Madeira, this Portugues island in the Atlantic received a lot of attention when Cristiano Ronaldo, who was born on the island, came to fame. Its a popular stop for cruise ships and sailboats doing the crossing between Europe and the Americas all the way back to the 15th century due to its strategic location. And it is considered nowadays one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal!
Its the second time I’ve been to Funchal the Capital of Madeira. Easy to visit on foot in a single afternoon, it’s a refreshing city that reminds colonial cities of the Canary Islands, but with a Portuguese flavor. when I come here I like to skip commercial streets and head straight to the old town (Zona Velha) and this is exactly what I did on this trip. I actually discovered through foursquare a very nice cafe, the most highly rated on the island is called Barreirinha Bar Cafe. Its located on an amazing viewpoint at the very end of the Zona Velha where most tourists don’t reach. From there, you can enjoy a drink while enjoying the views of the ocean from their terrace set on a mini square or do like I did, and go down the rocks in front to be even closer to the waves. From there there’s is a latter to jump in the Atlantic ocean for a nice swim and even explore some rocks and small reef giving you have swimming goggles.
Zone Velha of Funchal
Don’t miss the Market Mercado de Lavradores on the way there, probably one of the biggest attraction of the city. There are two sections, one for fruits with kiosks giving samples of Tropical fruits growing on the island. The lined up kiosks full of fruits provide a colorful blend of the light coming in from the middle patio, giving a great opportunity for photos. On the extension is the fish market, where massive tuna fish joint sardines joint shrimps and seafood exposed for sale, but also for the touristic eye a glimpse of local products.
Mercado de Lavradores Full of Fruits
2 to 3 Days Itinerary Plan in Madeira
Start at the commercial street of Avenida Arrianga and around the Cathedral of Se de Funchal, where it is worth going in for a quick peek (Free). Continue east and go into the Mercado de Lavradores to sample fresh fruits before continuing towards the Zona Velha, where the narrow streets keep the colonial architecture and the streets are filled with restaurants, just perfect to try local delicacies at a very affordable price. Continue towards the Forte de Sao Tiago and then take a break for a cafe at Barreirinha Bar Cafe. Go down the stairs there and take a dip in the ocean to refresh if the weather permits. Walking back on the seashore and pay a visit to the beach on the way until you get to the Cable Car. Go up for great views, Try some of the many parks and gardens like the Jardim Botanico or the Santa Catarina Parks.
For an excursion outside of town, the highly recommended Levada walks seems to be a highlight of the island.
The City is Filled with Gardens and Parks
Top 10 Things to do in Madeira
Walk Around Zona Velha (Old Town)
Take a Swim in the Ocean near Barreirinha
Mercado dos Lavradores
Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden)
Santa Maria Street
Santa Catarina Park
Museu da Quinta das Cruzes
Convento de Santa Clara
Top Rated and Recommended Cafes in Madeira
Barreirinha Bar Cafe – (amazing view)
Pastelaria petit fours
Theos Bazar Cafe
Fish Market in Mercado de Lavradores
Beautiful Pedra Portuguesa sidewalks
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