Top choice in Funchal

Funchal's 16th-century cathedral once oversaw the world's largest diocese – all of Portugal’s overseas territories from Madeira to Brazil to Angola – and its importance is reflected by the Manueline architectural style and artworks inside. Once your eyes have adjusted to the dim interior, look up at the ornate ceiling made of Madeiran cedar inlaid with shell, rope and white clay. The main altar dates from 1517 and features 12 Gothic panels depicting the Life of the Virgin and the Passion of Christ.

The Sé's clock tower dominates Funchal's skyline as it has for five centuries. Unfortunately the authorities have yet to come up with a way to make it safely climbable.