Church of Our Lady of Monte (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte)
Due to its spiritual significance, the Church of Our Lady of Monte (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte) is a staple of several Madeira sightseeing tours. Excursions typically combine a visit to the church with a ride on the famous Monte toboggan—a wicker carriage that allows you to hurtle down the slope leading to Funchal Old Town. Some island-wide tours also cover natural highlights such as Câmara de Lobos and Cabo Girão.
Things to know before you go
- The steep staircase that leads to the church renders it inaccessible to travelers using wheelchairs and strollers.
- As the church is an active place of worship, be sure to wear respectful clothing that covers the shoulders and knees.
- Due to the elevated location of the church, it can get chilly, so be sure to bring a jacket.
How to get there
From Funchal Old Town, Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte is a 15-minute drive. You can also take the number 21 or 22 bus to the church; disembark at Lago Fonte, from which the church is a 5-minute walk. You can also ride the cable car to Monte.
When to get there
Every year in mid-August the surrounding village of Monte is home to a large festival that includes a procession to the church in honor of Nossa Senhora do Monte (Our Lady of Monte).
Exploring the Parish of Monte
There’s much more to Monte than just the Church of Our Lady of Monte. Highlights of the village include Monte Palace Madeira, which harbors a botanical garden home to thousands of exotic plants, and a museum containing both sculptures and semi-precious gems. Be sure to see the Fountain of the Virgin and Monte Park, which offers panoramic views of the island.
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