Madeira Island Transportation Tips by sachara Top 5 Page for this destination
Madeira Island Transportation: 49 reviews and 76 photos
From the harbour of Funchal you can take the ferry to Porto Santo Island every day. The ferry leaves ussually at 8 am from Funchal. The boattrip will take two and half hours.
You can return with the same boat, which leaves from Porto Santo island the same day at 6 pm. This way you can easily make a one day trip.If you wish you can bring a car at the ferry.
There are bars with snacks and little shops at the ferry. You can buy a regular ticket or a first class ticket. The first class lounge is at the front of the ship. In this ticket the breakfast in the morning and evening snacks are included.
open double decker
Like in many touristy places there are since the last years also the so called hop-on hop-off buses in Funchal. When you hp off there is every half an hour a next bus to hop on. A good opportunity to get familiar with a place when you visit for the first time.
Though we knew allready every place along the route for ten years or more, we decided to take the bus in 2011 for the first time. If your are too tired to walk, it's good way to go around. I liked the explanations by earphone. Even learnwed some new facts of the island.
I liked the views from a higher point of view and the relaxed way to see all the places we visited before.
The route of the buses passes not only the old citycentre, the viewpoint Pico dos Barcelos, the lido area in Funchal, but also heads to the fishing village Camara de Lobos. Here we made a longer lunch stop
In 2008 I made a full day off landrover trip to the west of the island. After a visit to the view point Cabo Giraõ we followed unpaved tracks in the woods close to Jardim da Serra.
The most spectacular part of the trip was following the track from Ribiera Brava up to high plains of Pau da Serra. I loved the rough landscape along a stream. We saw only some cows along the track.
From Pau do Serra we followed unpaved tracks down to Porto Moniz at the North western point of Madeira Island.
The other parts of the route we knew from our trips by hired car.
Type: Car/Motor Home
In the marina you can book a trip by catamaran two times a day. The main reason to do so is to see dolphins and whales in front of the coast of Madeira Island. The trip will take about 3 hours.
We made the trip in 2011. At sea the sails went in top. A pity the day we sailed out we didn't see any dolphins and whales like the day before. At the end of the trip two whales were spotted, but we couldn't reach them.
Finally the only things we saw at sea were fishing boats and a few jellyfishes. Anyway we enjoyed the relaxed boattrip with the great views at the coast.
The airport Santa Catarina is built just at the shore of the ocean. Because of the mountaineous area it was necessary to built the runway on stilts in the ocean.
The first time we visited Madeira island, we went back to the airport the next day to have a look at its construction. We saw, they had started new construction works to extend the runway by building new stilts. By this extension it is possible, that also larger planes can come to Madeira.
From the air you have a great view at the runway just before landing.
In the marina near the pier in Funchal you can book several boattrips like half-day trips or full-day trips and cocktailcruises. On sea you have the opportunity to sea dolphins and turtles. There are also deep sea fishing trips. In the port also leaves the ferry for Porto Santo island .
The first boattrip I booked was a half day trip with the Santa Maria, a traditional, newly built ship, like the one of Columbus used a few centuries ago. Especially for kids it is a lot of fun.
The Santa Maria heads west till Cabo Giraõ. If you are lucky you can see dolphins like we did.
The boat leaves in the port, west of the marina. You can't miss it.
Funchal, cable car
In Funchal you can take the cable car to Monte, just in the mountains. It takes about 15 minutes.
There are 41 cabins with 8 seats each. So there can be transported 800 persons per hour !
We were lucky and the only persons in the cabine, when we go up, so we had very good views all around, at the mountains, the city, the harrbour, the ocean. It was also very nice to have a close look at Funchal from above.
One way: 8 euro
Roundtrip: 13 euro
Children 4-14 years: half money
Children 0-4 years: free
Operation schedule: 10.00 am to 7.00 pm
Phone: 291 780 280
road to Pico de Arieiro
All the times we came to Madeira island we hired a car.
The first time we came to Madeira, we had a pre-booked roundtrip with hotels at four different places at the island.
The other times we booked a fly-drive or a flight and a car at home, so we could pick up the car at the airport.
The bussystem at Madeira Island is also good and extensive, but many places we visited can't be reached by bus.
In Funchal it's also very easy to hire a car.
There are many agencies.
On our first day ever at Madeira Island in 1996 we drove in the snow. It was the first and the last time.
Type: Car/Motor Home
The airport of the Madeira island is 18 KM north east of Funchal.
There are a lot of cheap flights from Europe to Madeira.
Landing at the airport of Madeira island is quite spectacular.
After flying over Ponta de Sao Lourenco, coming from the north, you see the runway at your righthand side.
Then the plane had to make a sharpe curve of 180 degrees, just before the slopes with scattered houses. The plane had to land in the northern direction and to brake firmly.
We were warned by the pilot.
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