10 Unusual Things to Do in Funchal You Must-Try

Sep 19, 2023 | Activities, Tips

Unusual things to do in Funchal: Welcome to a true paradise of adventure and discovery on the Island of Madeira. A destination where lush nature, vibrant culture, and rich history come together to offer a unique and enriching experience. In this article, we will embark on a journey through ten exciting and captivating facets, ranging from bold adventures in hidden waterfalls to the serene contemplation of the Gardens.

Whether you’re a fearless adventurer, a connoisseur of refined cuisine, or an art and culture enthusiast, Funchal awaits you, ready to enchant and enrich all your senses.

1. Canyoning Adventure

Our first Unusual Thing to Do in Funchal is to do Canyoning. Canyoning is an exciting and unique adventure that you cannot miss during your stay on the Island of Madeira. Madeira is the perfect place to engage in canyoning due to its unique landscapes that provide perfect terrain for this activity. With specialized equipment, adventurers descend hidden waterfalls, leap into natural pools, and slide down water chutes sculpted by nature.

2. Whale and Dolphin Watching

unusual things to do in funchal

Funchal offers a fascinating whale and dolphin-watching experience that blends the majesty of the ocean with vibrant marine life. During the journey, you can observe playful dolphins swimming alongside the vessel, showcasing incredible acrobatics, while majestic whales emerge from the depths, creating an unforgettable spectacle.

This experience is not only thrilling but also educational, fostering a deep respect for marine life and its conservation. Whale and dolphin watching is a profound connection with nature, a dive into the beauty of the ocean, and a lasting reminder of the incredible biodiversity inhabiting the surrounding waters.

3. Street Art

The Old Town of Funchal, in Madeira, comes alive with a vibrant street art scene. Its narrow cobblestone streets transform into open-air urban galleries, where bold colors and creativity intertwine. Impressive murals depict the local culture, lush nature, and the island’s history. Every corner reveals unique artistic expressions, from graffiti to sculptures. Street art in the Old Town is not only visually impactful but also tells stories and gives voice to the community. It’s an invitation to explore art amidst historical charm, enriching the cultural experience.

4. Renting a Premium Motorcycle

unusual things to do in funchal

Exploring the stunning Island of Madeira has reached a new level with the rental of premium motorcycles in Funchal. Winding roads transform into pathways for thrilling adventures as you soak in panoramic views of the Atlantic. Choose from iconic brands and elegant models for a sophisticated driving experience. The coastal Estrada Monumental and mountain peaks become accessible and luxurious destinations. However, safety is paramount; be aware of local traffic laws and drive responsibly.

Renting a premium motorcycle in Madeira offers freedom, scenic beauty, and a touch of luxury for a memorable island exploration. Don’t waste time, and rent your motorcycle now with 7M Rides.

5. Wines and History: Exploring Centennial Wineries

Other Unusual Things to Do in Funchal is Exploring the centuries-old wineries is a profound dive into the rich intersection of wines and history. These wineries, with their time-worn stone walls, tell stories that intertwine with centuries of winemaking tradition. Upon entering these spaces, we are transported to a bygone era, where each bottle holds unique secrets and flavours. The aroma of Madeira wine fills the air, while oak barrels line the cellars, slowly ageing the precious nectars.

6. Visit to the Farmers’ Market

Exploring the Mercado dos Lavradores in the picturesque Old Town of Funchal, Madeira Island, is an authentic dive into local culture. This market enchants the senses with vibrant colours, exotic aromas, and fresh products. Local farmers display their harvests, from tropical fruits to stunning flowers. The colonial architecture and lively atmosphere create a captivating environment. Engage with vendors, discover unique delicacies like “bolo do caco,” and immerse yourself in the richness of Madeiran tradition. The Mercado dos Lavradores is more than just a market; it’s a portal to the authenticity and vitality of Madeira Island.

7. Hidden Coastal Trails: Untouched Nature

The coastal trails of Madeira Island beckon to an unforgettable adventure. Along the dramatic cliffs, you are rewarded with stunning views of the Atlantic. Each step reveals the rich biodiversity and natural splendor of the island. The winding Levadas snake through verdant landscapes, connecting picturesque villages. Explore the wildness of Madeira’s shores, absorbing the serenity and grandeur of this breathtaking scenery that nature generously shares.

8. Gastronomic Experience: Fort São Tiago

Photo by VisitMadeira

The gastronomic experience at Fort São Tiago on Madeira Island is a treat for the senses. This historic fort has transformed into a world-class culinary retreat. Under the starry sky, savour exquisite dishes that blend local heritage with contemporary influences. Each bite is a symphony of fresh flavours, while the panoramic view of Funchal illuminates the night. The sophisticated and inviting ambience sets a perfect stage to appreciate Madeiran cuisine, complemented by fine wines that enhance each dish. An experience at Fort São Tiago is a celebration of haute cuisine in a fairytale setting.

9. Discover Madeiran Embroidery: Cultural Creativity

Madeiran Embroidery is a living testament to the cultural creativity of Madeira Island. This traditional art form is meticulously crafted by generations, incorporating unique patterns and vibrant colors. Each stitch tells a story, reflecting the island’s rich heritage and lush landscapes. Exploring local shops, you’ll witness skilled artisans in action, creating true masterpieces with needles and threads. Take home more than a souvenir – carry with you a part of the tradition and creative spirit that make Madeiran Embroidery a lasting cultural treasure in the enchanting island landscape.

10. Suspended Gardens: Stroll through Monte Palace Tropical

unusual things to do in funchal

Exploring the Monte Palace Tropical Garden on Madeira Island is a journey to a suspended botanical paradise. With its meticulously designed terraces, it houses a diverse collection of global flora. Walk among serene lakes, waterfalls, and artistic sculptures, where nature and human creativity blend harmoniously. The panoramic view of Funchal and the Atlantic Ocean is breathtaking. Strolling through the Suspended Gardens offers a tranquil immersion in lush beauty, providing a serene refuge for nature enthusiasts. Every step is a discovery, an unforgettable experience in the majestic Madeiran landscape.

Unusual Things to Do in Funchal: Conclusion

Funchal offers a variety of enriching experiences that captivate the senses and soul of any traveller. From thrilling adventures in canyoning to the fascination of whale and dolphin watching, each activity immerses visitors in a profound connection with nature.

In every corner of Funchal, there is a journey to be explored, a story to be lived, and a deep connection with the land and sea. Funchal is an invitation for adventurers, culture enthusiasts, and nature lovers—a land where each experience becomes a lasting memory and where the island’s treasures blend with the soul of those who visit.

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