With a warm and moderate climate all year long, Madeira Island is a popular getaway. Located in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Morocco, this island is actually part of Portugal. Funchal is the capital of the island and is home to over 120,000 citizens. This city’s name comes from “funcho,” the Portuguese name for fennel, and the full name translates to “field of fennel,” so we know its culinary roots have been strong since the beginning of the island’s history.
When operating to Funchal, you will arrive at Madeira Airport (LPMA) which is located east of the city center. During preparations for your trip, if crew or passengers require scheduled private transportation during your time in Funchal, arrangements are available through Universal Private Transport. For inflight dining options on your departure from Funchal, your needs can be fulfilled through the Air Culinaire Worldwide® Network. As always is it best to plan your inflight catering needs at least 48 hours ahead for the details of your next leg, especially during peak season.
Funchal’s cultural calendar features a variety of fun events throughout the year. Cantar os Reis takes place on January 5th and is celebrated by groups of singers and musicians carolling from house to house. Funchal Marathon takes place in January and Madeira Carnival is held in February. The biannual Festival of Wine, Embroidery and Handicrafts of Madeira is held every alternate February and gives visitors a chance to take workshops and discover local winemaking and crafting traditions. May brings the Fica na Cidade (a music festival), Madeira Flower Festival featuring multiple parades, the Madeira Film Festival, Feira do Livro (a week dedicated to books and local publishers) and Festas da Se (a festival with a street party, comedians, music and traditional cuisine featured at local restaurants).
Local cuisine on the island of Madeira features plentiful fish, seafood, meat and tropical fruit. The black scabbard, a type of swordfish, is the most popular local fish that you will find in traditional cuisine and on menus. Limpets, a type of mussel, are a delicacy served usually with Bolo do Caco (a flat, round wheat bread). Other popular seafood are octopus, trout and tuna. Locals dishes also include Cozido Madeirense (a stew of sausage, pork, sweet potatoes and other vegetables) and Picadinho (a dish of cubed beef prepared with pepper and garlic).
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