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What people are saying about Funchal

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 547 reviews

Brilliant ride down from Monte Palace Gardens to the Botanical Gardens over the ravine. Done this way round the latter is a downhill exploration of the beautiful gardens (and the hillside is steep!). You can pay for a combined ticket for the cable car and gardens at the top. Or with this ticket garden entrance is €6 payable at the bottom as you enter. You have to go through the gardens, there is no exit to the road. From the main entrance bus nos 31 and 31A take you down to near Sāo Lourenço Palace on the front or it's a 40 minute walk. The route is easy to follow, but steep and has spectacular views of the harbour and town. If you're going to use the bus get a Giro card from the yellow Horarios booths on Avenida do Mar and pay for however many journeys you want - cost per ride €1.35 versus €1.95 on the bus. The Giro card costs a one off payment of €0.50. If you buy ten tickets at a time they cost €1.25 each.

We had to go out quite a way to find a pod of pilot whales. Then on the way back we encountered a large pod of about 100 spotted dolphins some of whom swam alongside our catamaran. Another discovery was of a giant squid, dead alas, which may have met its end in an encounter with a sperm whale, according to our guide. Sadly, no sperm whale appeared. Apart from that we couldn't really have asked for much more from the wildlife. This was a great trip. The captain and crew were excellent at spotting the animals and seemed determined to find them. My only suggestion would be that the captain or guides give a bit more information about the animals we might see and their habitat (apparently it's up to 1,500m deep just off the coast of Funchal), perhaps during the journey out.

Great trip away from the island with stunning views back. We were lucky enough to see both dolphins swimming along with the boat AND a sperm whale approx 20m from us who popped up to se what was going on. Emotional! Fun but unobtrusive commentary. If I'd remembered my towel I'd have swum with the fishes in the bay too.

Excellent focus on the experience for travelers. Free flowing alcohol and most importantly...excellent views of dolphins that came right up to the boat! Enjoyed this thoroughly. Nice to have a chance to swim also. The information provided by marinebiologist was very interesting

Excellent trip that really delivered. We saw a pod of dolphins swimming around the catamaran and a total of seven sperm whales, five together in a group. Expert crew and a great few hours at sea.