Why go to Madeira?
The Portuguese island of Madeira sits around 250 miles to the north of Tenerife in the Atlantic Ocean. Its spectacular location, beautiful scenery and balmy climate have made it a popular year round destination. Many visitors go to admire the natural landscapes of this scenic island and there are many miles of walking trails to explore. Besides offering hikers breath-taking mountain views, the primary Laurisilva forests in the National Park are especially significant as they are the largest type of this vegetation in the world and home to many endemic plants and animals.
Things to do
Madeira’s capital, Funchal, is a picturesque city and makes either a great base for exploring the city or a rewarding day trip. Visitors can discover the winding streets of the old town, wander the promenade or have lunch or coffee in one of the many quaint bars and cafes. Sights include the cathedral, theatre and waterfront, while the cable car ride into the mountains is a must. Medieval churches dot the town, while charming squares invite exploration and traditional markets are a feast for the senses. Just outside the town, there are several beautiful pools along with stunning cliff-side scenery and the gorgeous pebble beach of Pria Formosa.
Madeira is also famous for its gardens, from the botanic garden in Funchal to the impressive gardens of the Monte Palace hotel and the exquisite orchid garden. Snorkellers and divers may want to head to the Garajau Natural Reserve with its sparkling clear waters and colourful marine life.
How far the airport is from City Centre?
Madeira Airport is just eight miles or 30 minutes from Funchal.
Which airlines fly to Madeira from UK?
Airlines flying from London Gatwick include EasyJet, Monarch Airlines and Thomson Airways. Monarch also flies from Birmingham and Thomas Airways serve other airports including Birmingham, Manchester, Exeter and Glasgow International. In summer, other destinations served include Bournemouth, London Luton and Newcastle upon Tyne.
How to get from airport to City Centre?
Cars can be rented at the airport and are usually cheaper booked in advance. Many hotels also offer airport pickup and taxis are available. Otherwise, the Aero-bus is one of the most convenient ways to reach Funchal. The bus stop for SAM services into Funchal can be found about 100 metres from the arrivals hall.
What are the visa requirements for EU and non-EU nationals?
EU citizens, including British Nationals, do not require a visa to visit Madeira. Non-EU residents may require a visa obtained in advance, and these may need to be applied for in person. Nationals of some countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Japan, do not need a visa for up to three months.
How to get around Madeira?
Many visitors find that hiring a car is the most convenient way to explore the island. Hotels and tour companies offer excursions to popular areas from Funchal. Bus companies on the island include SAM, Horarios de Funchal and Rodoeste, and these offer various services between Funchal and other towns. Taxis are also available.
What’s the best time to visit Madeira?
Madeira has a pleasant, mild climate year round. July, August and September are the hottest months, with average temperatures of about 23 degrees Celsius, but May, June, October and November are also warm, with average temperatures about 20 degrees. December to April the temperature drops slightly, but averages remain at about 16 to 18 degrees.