The Madeira toboggan ride is one of the islands most famous attractions. So here’s a complete guide to the Funchal toboggan.
The Madeira toboggan ride starting point is in Monte, and there are 3 ways to get there:
By Cable Car:
The most common way to reach the top of Monte is via the Funchal cable car.
From rustic red roofs, to flourishing nature, the cable car journey starts at the old part of Funchal and transcends up into the small suburb of Monte.
The Funchal cable car experience costs €11 per adult one way, and is the perfect way to see Madeira from above.
From the top it’s just a 5 to 10-minute walk to the steps of the Nossa Senhora do Monte Church – where the Madeira toboggan ride begins.
The least favoured option is to walk.
Monte Palace Tropical Garden sits at 1,025m above sea level, so the journey from Funchal is around 4km to the top.
Due to it being an uphill walk it would take around 1 hour and 30 minutes and in the Madeira sun it’s not ideal.
However, if you’re feeling fit and up for a hike then this is the free option.
If you have a fear of heights, or just do not fancy the cable car trip, you can get a private tour to the top.
You can take the Monte Toboggan Experience by Tuk-Tuk. Which includes hotel pickup and drop-off, a trip to the starting point via tuk-tuk, and your Madeira Toboggan Ride ticket.
Another option is to take the Nuns Valley, Monte and Sleigh Ride Tour. A 4 hour tour, where you discover 3 different points of interest on the island of Madeira, before riding the Madeira Toboggan back down to Funchal.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are plenty of awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
Madeira Toboggan Ride Costs
1 Person in a sled – €25.00
2 People in a sled – €30.00 (€15 per person)
3 People in a sled – €45.00 (€15 per person)
The maximum number of people allowed per sled is 3, and payment is to be made directly to the operator in cash.
With your toboggan ticket costing €15, it may be worth booking onto the Monte Toboggan Experience by Tuk-Tuk for €25.
This includes hotel pickup and drop-off, a trip to the starting point via tuk-tuk, and your Madeira Toboggan Ride ticket.
Monday – Saturday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday: 9:00am – 1:00pm
The Funchal Toboggan is open every day apart from New Years Day, Christmas Day and the 14th & 15th August.
Best Time To Visit The Madeira Toboggan + Tips
The best time to enjoy a Funchal toboggan ride is in the heat, so anytime after midday.
Also, expect a queue when you arrive. It’s a very popular tourist attraction, so you won’t get in a sled straight away.
When you reach the finishing point, there is a Toboggan cafe where you can stop and grab a refreshing Poncha and a bite to eat.
The Madeira toboggan ride doesn’t take you all the way to Funchal. You’ll have to walk the rest of the way and that is a 20 to 30-minute walk on a steep downhill.
There will be taxis waiting at the finishing point, but negotiate your fare before riding, they are pretty expensive!
What To Pack
Funchal Toboggan History
The Funchal toboggan is one of Madeira’s most famous attractions.
Dating back to the 1850s, this Madeira sled ride was the primary means of downhill public transportation in Funchal.
Today, and for many years, the “Carro de Cesto” is used to entertain and transport tourists from the steps of the Nossa Senhora do Monte Church downhill to Livramento, another suburb of Funchal, two kilometres away.
There’s no better way to get down from the town of Monte than to take the traditional Madeira toboggan ride.
Made from wicker and wood, these two seated sleds cruise down the narrow streets of Monte all the way back down to Funchal.
The two kilometre journey takes roughly 10 minutes down a curvy road, and you can expect to reach speeds up to 30mph!
The huge wicker baskets that glide on greased up rags are powered by two carriers (or sled drivers).
They wear white uniforms with straw hats and use their special, rubber-soled shoes to help them steer and brake the toboggan.
But don’t worry it’s completely safe, and a great form of income for locals, thanks to tourism.
Once you make it to the top, before sledding down from Monte, there are a few other attractions worth visiting.
You can stop at The Quinta Jardins do Imperador, Monte Palace Tropical Garden, the Church and last but not least, take in the stunning views over Funchal bay.
You may even want to take a trip to the ocean and enjoy some Whale Watching In Madeira.
There is a small cafe at the end of the toboggan track where you can enjoy some local Poncha in the sun also!
Where To Stay In Madeira
Luxury – The Vine Hotel
Recently awarded as Europe’s Leading Design Hotel, the luxurious Vine Hotel is located in Funchal.
It offers a fusion restaurant with stunning views, a Wine Therapy Spa, access to the fitness centre and a rooftop infinity pool.
Each room features an LCD TV with in-room movies, free WiFi and a laptop-size safe.
The roof terrace sports a heated infinity pool, massage facilities as well as a 20 yard hot tub, with views of Fort São João and the mountains.
Mid-Budget – Hotel Baia Azul
The newly renovated 4-star Hotel Baía Azul is ideally situated a 4-minute walk from Funchal’s beachfront.
It offers 3 swimming pools, 3 restaurants, a Spa and a sun deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the gardens.
The hotel has a total of 215 bedrooms with sea-inspired decor. All rooms come with an en suite bathroom, bath amenities and a hairdryer.
Not only that, but a flat-screen cable TV, a minibar, a kettle and a safe deposit box too.
Free WiFi access is provided in all rooms and common areas.
Budget – Funchal Apartments – City View
Funchal Apartments – City View is venue is set in Se district, around a 10 minute walk from Funchal center, and features a terrace with the cathedral view.
The property includes free WiFi, plus express check-in and check-out.
There is also a shared kitchen, ATM and currency exchange for guests.
All rooms include a wardrobe, a desk and a shared bathroom.
For more places to stay in Madeira, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.