Welcome to our great Madeira tour report. Here we present you with all the important information for your trip to Madeira with detailed background information about the Portuguese island. We have added a summary of the best round-trip providers online.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the perfect Madeira round trip in 2020 for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions about Madeira travel in our guide. Furthermore, we have tips for you that you should definitely consider if you want to book your round trip to Madeira.

the essentials in brief

  • Madeira is a Portuguese island that is located in the Atlantic Ocean and is approximately 900 kilometers south of Lisbon and 600 kilometers west of Morocco.
  • Madeira is known as a flower and volcanic island and for its laurel forest, which makes up 20 percent of the island. It has been a World Heritage Site since 1999.
  • The sights include several churches and cathedrals, as well as museums, viewpoints and the typical markets in Madeira. The viewpoints in Madeira are particularly popular with tourists.

Round trip through Madeira: the best travel providers

Madeira, often called the island of flowers, is an ultimate vacation destination. No matter whether you prefer adventure or a relaxing beach holiday. We have selected the best tour operators for you and present the tours to you so that nothing goes wrong on your tour and you can enjoy your trip.

The best round trip in Madeira as a hiking trip

This Mountains & Sea tour takes you along the coast of the flower island of Madeira for eight days. So, if you fancy pure nature and picturesque cities, then this trip is for you!

You will be able to see down the highest cliff in Europe with your own eyes, experience the infamous floral splendor in Madeira live and hike through an impressive laurel forest.

You will spend your nights in middle-class hotels and you do not have to worry about your luggage either – luggage transport is included, so you can hike comfortably with just the bare essentials. 

Travel highlights in Madeira: What you should definitely see or do on your tour

Why is a round trip through Madeira worthwhile?

Most travelers are drawn to Madeira because of its unique nature. The best known is the laurel forest, which makes up 20% of the island. Thanks to the favorable and tropical climate, this rainforest has survived the ice age. As a result, the area is now thousands of years old and unique in terms of flora and fauna.

The island is a true natural paradise, which enchants with different strong colors and with the local cuisine, which offers fresh seafood and tropical fruits, melt every palate.

The island seems untouched and is ideal for escaping everyday life in Germany. There are quaint fishing villages to explore and locals who are always warm and helpful. They also live in tourism and are happy to sell their inexpensive traditional products.

People who love hiking will fall in love with the mountains of Madeira. Madeira has a huge network of canals. A path that was built for the maintenance of the canals is ideal for exploring the Madeiran landscape on foot.

Waterfalls and dizzying viewing platforms with a unique view of the beautiful scenery will be waiting for you on the hike.

Madeira is ideal for a round trip. The island is multifaceted and offers several options for activities. Each village has its own charm and always enchants with a unique nature experience.

We will now show you all the cities and regions, their sights and the possible activities on the island that you should definitely experience on your trip.

What cities, regions, and sights are there in Madeira?

Funchal – the island’s capital

Funchal is the capital of the Portuguese island and means “fennel”. It is located in the south of the beautiful island and offers some sights. The city is designed for tourism and therefore has many hotels, bars, and restaurants.

However, the tradition does not fall by the wayside. You should definitely visit the old market hall in the “Mercado dos Lavradores(Farmer’s Market)” and let yourself be inspired by fresh fruits, spices, and seafood. Added to this is the diverse range of tropical flowers, which shine in intensely bright colors. In Funchal, you get everything fresh.

The city of Funchal is home to many cultural sights, including ancient churches and countless museums. There are beautiful parks that are decorated with the most beautiful flowers and plants.


Monte belongs to Funchal and lies above the city. With a cable car, you can easily reach Monte from Funchal. The cable car overcomes a height difference of 560 meters and covers a distance of 3200 meters.

The difference in altitude guarantees a perfect view of the city and the sea. However, Monte inspires not only with a unique view of the island but also with sights such as the pilgrimage church “Nossa Senhora do Monte” (Church of Our Lady of Monte), in which the last emperor of Austria, Karl I is buried.

Furthermore, Monte is known for its tropical garden “Monte Palace”. This convinces its visitors with a tropical variety of plants and flowers. Plants from all over the world, breathtaking waterfalls and bird species can be seen here


Machico is the oldest city in Madeira and is located in the east of the island. It is the former capital of Madeira.

Portuguese explorers first entered Madeira Island in Machico Bay. Here is the oldest church on the island, the “Capela dos Milagres” (chapel of miracles). There is also the church of Sao Roque and the Solar do Ribeirinho, which houses a museum.

Machico is a good place to go for beach lovers, as a sandy beach has been artificially created for tourists. There is also a pedestrian promenade and a farmer’s market.

Ponta do Sol

Ponta do Sol is a small town in the southwest of the Portuguese island.

 The city is located in a gorge on the south coast.

The city is known for its sugar cane cultivation and for the highest number of hours of sunshine on the whole island. The air and water temperature are consistently slightly above average and offers optimal conditions for agricultural purposes.

Worth seeing is the church “Nossa Senhora da Luz” (Church of Our Lady of Light), which is exceptional due to the decoration with the regionally typical azulejos.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is the neighboring town of Machico and was founded immediately after the discovery of Machico. This makes the city one of the oldest in all of Madeira. As usual in Madeira, the local population lives from agriculture, fishing, and tourism.

Santa Cruz is primarily known for the international airport and thrills tourists with the unique runway, which stands on 3 meters thick and up to 120-meter-high concrete pillars and is located directly on the rocky coast.

The city is rarely visited by tourists, but the old town and the bathing beach are well worth seeing. Above all, the island’s second-largest parish church, the Church of São Salvador, is a striking sight.

The city’s highlights also include the “Aquaparque” water park, which is ideal for families, and a market hall with fresh local products.

Ribeira Brava

Ribeira Brava (= “wild river”) is a small town on the south-west coast of the island and owes its name to the torrent crossing the local mountains. The course of the stream is often used as a hiking route that leads to Encumeada.

As usual for Madeira, sugar cane was once planted, but today bananas and other types of fruit are grown.

There is also a parish church in Ribeira Brava. The São Bento church catches the eye with its white tiled spire and has been renovated and rebuilt several times. The town hall of Ribeira Brava is behind the church. It was built in the typical style of the island and stands out picturesquely between palm trees.

There is also an old market hall with local products and several street cafes along the waterfront. Here you will find a pebble beach where you can relax and swim.

For culture enthusiasts, there is an ethnographic museum that is well worth a visit. Furthermore, the festival in honor of St. Peter takes place every year on June 29th.

The traditional folk festival offers drinks and food in the center of the city while the residents celebrate a parade. The highlight is the fireworks at midnight.

For a breathtaking view of the village, you can visit the miradouro da cruz alta viewpoint. From here you have a wide view to the east.

Sao Vicente

The town of São Vicente is located on the north coast of Madeira. However, this is not immediately noticeable since the village is surrounded by mountains.

 Nevertheless, São Vicente is a point of contact for surfers because high waves create ideal conditions for surfing.

On the promenade, there is a swimming complex with a sun terrace, bars and restaurants, and water sports.

The real attraction that draws tourists is the grottoes and volcano center of São Vincente.

Madeira is not only known as a flower island but also as a volcanic island. Here you can marvel at underground lava channels that are at least 400,000 years old.

You can see volcanic rock cones, lava flows and much more. The history behind the volcano can be explained to you, for example, by a travel guide.

In the center of the idyllic village is the “Church of São Vicente” church, in which the blessing of St. Vincent was depicted. Next to the church is the “Capelinha do Calhau” (Chapel of São Vicente), which was built in honor of Saint Vincentius.


The small town of Calheta is located in the southwest of Madeira and means “small bay”. The special thing about Calheta is its sandy beach, which enables a relaxing bathing holiday with the family.

Furthermore, there is a wide range of water sports, such as water skiing or deep-sea fishing. The nearby marina is also worth a visit.

In Calheta, there is one of the few sugar cane mills that you should definitely take a look at. Here the sugar cane is not only grown but also processed.

Porto Moniz

The city of Porto Moniz is located in the northwest of Madeira and got its name from the Portuguese nobleman Francisco Moniz.

The place was originally known for its whaling and fishing. Nowadays, residents attach more importance to agriculture, viticulture or tourism.

Porto Moniz has a port and a helipad. The place is also known for its modern promenade and above all for its naturally created lava pools. These are filled with seawater and have a very special charm.

On the coast is the Forte Sao Joao Baptista fortress, where the Aquario da Madeira is located. In this oversized aquarium, you can admire a wide variety of animal species, which are mostly native to Madeira.


Despite its clarity, the city of Santana is popular with tourists. The reason for this is the traditional thatched cottages where locals used to live. The thatched roofs, contrary to what was initially expected, offer good protection against severe weather, but they also have to be replaced every year.

Today most of the houses are empty or there is a small shop in them. On the whole, the domestic houses count as a sight in Madeira.

The cliffs and cliffs of Santana are impressive. A film-like natural spectacle is guaranteed here. The background noise is very calming, especially when the waves break against the cliff.

Camara de Lobos

Câmara de Lobos is one of the oldest fishing villages on the island and is located 5 kilometers from Funchal.

The name was given by the discoverers and means “cave of the monk seals”. At that time there was a large occurrence of sea lions, while only a few can still be seen today.

Characteristics of the place are the colorful fishing boats at the port, which bring a large part of the “Espadas” ashore. This is a fish specialty of the island, which we will discuss later.

The fishing village is also known for its “Poncha”, Madeira’s national drink consisting of sugar cane schnapps, lemon juice, and honey.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who captured the place in his pictures, has become a tourist destination.

What sights are there in Madeira?

The island of Madeira offers a variety of sights. The island has a lot to offer, from ancient churches to breathtaking natural spectacles.

  • Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption – Funchal Cathedral
  • College Church
  • Monte Church
  • CR7 Museum
  • Story Center Museum (Funchal)
  • Museu de Art Contemporâna ​​- Museum of Contemporary Art (Funchal)
  • Casa Colombo Museum – Christopher Columbus Museum House (Porto Santo)
  • Cristo Rei do Garajau (The Christ the King statue in Garajau)
  • Mercado dos Lavradores (Farmers’ Market) – The Funchal market
  • Sunday market in Santo da Serra
  • Monte Palace Tropical Garden
  • São Vicente caves
  • Laurel forest (UNESCO)
  • Levadas
  • The Cabo Girao
  • Pico do arieiro

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption – Funchal Cathedral

Funchal Cathedral is in the center of the capital and should not be missed on your tour. It is not for nothing that it is the most visited church in Madeira.

It is one of the oldest churches in Madeira and is adorned with wonderful artifacts from different periods and origins. The cathedral has been a national monument since 1901.

College Church

The College church is near Funchal Cathedral and is the second most visited.

The collection of altarpieces, the blue and white tiles and the works of art from the 17th and 18th centuries are particularly worth seeing. The gilded wood carving stands out because it was one of the most valuable of its time.

Monte Church

The church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1748 and rebuilt in 1818. The building is based on architecture from the 18th century and shows the Nossa Senhora do Monte (The Church of Our Lady of Monte) on the high altar.

A real highlight is the grave of the late Charles I of Austria, who died in 1922.

CR7 Museum

The museum is located in Funchal and shows the life story of the world-famous professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with all his trophies won.

It opened on December 15, 2013, and has an area of ​​400 square meters.

You can see impressive photos and videos of his career. The highlight is the faithful wax statue of the football star, who was born and grew up in the capital, Funchal.

Story Center Museum (Funchal)

This museum is a “modern” museum that sends the visitor on a virtual journey into the past of Madeira. There is an interactive exhibition where you have the opportunity to learn everything about the history, culture, and development of the island.

Museu de Art Contemporâna ​​- Museum of Contemporary Art (Funchal)

This museum offers a permanent exhibition of contemporary art. The collection goes back to 1960.

 There are also temporary exhibitions by artists and their galleries.

Casa Colombo Museum – Christopher Columbus Museum House (Porto Santo)

The discoverer Christopher Columbus once lived in Madeira, more precisely in Porto Santo. There he lived with his Portuguese wife and worked on his sea route to Asia.

His former home is now the “Casa Colombo Museum”. Here you will be introduced to shipping, the life of Christopher Columbus and the discovery of Madeira in general.

The Christ the King statue in Garajau

The imposing Christ statue is located in Caniço, near Funchal.

 The Cristo Rei is 14 meters high and was inaugurated in 1927. The statue was created by the French artist Serraz Georges.

Not only the statue but also the breathtaking view towards Funchal is worth seeing. A visit to the beach at “Praia do Garajau” (GARAJAU BEACH) can be combined with the visit, which you can reach by cable car, “Teleférico do Garajau” (GARAJAU CABLE CAR).

Mercado dos Lavradores(Farmers Market) – The Funchal market

The market hall in Funchal is the most famous and colorful market in Madeira and is therefore also designed for tourists. Here, local farmers offer fresh fruit and vegetables. At the fish market, which has a separate area in the market hall, local fishermen offer their freshly caught fish.

The most popular are the tuna and black epee fish. These are skillfully cut into pieces for preparation.

In addition to farmers and fishermen, “flower girls” dressed in traditional dress offer a variety of local flowers.

Sunday market in Santo da Serra

The Santo da Serra market is frequented by locals rather than tourists. Local farmers offer local vegetables and fruits. In addition to the traditional market, street vendors offer everything from electronics to clothing.

The market is particularly suitable for visitors who want to get away from tourism. Foreign fruits such as the Anona or the Pitanga are offered here.

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

The Monte Palace Tropical Garden has been in Monte since 1991. This shows the influences of the Portuguese in the Far East. José Barorda, who built this park, was inspired by his trips to China and Japan.

With the park, he has created one of the most important collections of tropical plants, animals and azulejos.

Inside the garden, the park is the “Monte Palace” museum with 3 galleries. Natural resources and sculptures from all over the world are exhibited here. Furthermore, ceramic tiles from different eras can be seen, which represent the history of the Portuguese empire.

An eye-catcher is a pond with a waterfall in the oriental garden. There are valuable koi carp from East Asia in the pond

São Vicente caves

The São Vicente caves were formed by the volcanic eruption 890,000 years ago. So they are caves of volcanic origin. If you don’t like lying on the beach and prefer adventure, you should definitely stop by here.

The caves were created by the lower outside temperatures, as this allowed the outer volcanic rock to harden and the lava to flow further inside.

The caves were opened for the first time in October 1996. They are the first caves of volcanic origin that were open to everyone. The underground passageways can be visited via a circular route of more than 1000 meters. The caves are about 5 to 6 meters high.

After the tour, you can visit the “VOLCANISM CENTER”. The center about volcanism consists of a hall that shows audiovisual demonstrations, the geological development of the grottoes, a volcanic eruption and a simulation of the emergence of the island state of Madeira.

Laurel forest

The laurel forest or laursilva or laura forest is the only nature reserve on the island. The variety of rare and unknown plants has not yet been fully recorded.

The laurel forest in Madeira has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, which underscores its unique value as a biological cultural asset.

Before the Ice Age, laurel forests were spread all over Europe, but most of them could not recover from the Ice Age. Therefore, you should definitely visit the Madeira Nature Park on your round trip, which makes up two-thirds of the island with approximately 22,000 hectares.

 It was founded in 1982 to protect and preserve the natural ecosystem.


A Levada is an artificial water channel that is used to channel water from regions with high rainfall in the north to the drier south. This sophisticated irrigation system is not only an advantage for local farmers, but also for tourists who love hiking.

The levadas are ideal as a hiking route. The paths next to the water channels were actually used for maintenance, but are used by tourists as a hiking route. Here we speak of a so-called “Levada hike”.

Most beaches in Madeira do not really invite you to swim at first glance. There are actually only pebble beaches that are unsuitable for children.

 Madeira had artificial sand beaches built for the occasion.

Are you planning the perfect beach vacation? All-important tips so that you can really relax can be found here:

The Cabo Girao

is the highest cape in Europe with a height of 580 meters. The observation deck has a glass floor, which is why the viewpoint is also known as the “Skywalk”.

From here you have a view of the Fajãs of Rancho and an outstanding panorama over the sea and the cities of Câmara de Lobos and Funchal. There are also perfect conditions for paragliding.

Pico do Arieiro

The Pico do Arieiro is the most visited peak in Madeira and is easy to reach by car compared to the other peaks. Free parking is provided and a cafeteria with a souvenir shop.

When the weather is good, you can see the island of Porto Santo, 50 kilometers away, but the real highlight is the view of the summit.

For passionate hikers, there is a hiking trail on site that leads around Pico Torres (second largest peak) to the largest peak in Madeira, Pico Ruivo. This trail is considered very demanding. You should be persistent and free from giddiness to reach the highest peak.

further viewpoints are:

Lookout point


Cabo Girao

Camara de Lobos

Picos dos Barcelos


Balcoes de Ribeiro Frio

Ribeiro Frio

Eira do Serrado

Camara de Lobos

Ponta do Rosto


Farol da Ponta do Pargo

Ponta Pargo


 What is the food like in Madeira?

Madeira offers a variety of culinary delights. In the following, we describe typical Portuguese food. The Espetada and Espada are particularly famous.

The Espetada is the meat specialty of Madeira. This is meat on skewers, which can be either beef or chicken

The Espada is Madeira’s second national dish after the Espetada. This is a fish specialty, the black epee fish. This is a deep-sea fish that is rather unknown in Germany. In addition to Madeira, it also occurs in Japan.

This eel-like fish, which at first glance can be a little scary, is offered in large quantities at Madeira’s markets.

Lapas is a common starter in Madeira. The starter consists of limpets that look like mussels but only have a half-shell.

What cultural peculiarities are there in Madeira?

Madeira is Portuguese, both in its custom and in its language. All-important Portuguese festivals and events are celebrated here, as well as many unique occasions, such as the Madeira Wine Festival.

Madeira is still important to agriculture, and many of the annual events focus on crops as well as religion.

What activities are worthwhile in Madeira?

  • Cable car to Monte with a downhill run
  • hikes
  • Water sports and activities
  • Climb
  • golf

Cable car to Monte and downhill

With the aerial cableway (Teleferico) you can comfortably drive from the old town of Funchal to Monte.

The journey begins at Almirante Reis Park and takes approximately 15 minutes. The route measures 3173 meters in length and overcomes a height difference of 560 meters.


When you reach Monte, you can go back to the Funchal valley in a very original way.

 This is a traditional basket sled run that was set up in the 19th century as a fast means of transport for the residents of Montes.

The basket sled was originally called “Carros de Cesto”. Only the British renamed the basket sled to “Toboggan”. Today the basket sleds are an attraction for tourists.

The basket sleigh ride begins below the pilgrimage church and is about 2 kilometers long and very steep. Therefore, the descent is very adventurous. The basket sled is led by two men dressed in white with straw hats, so-called “Carreiros”.

With this unique experience, fun with an adrenaline kick is guaranteed.

In order to better illustrate this spectacle, we have selected a video for you:



Madeira is rightly known as a hiking paradise. The unique flora and fauna invite you to overwhelming hikes through the mountains of Madeira.

The Levadas in Madeira is very popular. The trails are ideal for a hike across the landscape. They were designed to irrigate the drier areas.

The levadas are ideal for cyclists. Guided tours are offered, but you can also rent a bike yourself and explore the island on your own.

We have put together the most popular hiking tours for you:

hiking tour





Levada round via Camacha


5:30 h

18.5 km

656 m

The Tabua Valley


3:45 h

11.9 km

450 m

Levada da Serra do Faial


4:30 h

9.9 km

972 m

Levada do Pico Ruivo


3:30 h

9.3 km

760 m

From Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo


7:15 h

11.7 km

1000 m

From the Achada do Teixeira to the Pico Ruivo


2:30 h

5.7 km

260 m

Pico Grande


6:30 h

9 km

650 m


 Water sports and activities

In addition to breathtaking hikes, there are also several water activities on the island. There are beaches to relax, bathing complexes for the whole family, but also snorkeling tours and whale and dolphin watching.

Sports enthusiasts are not neglected either. There is a wide range of water sports.

The small bays are ideal for diving to explore the depths of the sea. The clear water allows a great view of the colorful sea world.

For passionate anglers, deep-sea fishing is a perfect option. The wide variety of species and the first-class reputation as a “Mecca” for deep-sea fishing are convincing reasons not to miss this spectacle.

A canoe trip along the coast takes you into the untouched nature of Madeira. There are guided rides and even canoe races.

Madeira is known worldwide as a surfer’s paradise. Several surf spots and demanding high waves make the island attractive for surfers. The neighboring island of Porto Santo is very popular. It is ideal for surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.


Madeira offers a variety of climbing areas with its mountains and cliffs. The most popular is the central mountain region, the cliffs and rock faces in the north of the island.

Various agencies offer climbing tours for beginners and advanced.


Playing golf has a long tradition in Madeira. Golf has been played on the island since 1937. It was introduced by the British who created the first golf course.

Madeira has three unique golf courses surrounded by the breathtaking nature of the island. The beautiful landscape sets Madeira’s golf courses apart from others worldwide.

The golf courses are:

  • Santo da Serra Golf Club:  The golf course is known as one of the most spectacular golf courses in all of Europe. It is located at an altitude of 700 meters and has 27 holes, a par of 72 and 6093 meters.
  • Palheiro Golf: This golf course has a flawless view of the Bay of Funchal. The golf course has 18 holes, a par of 72 and 6015 meters.
  • Porto Santo Golf: The golf course on Porto Santo was designed by the former world champion Severiano Ballesteros. The special thing here is that the golf course is largely natural.

Travel tips: What you should pay attention to during your round trip through Madeira

Madeira is an EU country and therefore an almost complication-free travel destination for EU citizens. Nevertheless, there are a few things you should watch out for. We have compiled important tips for your round trip.

What is the best time to travel to Madeira?

The best time to travel to Madeira is between April and October.

The pleasant and mild temperatures in Madeira are ideal for all outdoor activities. During summer, temperatures between 21 and 26 degrees Celsius await you.

Very little rain is expected at the stated travel time.

  • The months from July to October are ideal for a beach holiday.
  • The period from mid-April to mid-June is suitable for a hiking holiday.
  • The following table shows the weather conditions for the best travel months:


Average temperature

Hours of sunshine per day

Water temperature



21 ° C


18 ° C



22 ° C


18 ° C



23 ° C


20 ° C



25 ° C


21 ° C



26 ° C


22 ° C



25 ° C


23 ° C



24 ° C


22 ° C



 What about security in Madeira?

The crime rate in Madeira is low in both violent crime and minor offenses. This also includes the theft of wallets and purses. Violence against tourists is very, very unusual and you should also be safe on the streets alone in the evening. There are not many annoyances in Madeira. 

What are the health risks in Madeira?

According to the Federal Foreign Office, vaccination against yellow fever is particularly recommended. It is also recommended to check the standard vaccinations according to the current vaccination calendar and to complete them if necessary.

In Madeira, there is also the risk of becoming infected with dengue fever. The transmission is carried out by mosquito bites, but there is no vaccination against this disease.

It is recommended to wear long clothes, apply insect repellent regularly and sleep under a mosquito net.

Are there any special entry requirements for Madeira?

Madeira belongs to Portugal and thus to the European Union. If you live in an EU member state or have an EU passport, you do not need a visa.

Health insurance abroad

As an EU citizen, you actually have the right to receive treatments from doctors, dentists, and hospitals that are approved by foreign, statutory health insurance providers with the EC card. You will also need the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and / or a replacement certificate from the health insurance company.

However, the insurance may not cover the full cost to you. It is therefore always advisable to take out foreign health insurance.

We have put together an overview here if you want to find out more about the topic of international health insurance:

How long should a tour of Madeira last?

How many days you should plan for your trip depends on what you want to see.

For a detailed exploration tour, you should plan at least 14 days. For first-time visitors, 7 days are enough to get an overview and to explore the most beautiful and famous sights.

What language is spoken in Madeira?

Just like in Portugal, the national language in Madeira is Portuguese. It can be an advantage to be able to speak the local language, as many locals speak little English. However, you can go shopping in the city center without knowing the local language.

What currency is valid in Madeira?

The island of Madeira belongs to Portugal and therefore also to the EU. Therefore, as in other EU countries, the currency is the euro. So, you are spared a time-consuming change of your banknotes and you can also buy comparatively cheaply in Madeira.

Which credit card should I use for Madeira?

In Madeira, you can easily withdraw money with the EC and credit card at the local multibank. The most common credit cards used on the island are Visa, American Express and Master Card.



On my own: Can I organize the tour in Madeira myself?

Do you prefer to travel alone? No problem! Of course, you can also go to Madeira without a planned tour. The advantage of this is that you can individually adapt the entire trip to yourself. We have summarized important information for you here before your adventurer starts on the Portuguese island.

How can I book overnight stays on Madeira?

Madeira has accommodation for every type of travel. From simple and practical to luxurious star hotels, everything is included. Very often, when you search, you see Portuguese terms that do not tell you anything at first glance. We clarify you and tell you what is behind the terms.

  • Estaglem: An Estaglem is a 4 or 5-star hotel
  • Residencial: This is simple accommodation. The number of rooms is usually limited and dinner is not always provided.
  • Pensao: A pensao is a pension. They are usually in the center and are simply furnished.
  • Quintas: These accommodations are country houses. You are between vineyards and a score with a quiet green environment.
  • Poussadas: A Poussada is an authentic hotel with a rural interior. They are quiet and surrounded by nature. The type of building is mostly a monastery, castle or country house.
  • Casa en villas: If you see this term, you can be sure that it is a holiday apartment. These occur mainly in the north of Madeira since there are rather few hotels there.

Are there rental cars on Madeira?

You can conveniently book a rental car in advance online. It is advisable to collect the rental car directly from Funchal airport.

It is advantageous to have a rental car as many sights are difficult to reach by public transport. With the car, you are flexible and mobile and can explore the island on your own.

The following car rental companies are available in Madeira:

  • Alamo
  • Argus Car Hire
  • Avis
  • budget
  • DriveFTI
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • hertz

The prices vary depending on the season and provider. We recommend that you use a comparison portal to get the best price. You can also spontaneously go to a car rental company at the airport and inquire there. You should note that booking on-site is more expensive than booking in advance.

If you are interested in a rental car, we have all the information for you here:

How can I get to Madeira?

In addition to arriving by plane, you have the option of arriving by ship. Since 2008 it has been possible to take the “Armas” ferry from the southern Portuguese port city of Portimao to Madeira.

The ferry leaves Portimao for Madeira every Sunday at 1:00 p.m. It arrives there the next day in the morning.

Trivia: What else you should know for your round trip in Madeira

So far you should have all the important information for your Madeira round trip. We have summarized further facts that might interest you in the following section.

Can I include other islands on my tour?

The only island that is inhabited and visit able besides Madeira is the island of Porto Santo, which also belongs to the archipelago of Madeira.

The smaller neighboring island of Madeira is known for its 7 km long natural sandy beach, but Porto Santo also offers challenging hiking trails, extraordinary natural spectacles, and charming villages.

There is a ferry from the Funchal port that runs regularly to the island of Porto Santo. Day trips are easy and spontaneous to organize.

The journey takes around 2 hours and costs an average of EUR 65.

Food and drinks are offered on the ferry and taxis are waiting for you at the port of Porto Santo, which drives to the city center for around 5 EUR.

What is the traffic like in Madeira?

The traffic in Madeira is rather calm. The inhabitants of Madeira are more relaxed drivers. Under no circumstances should you rush or drive aggressively. This will only take your nerves and effort; at the same time, you would also anger the Madeirans.

You have to stick to the following guidelines:

Guide speeds

  • In town: 50 km / h
  • Out of town: 90 km / h
  • Motorway: 100 km / h

Do I need a special driver’s license?

No, you can use your German driving license without hesitation. An international driver’s license is not required in EU countries.

Country-specific facts and fun facts about Madeira

  • Cristiano Ronaldo was born and raised in Madeira. He is the figurehead and the pride of Madeira. The airport in Funchal (Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport) was even named after him.
  • Tourism contributes more than 20 percent to Madeira’s GDP. Around 1.4 million tourists visit Madeira each year, including more than 500,000 visitors who come to Funchal by cruise ship.
  • Portugal granted political autonomy on July 1, 1976, and gave the area its own government and legislative assembly.
  • The Madeira archipelago was claimed by Portuguese sailors under Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419. In 2019, Madeira celebrates six centuries since its official discovery by the Portuguese.


Madeira is more than just a pretty island with flowers. The island offers a breathtaking natural backdrop with huge mountains, rugged cliffs, lush forests, and beautiful flower gardens. The people of Madeira are welcoming and hospitable, which reflects the relaxed and generous nature of the Portuguese.

Since there is a spring-like climate all year round, you can plan your trip to Madeira at any time. Madeira is a beautiful and fascinating island that is a wonderful holiday destination for the whole year.