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Malcolm Browne
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The pretty hillside capital Funchal offers anything from picturesque cobblestoned streets to blue colored bays.

Name Dive Site:Funchal
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel
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Rated 5.0, 1 votes

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Funchal, Madeira's capital, is the largest town on the island named after the abundance of fennal (funcho) when the Portuguese started to settle in Madeira in the 15th century. The complete city is built on the slopes of neighboring hills giving it an amphitheater like settings with the perfect natural shelter against wind and rain. Its pretty marina is said to be the second most crowded shipping port of Portugal. Cruise ships, fishing trawlers, tourist boats, sail yachts all call in to this delighted harbor. A walk along its promenade offers excellent views on its pretty bay and picturesque streets.

Funchal is a cosmopolitan city with panoramic views, green parks, shops and plenty of hotels. Known for its flowers, Madeira Botanical Gardens and the Monte Palace Hotel Gardens offer lush tropical flora and fauna, especially during spring when everything is blooming. Other highlights in town are the Sé Cathedral constructed between 1493 and 1514 by Gil Eanes, the São Lourenço Palace and the Bela Sao Tiago Fort. Although a large city, tourists are often located in the city center, at walking distance from the main sights. Many dive sites are located right outside Funchal's harbor. Many dive shops are located here as well so Funchal makes for an excellent place to start your diving trip.



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