Lido suburb to Funchal City Centre Walk
One of the pleasures on being on holiday is that you have the time to take a more leisurely attitude to life.
So, why not take a pleasant stroll from your hotel into the centre of Funchal? Especially if the weather is fine, as it usually is in Madeira.
There are plenty of interesting sights and things to spot on the way. And, if you only ever cover this journey by taxi or by bus, you are likely to miss out.
The walk can take you anywhere between a brisk 30 minutes or a 50 minute gentle amble.
Whatever your speed, don't forget to linger at a few choice spots along the way to sample some of the delights that many tourists often overlook.
The Route along the Estrada Monumental into Funchal
Start from the Hotel District
You cannot mistake which is the Estrada Monumental. It has a supermarket, a number of restaurants, car hire shops, a taxi rank and an assortment of other shops. It is also the road along which the local yellow town buses, the red and cream SAM buses and the yellow and the red tourist tour buses pass.
Further out from Funchal, near to the Baia Azul hotel, is the Jardim Panorâmico. This is a small public garden, constructed in tiers, with expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Leaving the Hotel District
You pass the Monumental Lido hotel on your left and the Eden Mar complex on your right.
The blue and white tiles of the Gorgulho hotel rise high above you as your pass the crossing and bus stop.
A hundred metres or so along the road and the expansive CS Madeira lies behind a new, small, assortment of retail outlets which, as at February 2010, were largely unoccupied.
You will have realised by now that, unlike most walks in Madeira, the road is level and you won't encounter a slope until you descend into Funchal itself.
The Quinta Magnolia
A few metres on and you reach a major road junction with a statue of a flying man with a dove in his hand. Opposite is the green Quinta do Sol hotel.
Up by the side of the Quinta do Sol hotel, on the right side of the Rua do Dr. Pita, is the entrance to the delightful Quinta Magnolia Gardens.
These public gardens are used mainly by locals as there is an assortment of sports facilities situated in the grounds.
However, if you are looking for a quiet spot to have a picnic, or just want a refreshments break during your walk, then these gardens fit the bill.
A little further on and you cross a bridge. Looking over the side, way below, you can see a lovely oasis of greenery with a small dirt track.
Often, when we have crossed this bridge we see tourists peering down at the bushes and plants, asking each other: How on earth you get down there? The answer is to be found in our elusive pathway section of our Quinta Magnolia guide.
The Statue of Sissi - An Anguished Beauty
Continuing, you soon reach the Casino da Madeira on your right.
Here, set back from the road is the statue of Sissi, Elizabeth the Empress of Austria.
Universally admired for her beauty and charms, Sissi first visited Madeira in 1860.
Having just suffered the death of her eldest daughter, it is widely believed that Sissi was suffering from depression and anorexia during this six month stay.
That Sissi seemed obsessed with her looks and figure did not detract from the affection that she received from the Madeiran people.
More turmoil troubled Sissi. Her son committed suicide, her sister died in a fire in a bazaar and her brother-in-law, Maximilian of Mexico, was executed.
Finally, Sissi's life came to a tragic end when she was stabbed in the heart, by anarchist Luigi Lucheni, as she walked alongside Lake Geneva.
Sissi's mortal remains lie in the imperial crypt (Kaisergruft) beneath the Kapuzinerkirche, in Vienna, Austria. Her tomb is placed alongside the tomb of her husband, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Also present is the tomb of their son Rudolf.
Santa Catarina Park
Moving on, you pass the entrance to the Quinta Vigia, the Official Residence of the President of Madeira.
The gardens of the Quinta Vigia are open freely to the public. The fountains and the elevated views over Funchal Harbour make these grounds well worth a visit.
Just down from the Quinta Vigia is Santa Catarina Park.
Entering at the top entrance by the lake, you continue your walk down alongside the sloping main lawn of the park.
As you go, keep a look out for the various plants and flowers that adorn the beds.
At the bottom of the park is the Santa Catarina Chapel and a paved platform that gives you a panoramic view of the Marina.
Leave the park by the left hand exit where the Henry the Navigator statue sits under a high brick arch.
If you are lucky, the globe fountain at the centre of the Rotunda do Infante will be switched on to celebrate your arrival at Funchal.
Crossing the road you come to the Municipal Gardens, where refreshments and a well-earned rest can be had.
List of Hotels in the Lido Suburb of Funchal
The following list gives the hotels that are located in the hotel district Lido suburb of Funchal.
You can easily undertake this walk from any of the following hotels:
|Popular Hotels near the Lido|
|1 - Ajuda Star||2 - Alto Lido||3 - Baia Azul|
|4 - Bungavilla||5 - Casa Branca||6 - CS Madeira|
|7 - D'Ajuda||8 - Duas Torres||9 - Eden Mar|
|10 - Estreclicia||11 - Florasol||12 - Girassol|
|13 - Gorgulho||14 - Jardins d'Ajuda||15 - Madeira Golden Residence|
|16 - Madeira Regency Cliff||17 - Madeira Regency Palace||18 - Mimosa|
|19 - Monte Verde||20 - Monumental Lido||21 - Musa d'Ajuda|
|22 - Pestana Carlton Palms||23 - Porto Mar||24 - Raga|
|25 - Sofia||26 - Terrace Mar||27 - Tivoli Madeira||Hotel numbers indicate their location in the map below|
Map of the Hotel District in the Lido Suburb of Funchal
Hotel District to Funchal City Centre Photos
Starting the walk
Roadway on the walk
Various plants can be seen on the walk
Finishing the walk
From the Hotel District of Funchal you can pick up the Estrada Monumental easily. It is the main roadway which passes through the district and it runs more or less parallel to the coastline.
The Madeira Forum Shopping Centre is situated on the Estrada Monumental at the western end of the Hotel District.
At the eastern end of the Hotel District the Lido and Public Park is situated right on the coast.
To pick up the walk from here, just head inland, uphill pass the supermarket and adjoining restaurants. The first main road you reach is the Estrada Monumental.