Monte is actually a small village located about 5 kilometres north of the centre of Funchal.
Earlier it was a health resort for wealthy Europeans and the rich families in Funchal, Blandy´s and Reid´s, who moved up here during the warm summers when it was too hot down in Funchal.
There are some very good hotels and restaurants located here. Also some exotic gardens open for public.
The easiest way to go here is to use the cable car in Funchal and take a ride with it up to Monte. The trip takes about 15 minutes and the views are spectacular.
An alternative to cable car is to walk the way up but that is rather difficult. Take a taxi, go by bus or drive yourself.
When you finally are up at Monte with the cable car you will find the Monte Palace Tropical Garden at the left.
It´s a large botanical garden with e.g. an oriental garden, a lake, lots of hand painted tiles of the Madeiran history and other art.
There´s also a museum with exhibitions of African art and one with minerals and rocks.
If you continue at the left and passes the botanical garden you will come to the church at Monte – Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte, which is the magnificent church you can see from below in Funchal.
Just below of the church you will find the start of the Toboggan-race down-hill to Funchal. It is a ride about two kilometres from Monte to Livramento in a braided basket sledge with wooden skids. The drivers are two powerful men in traditional clothes and hats.
Back in the days, before it was a tourist attraction this was for transporting goods from the hills down to Funchal.
When leaving the cable car top station, turn right and continue straight forward across a small square and down a small hill you will end up at the white cable cars down to Jardim Botanico.
If you walk just below this cable car top station you can take the Levada de Bom Sucesso (we have done it several times). It is a relatively short levada hike but everything´s included like narrow trail, steep hills, exiting heights, amazing views and wilderness in the area of Bom Sucesso. Even a small waterfall along the trail. The levada ends in the outskirts of Bom Sucesso just north of the Old Town in Funchal.
When you can drive yourself up to Monte, it could be a bit tricky to find the way (we often miss it ourself).
When coming from the Lido direction (which you often do as a tourist), go down to the seafront on Avenida do Mar, drive strait ahead to the big roundabout next to the white house of Empresa De Electricidade Da Madeira.
Turn left and use the second exit to the right upwards. Drive in the left lane and follow signs. After some time on winding streets and roads you will come up to Monte.
Find the way with Google Maps.
More information about Monte Village: http:telefericojardimbotanico.com/monte/