Monte - Funchal


The Carreiros do Monte, or “Sledge drivers”, are the men that drive the most picturesque transport in the Madeira Island: the “carros de cesto” or “tobogãs” - wickerwork sledges.

These interesting transport started back in 1850 due to the lack of accesses to and from the Monte, situated high above the hill of Funchal. Monte was by then a very important place of the island, as there was situated the palaces and mansions of the business and powerful people of Funchal, also famous for its rich British community. Towering about the Funchal city centre, through very steep accesses, to get to the Monte, one had to go by feet, horse or bicycle, right until the construction of the much desired railway and funicular, that are no longer in use.

Nowadays, the Carreiros are well organized and provide the famous journey by “Carros de Cesto”, that start in Monte and finishes in Funchal centre.
The Carro de Cesto are pushed by two “carreiros“, or sledge drivers, that slide on wooden runners for about 4 km down a steep hill, heading to Funchal city centre. The carreiros use strong ropes to help sliding the steep paved hill of the ancient inclined road that linked the upper Monte to the Funchal centre, using their own boots as brakes.

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