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Seeing the Sights in Funchal

Funchal's stately, beautiful Praça do Município (Municipal Square) is a study in light and dark; its plaza is paved with hundreds of black-and-white half-moons made from lava. (Masonry is a well-rehearsed Madeiran art form; and in Funchal, many of the sidewalks are paved with cobblestones that are arranged into repetitive patterns defined by contrasting colors.) The whitewashed buildings surrounding it have black-stone trim and ocher-tile roofs. On the south side of the square is a former archbishopric now devoted to a museum of religious art. Rising to the east is the Câmara Municipal (city hall), once the 18th-century palace of a rich Portuguese nobleman. It's noted for its distinctive palace tower rising over the surrounding rooftops.

Exploring the Rest of This Island

Funchal is an excellent launching pad for exploring the island's mountainous interior and lush coastlines. During your exploration of Madeira, you're likely to see many banana, date, and fruit trees. Please remember that these trees are grown to help local farmers make a living, and the fruity bounty should not be "harvested" for a picnic while touring the island.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.