency of the European union and its member countries. Other European Currencies include the Swiss Franc and the British pound. Exchange rates vary by currency and economic seasonality.

Tipping Etiquette

  • Restaurants: In general, 10-15% if no service charge
  • Porters: $1
  • Taxi's Round up

Time Difference

  • Portugal is GMT

Europe spans three time zones:

  • Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) which is 5 hours ahead of Eastern standard Time.
  • Central Standard Time which is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
  • Eastern European Time which is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

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Entry Requirements

  • A passport is required when traveling outside of your country. If any passenger carries anything other than a Passport supplied by your home country, please contact the Consulate of the country(s) you are visiting to verify document requirements. If you do not have appropriate documentation, you will be denied entry. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your return trip for international travel.