Steady walk to the village of Monte.
Excellent views on the way up and down.
|Moderate (height of 600M, 1968ft).|
|Walking on pavement and road surfaces.||3.5 hours (including breaks).|
|Starting/ End Positions||Distance|
|Round walk from/ to Funchal centre.||5 miles (8 Kilometres).|
Map Guide: No Ordnance Survey map available for this walk.
Note: The warm climate of Madeira means that you will need to take plenty of liquid to drink on your walks here.
Start on the promenade in Funchal. You can see the destination, Monte from here. From opposite the pier near to the marina walk uphill past the Sao Lourenco Palace, up Avenida Zarco. Follow this road round through the town hall square and on to the next road (Rua 31 de Janeiro) which is a dual carriageway. It is better to cross here (use the zebra crossings provided) and walk up the other side of the road (with the flow of the traffic). Carry on walking uphill, under the flyover until you reach the petrol station in the middle of the two main roads, here turn right up Rua do Til.
Once you have turned here carry straight on up the hill for approx. 1 mile until the road turns sharply left. Follow the sign here for Monte (take the road on the right). A few yards further turn right at a small corner shop (opposite a bus stop) and walk up the hill through the local houses with no deviation up any of the side streets. Hint: if you feel you are lost in the houses, the local bus stops have a handy little map to tell you were you are. Eventually when you feel you cannot go further, follow the road around until you reach the main road once again, then turn right (keep going upwards).
You eventually reach a junction were you must cross over (follow the sign for Monte) and again head upwards. From here the road only goes to Monte but take a look behind you and you can see Funchal getting smaller below you.
Once the road starts to level out (1/2 mile from junction), you should be able to see the Church of Our Lady of the Mount. If you look closely over to the other side of the valley you may be able to see a toboggan sliding quickly down the hill. From here it is a steady walk to the village of Monte where plenty of refreshments and facilities can be found.
Fine views down and across Funchal are to be seen here. While at Monte why not treat yourself to a visit to the Palace Gardens. It costs around (prices@1999) 1500 escudos (£5) at the gate, compared to the expensive 5000 escudos (£16) when you book through the travel operator you normally travel with from Funchal. A small statue to Madeira's patron saint can be seen at the church. From bellow the church, the famous toboggan rides are launched, down the agapanthus lined hill for approx. 1 mile.
The way back down is either by coach, taxi or by foot. By foot take the same roads you came up, but there are shortcuts which may half the journey. These small stepped (concrete) tracks can be found at the side of the roads going down to the next road, cutting out the windiness. You will eventually arrive back in the centre. You may not end up on the exact same road as you went up, but they all lead to the same place, Funchal.
Walk first completed: December 1999
Walk last updated: November 2001