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Funchal next week

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London
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Funchal next week

My husband and I are arriving in Funchal tomorrow for a very last minute trip - and are renting an apartment in Av. Arriaga, 9000 Funchal.

We are in our late 30's and the main purpose of our trip is to get away from the rat race of London and relax in a warm climate. I'm wondering if we well need to hire a car during our week. If we did hire a car, can we do this from the centre of town and where would people recommend we visit - are there any vineyards on the island?

Can you access good walks from the top of the cable car? If we want to take a boat trip to see dolphins is this the right time of year?

We would like to eat out in the evening but not spend a fortune - are there any locals on here that can recommend the favourite restaurants - the Med Restaurant seems to be top rated on TA but looks like it is a taxi ride away - can you pick up taxis on the street?

Thanks

Cathy

Madeira, Portugal
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for Funchal, Madeira, Madeira Islands
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1. Re: Funchal next week

You can rent a car from the airport, but there are several Trip Organisers who will pick up from your hotel and use mini buses, also a very good bus system around as well. You can see dolphins and whales all year round but it is not guaranteed but even without, a very good 3 hour trip, take a walk into the Marina and see what is available.

The cable cars are basically for the Gardens, walks can be taken by these sites also

www.madeira-seekers.com

www.madeirahappytours.com.

www.madeirsexplorers.com

Loads of places to eat reasonably, the Old Town is very good and the Lido are is excellent also, but also many within the City. Have a look at the restaurant views here on TA, click on the green box at the top of the page. You don't need to take a taxi to Med, just take a yellow city bus.

It isn't a good idea to 'hail a taxi' on the street, there are loads of ranks

all over.

Edited: 23 March 2014, 18:09
Oxford, United...
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2. Re: Funchal next week

You lucky thing Cathy escaping to Funchal tomorrow. I am a relative newby to Funchal but on our couple of visits we have never felt the need to hire a car. As Flowercity says there are some good tour operators and we found Madeira Happy Tours very good. I love wandering around Funchal and finding new places to eat or to have a coffee and people watch. There are lots of very good restaurants within easy reach.

Have a great time.

London
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3. Re: Funchal next week

Thank you - I have also just been reading about Levada walks - is it possible to do any round walks from Funchal or do we need to take any transport out of town?

Funchal, Portugal
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4. Re: Funchal next week

There are lots of vineyards on the island, they tend to be small and sell their grapes to the main Madeira wine producers. You can combine a levada walk with vineyards if you catch a Rodoeste bus from Avenida do Mar in Funchal to Estreito de Camara de Lobos and set off on Levada do Norte to Cabo Girao. At the moment the vines are mainly dormant and there is not much work going on, but it is a beautiful walk through the agricultural valleys. Check out the Rodoeste website for bus numbers and times. The Barbeito winery is near Cabo Girao, or you could extend your walk down to Camara de Lobos, where Henriques & Henriques have their winery. In Funchal Blandys offer tours and tastings if you are interested in wine.

As has been said The Old Town has many reasonably priced restaurants, and there is a lively bar at the top end of Rua Santa Maria - Barreirinha Bar Cafe - with live music most weekends, and just a little further on up the hill at Largo da Forca is O Tasco which offers incredibly cheap meals - no menus, though!

Paignton, United...
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5. Re: Funchal next week

No need to hire a car, there are plenty of buses and taxis in Funchal. Also organised tours of the island. You say that you want to escape the London rat race and relax - hiring a car and driving in Madeira will not help you do this!

The Hague, The...
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6. Re: Funchal next week

The "madeirsexplorers" link should be www.madeira-levada-walks.com and www.madeirahappytours.com .

There are walks from the Monte cable car station.

You can find a description in a book "35 Madeira walks" by googling: Madeira walks babosas , clicking then on 35 Madeira walks. It is a part of that book and the walks from Monte are in there.

It's fairly old (2003) but not much has changed there. You pass 1 or 2 tea houses. If you continue to Camacha ,you will need good flashlights for levada tunnels.

More walks in sunflowerbooks.co.uk/…walking-in-madeira , and read "Current update" there

but for a first time visit I'd stick to the easy walks and join the organised walks.

Edited: 24 March 2014, 13:16
The Hague, The...
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7. Re: Funchal next week

Here is a video of that walk from Monte : www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW7pThHxQIA

8. Re: Funchal next week

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