Before we visited Madeira by ourselves, we have no idea, why this Portuguese island is getting more and more popular among travelers. If you are also planning to travel to Madeira, here is a quick Madeira travel guide and some of our practical travel tips to make your exploration easier.
Madeira travel guide
You will need to fly to Madeira from one of European bigger airports. If you are already in Europe your best flight deals will come from the low cost airlines like Easyjet and similar. You can also fly to Madeira with TAP Portugal. Just be aware the price can vary a lot, so being flexible with dates will make your life a lot easier. But if you are lucky, you can get return tickets for as cheap as 100€/pp.
Transportation around Madeira
Madeira of course has its own local transport, but if you really want to be independent, rent a car. Whenever we rent a car, we use the www.economycarrentals.com, as it is the cheapest. We paid 162€ for 6 days of rental.
Parking and driving around Madeira
You can mostly get free parking around Madeira tourist attractions, but most of the towns have payable parking. The trickiest parking places to find are in Funchal city center, but don’t give up to fast. We have always managed to park everywhere we stopped. The cost of parking depends from town to town, but you should not pay more than 1€/hour.
As for driving around Madeira, we did not find it difficult. In fact, we though the drivers are polite and not chaotic at all. Some roads might be a bit narrow and have some potholes, but we did not find that too disturbing. Just be prepared for lots of curves, steep parts and tunnels.
Accommodations in Madeira
Madeira, being quite a touristic destination, has lots of accommodations for every budget available. We have stayed in The Flame Tree Madeira Hotel, which we found nice. Also the location was good for exploration by car around the island. We had free parking available on the nearby street, and the hotel was nicely decorated and had a fair breakfast. The price was 54€/night, including sea view and breakfast.
If you will be exploring the rest of the Island, we would definitely recommend you to stay in a hotel in Funchal or at least close by.
Food in Madeira
It is said that good food make a destination even better to be explored and this definitely goes true for Madeira. We loved the food there. Madeira, being an island, has diverse and fresh seafood, which we had eaten every day. But even though you might not be keen of the seafood, you have plenty other things to choose from – good meet, exotics fruit, fresh vegetables. Check out here, what you definitely should try on your Madeira travel.
TOP Madeira tourist attractions
Before traveling to Madeira we did not know much about it, so we were extremely surprised, what all this small island has to offer. We were busy all 6 days when being there and seen a lot. Our list of TOP Madeira tourist attractions can be found here.
Communication at Madeira
The official language at Madeira is Portuguese, but because the island is becoming more and more popular among foreign visitors, you can easily go by with English. But to get admired by the locals, a word or two in Portuguese will do the trick.
Best time for Madeira travel
Madeira is known as the island of eternal spring, so there is not really bad timing for visiting. Nevertheless it seems most people visit Madeira during spring and autumn, as the temperatures around Europe are lower and with visiting Madeira, you can easily get some suntan. A good time for Madeira travel is also during New Year and for its beautiful fireworks. Just be prepared to pay more for traveling to Madeira during New Year.
To be honest, Madeira did charm us too. But what is not to like there, when you have good food, amazing views, stunning nature and that extra special – exotical feel in Europe…