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The Monte cable car runs from the Old Town area of Funchal to Monte which is located North of Funchal high up in the hills at the back.
Situated just behind the bus terminal east of the main town, the first ride starts at 09:30 and the last ride is 17:30. The ride from Funchal to Monte takes around 10 miniutes and is great fun as it moves up the side of the hills passing directly over peoples houses and gardens and banana plantations located all the way up.
The views are superb as well and you will get some great shots of the harbour and the hills and mountains.
You can either purchase a single trip or round trip with the costs laid out below which are correct as of first week of December 2010.
Adult return = 15.00 Euros
Adult single = 10.00 Euros
Children 7-14 years old return = 7.50 Euros
Children 7-14 years old single = 5.00 Euros
Under 7 = Free both single and return
Based on the above, you can make the decision on the cost of a number of adults making a round trip up or a large family paying for the round trip compared to buying singles then either a taxi up or down and a bus up or down.
Taxis are located next to the bus station so might be worth getting a price for the ride up and seeing if you save any money at all.
It is a long way to walk up or back and the hills are very steep.