Madeira Travel Guide

Madeira Sights

Carreiros do Monte

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  • Fodor's Choice

Published 03/16/2017

Fodor's Review

The village of Monte is home to one of Madeira's oldest and most eccentric attractions: Carreiros do Monte (a snowless sled ride). The sleds were first created to carry supplies from Monte to Funchal; later, passenger sleighs hauled as many as 10 people at a time and required six drivers. Nowadays the rides are just for fun, and no visitor to Madeira should miss this white-knuckle adventure.

Dressed in white and wearing goatskin boots with soles made of rubber tires, drivers line up on the street below the Nossa Senhora do Monte church. The sleds, which have cushioned seats, look like big wicker baskets; their wooden runners are greased with lard. Two drivers run alongside the sled, controlling it with ropes as it races downhill on a 10-minute, 2-km (1-mile) trip nearly back to Funchal (you will have to walk about 1 km [½ mile] to reach Funchal or take one of the many taxis that line up at the end of the ride). If the sled starts going too fast, the drivers jump on the back to slow it down. At the end of the ride there are several souvenir shops, as well as a snack bar selling reviving glasses of rum and passion-fruit poncha.

Sight Information

Address:

Serra do Monte, Monte, Madeira, 9050-288, Portugal

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Sight Details:

  • €25 for 1 passenger (€30 for 2, €40 for 3)
  • Closed Sun.

Published 03/16/2017

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