Leave the pier and pass the bustling streets of Funchal, stop will be made at the Cathedral (15th century), Santa Catarina Park overlooking the old city and harbor. Drive on to Pico dos Barcelos, a belvedere that affords a marvelous panorama of Funchal bay and the mountains surrounding the city. At Monte, after a brief visit to the church that contains the tomb of the last emperor of Austria, and comes the surprising and exciting Monte descent by basket sledges a funny and typical means of transportation in the isle. Return on board but first stop by an embroidery factory to admire the finest works of madeirian handicraft.
North Coast Waterfalls & Porto Moniz
(5 HOURS TOUR – LUNCH INCLUDED)
Departure to North Coast crossing the mountain range that divides the island. Stop at the summit of Pico do Arieiro at an altitude of 1818 meters – the magnificent panorama is beyond description. Drive along an impressive road cut into the side of cliff that plunges vertically to the sea below. This is the point where the waterfalls can be seen cascading down directly into the ocean.
Arrive to Porto Moniz, a little harbor now used as a sea resort. Lunch will be served in a restaurant on the water front. The way of return will be by Encumeada pass (a fantastic belvedere) and Cape Girão a cliff 600 m high plunging vertically into the sea. From here we begin our descent towards Funchal through vineyards, banana plantations, and picturesque villages perched on the slopes.
The Flower Paradise
(3 1/2 HOURS TOUR)
Leave the pier, pass the historic city center and drive among rich villas and lovely gardens up to Monte at 600 meters high. Here in a former hotel estate stands the Berardo gardens which are considered to be one of the most beautiful gardens in the world and surely one that possesses very rare botanical species like the sickas – the largest collection outside South Africa. The visit of the garden will take at least one hour walking but it is fully rewarding. On the way down to Funchal, we will visit an orchid garden where many varieties of orchids are cultivated for export. Bulbs & plants are on sale. Remember an orchid can live a couple of weeks even in your cabin. Back on board after a brief stop at Santa Catarina park.