The capital of the Autonomous Region of Madeira is situated in the beautiful Funchal bay. The city of Funchal was given its first “foral” (Royal document) in the middle of the 15th century. Its name derives from the plant called “funcho”, an aromatic herb quite common in this area. This city became an increasingly important commercial port, firstly with sugar and later on with Madeira Wine trade. The ships of Portuguese maritime expansion had necessarily to stop here. From the 19th century, it started to welcome important members of European aristocracy, such as Empress Sissi of Austria or English Prime-Minister Sir Winston Churchill in the 20th century. By then the island was most appreciated for its beauty. However, it only became one of the main tourism destinations of the country in a later stage. Among the must-see places, we highlight Funchal Cathedral, built by D. Manuel I; Santa Clara Convent, where you will find the tomb of one of island’s discoverers, João Gonçalves Zarco; and the Sacred Art Museum, exhibiting an important painting collection. You can not miss the market Mercado dos Lavradores, a modern building of the 30’s of the 20th century, where the flavours and the aromas of fruits and flowers mix with the usual hustle and bustle of a market. Funchal is a garden by the sea, which has breathtaking green areas, such as the Botanical Garden or the garden of Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro, both of them with plants of the four corners of the world. In the surroundings of the city you will find Monte. This civil parish can be reached by cable car, providing a memorable panoramic view over Funchal bay. Another famous Madeiran green area is located here – Monte Palace Tropical Garden – with endemic Madeiran species, old tiles and oriental gardens. The Church of Nossa Senhora do Monte, island’s patron saint. The main religious feast of the archipelago is held in honour of this saint. Traditional basketwork sledges with no wheels are driven by skilful sledge drivers (called “carreiros”) to Funchal.