Funchal’s attractive tree-lined streets crisscross lush green hillsides dotted with luxuriant plants and red-roofed whitewashed villas offering a perfect romantic environment for honeymon couples.
What to do and see in Funchal
Explore narrow winding alleyways lined with 15th and 16th century buildings in the historical heart of the Old Town. Cool off at one of the many seafront lidos (man-made swimming areas) and choose from a range of accommodation options for a relaxing honeymoon at any time of year.
At the stone-floored 15th century Sé (cathedal), examine Gothic arches, Baroque altars, stained-glass windows and an exquisite Moorish carved cedar ceiling. See a superb display of antique Portuguese silver, rare Indo-Portuguese cabinets and unique chests native to Madeira at the Museu da Quinta das Cruzes, the former home of the man who discovered Madeira in 1419, João Gonçalves Zarco.
Stroll around the surrounding gardens filled with colourful orchids. Admire entire walls covered with glazed tiles that date from the 17th and 18th century at the Santa Clara Convent and the Sao Pedro Church and visit the iron tomb of the last of the Habsburgs, Emperor Charles (who died of pneumonia at Madeira in 1922), at the Church of Nossa Senhora do Monte.
Plant lovers should visit the manicured lawns at Palherio Gardens, the stunning orchid jungle at Jardim Orquídea and the Quinta do Bom Sucesso Botanical Gardens, home to more than 2000 exotic plants.
For something different, try Madeira’s unique toboggan rides: from the heights of Monte (314m), two- and three-passenger toboggans (resembling large wicker baskets sitting upon wooden runners) careen for 20 minutes down slippery-smooth cobblestones, guided by trained drivers who make sure they don’t go too fast! Alternatively, ride the cable car to and from the summit and enjoy the panoramic vistas at a slower pace.
Funchal offers a huge range of honeymoon accommodation options including the elegant Choupana Hills Resort & Spa, a luxurious spa retreat set in a landscaped garden on a mountain slope overlooking the city, the Botanical Gardens and the Atlantic Ocean.
Or try the Casa Velha do Palheiro, an early-19th century former hunting lodge now transformed into a charming 5-star hotel that adjoins the par-71 championship Palheiro golf course on the outskirts of Funchal.
In town, choose from a range of 5-star hotels including: the hilltop Quinta das Vistas, with panoramic mountain and sea vistas; the luxurious Cliff Bay hotel, perched on a cliff face overlooking Funchal Bay; and Reid’s Palace, founded in 1891 and legendary for its coastal views and elegant, terraced gardens of gardenias, hydrangeas, ferns and white yuccas.
Best time to honeymoon in Funchal
The best time to honeymoon in Funchal is between May and September when the rainfall is low and temperatures average 25°C. Temperatures on Madeira rarely fall below 20°C; even December has sunny days with a high of 22°C.
Madeira’s crystalline waters are perfect for diving and snorkelling, with water temperatures averaging 18°C in January and 22°C in August.
For more climate info: Funchal Weather Guide
The island of Madeira is located around 850km southwest of Portugal and 565km west of the African coastline.
Madeira receives direct flights daily from London and Lisbon.
Information on how to get to Funchal…