City / island tours in Funchal

Mar 14th, 2007, 03:12 PM
  #1  
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City / island tours in Funchal

Our cruise ship makes a 1 day stop at Funchal, Madeira Islands of Portugal. Could somebody please suggest how to book a city or island tour ? Tours offered by the cruise line are prohibitively expensive.
igorek is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 03:19 PM
  #2  
P_M
 
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Find a cabbie who speaks good English and strike a deal. Be sure s/he knows how much time you have and when you need to get back to the ship. I've done this in many parts of the world (including Madeira) and it was fab!!

If time allows, be sure to visit the Gardens of Monte.
P_M is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 02:36 AM
  #3  
 
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i second that. I suspect that there will be cabs waiting already in the harbour, but if there are not, there is a long line standing next to the small central park. They have fierce competition, and there is a price list for different excursions. Just find a driver who speaks English.
elina is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 02:40 AM
  #4  
 
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And you donīt want a city tour by car, you would spend your day sitting in a traffic jam. Funchal is a place where your own feet are the best means of transportation.

Visit also the old market hall. next to it is the station of the cable car that takes you to Monte and Monte gardens (better than Botanical garden).
elina is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 04:50 PM
  #5  
 
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Would suggest a ride up to Monte in the cable car, then returning by carrinho (wicker toboggan). Quite a thrill ride!
Not sure of the cost - maybe $25/person?
You won't go wrong just walking around downtown Funchal and experiencing what it offers. Enjoy!
Debs is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 12:07 PM
  #6  
 
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You have basically two choices: see the city or see the island. You can walk the city, but definitely take the cable car to Monte and the wicker sled down (it was, I think, 30 euros a couple, plus a tip - they deserve one for their hard work); this is a fun and unique experience you can get nowhere else. (It will not take you back to the city proper, so you have a 20 minute walk or grab a waiting cab for about 5 euros). Back to the city, if you are at all into wine, take the Blandy's Madeira Wine Company tour - quite interesting, plus free samples before and after (www.madeirawinecompany.com).

If you choose an island tour, there are cabs everywhere - ask for the Western Island Tour; the cliffside views and winding road are breathtaking. If you want a "tour company" tour, try Strawberry Tours (www.lidotours.com.); I think they meet boats. If you are into hiking, something else unique to Madeira is the leveda walk; it was our most memorable experience (www.mb-travel.com/leveda).

Whatever you choose, you'll wish you had more than a day in Madeira!
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