The island of Madeira was discovered by the Portuguese in 1219, with the first settlers arriving 5 years later. When landing they encountered a great abundance of fennel, a herb with a sweet-smelling aroma ("funcho" in Portuguese), thus finding a name for the future city.
The favorable location, the existence of a good seaport and the productivity of its soils, it was an important nucleus of development on the island, early becoming its capital.
The city grew uphill, becoming a grand, natural amphitheater, facing the Atlantic with the towering mountains in background.
Situated in the south of the island, on the sunniest coast, and taking advantage of a Mediterranean climate, surrounded by banana plantations and the wonderful gardens dotted with flowers all year round, sheltered in the green mountains, Funchal is a city long ago used to please the visitors.
For many years Funchal has been one of the main ports for Atlantic passenger ships, and its cruise ship port is located in the center of the city. The approach to the port is generally recognized as one of the two most spectacular in the world, along with Rio de Janeiro.
Visiting the island it's easy, taking less than one hour to reach the most distant point, but, with a well planned activity aimed to tourism Funchal may perfectly be accepted as the unique objective of a trip.