One of the most interesting things about the Madeira Islands is that its history is comprised of a unique mix of fact and legend which isn’t common in this well-explored world today.  Travelers can learn a lot about which details are factual and which fictional through a visit to the Madeira Story Centre (, an interactive history museum which offers both permanent and temporary exhibits detailing what happened in days past in the region.  It is set up in such a manner that visitors can start with the pre-human history of the area and make their way through up to the modern day.  Details are available on the website:

At that museum, travelers may find that they are more interested in the non-human history of the area than they thought.  This interest can be satiated with a day-long trip to the Municipal Museum of Funchal, also known as the Museum of Natural History .  This capital-city museum provides extensive information about the plant and animal life of the Madeira Islands .  More information is available at

Alternatively, travelers may be interested in learning about the creative endeavors of those who have lived in the area throughout time.   There are two excellent museums for doing this learning: the Sacred Art Museum and the Manor Estate of the Crosses Museum .   They are both located in Funchal and offer different perspectives on the art history of the region.   See for more details.



Toy Museum - Museu dos Brinquedos

The owner of the Toy Museum , a toy fan par excellance, has been extremely busy putting together this neat and cute exhibit in his house. Miniature cars, dolls, toy soldiers – armies, really – made of lead, doll houses, tiny airplanes.... everything is here. Plus the museum boasts a nice restaurant with good food served in modern rooms with - nice in sultry Summer – open doors to the terrace, overlooking the Barreiros football stadium. Travel to the childhood of the past. This museum, created by Jose Manuel Borges Pereira, holds more than 17,000 items, collected over a period of about 44 years.The taxi can take you there: Rua da Levada dos Barreiros, 48. Closed Mondays Open Tuesday - Saturday 12.00 midday to 20.00. Sunday 12.00 midday to 14.00. Admission fee €3