Monte is one of the most emblematic places in Madeira Island and we can explain why!
The cable car journey that starts at the old part of Funchal, the “Quinta Jardins do Imperador”, the “Monte Palace Tropical Garden”, the Church, the view over the bay and at the end coming back down in a basket car, are a set of experiences that you can enjoy in just one visit. Monte is much more than a simple parish!
How to get to Monte
Our suggestion to get there is to first visit the "Old part of the city" (“Zona Velha da Cidade”), where you can see some of the first streets in Funchal, find some of the best restaurants in Madeira and be enchanted with the "Painted Doors" which are increasingly gaining strength in our island main attractions. Then you can take the cable car and begin your visit to Monte.
The cable car access that leaves from the old part of the city is one of the fastest ways to get to Monte and it offers a unique view over the Funchal city and the sea. If this is your first time in Madeira, then this trip is a must.
Arriving Monte, the highlight is the magnificent panoramic view over Funchal bay that the 550 meters above the sea have to offer. Cooler climate hovering in the air and a peaceful environment, are for some, an asset that Monte has to offer. For this reason, some entrepreneurs invested in the hotel industry on this area.
The Municipal Garden covers much of this parish and immediately invites you to go for a walk. Beautiful flowers, ancient trees, some exotic species and the amazing landscape create a romantic environment.
Then it is imperative to visit another garden: The Monte Palace Tropical Garden! One of the richest places from a cultural point of view that Madeira has to offer.
Integrated in Quinta Monte Palace, owned by the José Berardo Foundation, this garden features a huge collection of 100 000 exotic plants coming from various countries (the millennials "Cycads" are the main attraction), a collection of tile panels, exhibitions, contemporary African sculpture, a pond with Koi fishes, a beautiful oriental garden and several minerals from all over the World.
It is in this parish that by the middle of August takes place one of the biggest festivities in Madeira. "Nossa Senhora do Monte" (Our Lady of Monte) is celebrated and thousands of people gather in this festival. You can try some of the Madeiran gastronomy at the traditional food and drink stalls; the “bolo do caco” bread, the meat kebabe, the “Carne-de-vinho-e-alhos (bread with meat marinated in wine and garlic)... Traditional music is also present through musical instruments made in ou island. The most important day is August 14th, where many join the pilgrimage to the “Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Monte” (Our Lady of Monte church).
Monte Basket Cars
Lastly, the suggestion is to make your way back to Funchal in the iconic "basket cars" which often appear in Madeira tourism advertisement.
Its appearance took place in the nineteenth century, when it became necessary to find a solution to carry the wealthiest people in Monte to Funchal without time-consuming. The cars are made of wicker and slide on wooden skids. The way back to Funchal is descending, so the force of gravity makes the basket-car slide, and the direction and speed reduction are controlled by two men grabbed at the back.
The ride takes 10-15 minutes and is possible to glimpse a beautiful panoramic view over the bay of Funchal ... It's the perfect way to end your visit to Monte