Funchal is the capital and main city of the autonomous region of Madeira, on the island of Madeira, situated in the south between Santa Cruz and Camara de Lobos cities.
Because of its high cultural and historical value, Funchal is one of Portugal's main tourist attractions. It is also popular as a destination for New Year's Eve, and it is the leading Portuguese port on cruise liner dockings. The name is from the Portuguese word "funcho" (fennel) and the suffix "-al", to denote "a plantation of fennel". The name Funchal was used by the first settlers that landed on its shores due to the abundance of wild fennel where, as tradition goes, the primitive burg was built. From the Portuguese word "funcho" (fennel) and the suffix "-al", to denote "a plantation of fennel": . . . Funchal, to whom the captain gave this name, because it was founded in a beautiful forested valley, full of fennel up to the sea. . . This settlement began around 1424, when the island was divided into two captaincies, and the zones that would become the urbanized core of Funchal would be founded by João Gonçalves Zarco who settled there with members of his family.