The city of Funchal is located on the island of Madeira, which is a beautiful holiday destination for people who love splendid scenery, warm weather, colonial architecture and sub, tropical fauna. The island of Madeira is a part of Portugal and is actually an archipelago. The island is popular with holidaymakers because of its lush landscapes and eternal spring which is due to the mild weather year, round. Getting There and Around: Madeira has its own international airport which is about 30 minutes from the capital city Funchal. The airport serves many major airlines such as BA and also some budget, no, frills airlines such as easyJet. Once you are on the island, you can either travel around by bus, taxi or rented car. Beware of the buses if you do decide to take them, the timetables can be confusing and the routes are not always clearly marked. Beaches: No holiday to Madeira would be complete without exploring its beautiful beaches. Many beaches on the island have steep, dramatic cliffs that plunge into the sea, while others have pebble or sand beaches that are ideal for lying out. For the ultimate sun, soaked beach day, head to Porto Santo to enjoy the soft golden sand. To Do: There is no shortage of great activities on the island. You can choose from hiking, snorkelling, surfing, scuba diving, golfing, sailing and more. You will also want to visit the many beautiful gardens throughout the island such as Jardim do Monte Palace. Also be sure to head to the Levadas which are impressive aqueducts built in the 1900s. Food and Drink: The food on Madeira has strong Portuguese influences and a rustic feel to it. Because it is an island, fish is abundant and can be found cheaply at most restaurants. Meat, fresh fruit and pastries can also be found everywhere you go. The local drink on the island is a sherry, like Madeira wine. You will also find locally made dry white wines.
Nightlife: While Madeira has a reputation for being more conservative than other islands, it is by no means devoid of a nightlife. The night to go out is Saturday night when the locals decide to let loose. Most dance clubs and late night bars can be found in Funchal. For a more relaxed night out, head to a seafront bar with panoramic views of the ocean, or wander off the beaten path for small, authentic bars. Shopping: There is plenty of great shopping in Madeira. In Funchal, you will find everything from small boutiques to big, modern malls. In some of the other towns you will find traditional markets that sell a variety of clothes, foods, wines, flowers and more. Remember to buy some famous Madeira Wine and succulent Madeira cakes to take back home to your friends. When to Go: Madeira has a very mild climate year, round. It never gets too hot or too cold with average temperatures of 24c during the summer and 17c during the winter. Madeira is a beautiful, charming and sophisticated holiday spot that is enjoyed by many people. The combination of breathtaking landscapes, colonial charm and fun activities has made Madeira a favourite destination with holidaymakers worldwide.
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