Are the Madeira Islands of Portugal your next travel destination? If you are a sea lover and find the island lifestyle alluring, this spot in the Atlantic Ocean might be a really nice discovery. The archipelago consists of Madeira island (home to the capital city, Funchal), Porto Santo and the Desertas islets, which make up an uninhabited natural reserve.
The primary gateway into Madeira for international travellers is Cristiano Ronaldo airport (IATA code: FNC), named after the worldwide acclaimed football player and formerly known as Funchal. The airport has a single passenger terminal from which chartered, regular and seasonal operations that link it with cities in Europe are handled, while transfers to the minor islands (Porto Santo and the Desertas) are done either by ferry boat or catamaran trips.
Flights to Madeira (Funchal) in Portugal
A variety of european airlines operate flights to Funchal both all year round and during the holiday season. You can purchase a seat on a seasonal flight to Madeira with Austrian Airlines (from Vienna), Transavia (Lyon), Tuifly (Basel, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hannover or Stuttgart), Germania (Bremen and Lanzarote) or Vueling (Barcelona).
When planning your trip to Madeira well in advance, there is a wider range of dates for you to choose, as the following carriers fly to these Portuguese islands on a regular basis:
Binter Canarias (from Gran Canaria and Tenerife), British Airways (London-Gatwick), Cimber Sterling (Copenhagen), Condor (Berlin Schonefeld, Hamburg and Munich), Easyjet (Bristol and Lisbon), Edelweiss (Zurich), Enter Air (Paris-Charles de Gaulle), Iberia (Madrid, Bilbao, Valencia and Santiago de Compostela), Lufthansa (Berlin Tegel and Dusseldorf), SATA International (Dublin and Stockholm Arlanda), Transavia (Amsterdam, Paris Orly and Oporto).
How to get to Porto Santo from Madeira island
Porto Santo island in the Madeira archipelago of Portugal has its own airport, mainly used for domestic operations; however, the best and most frequently chosen way of transportation between Madeira and Porto Santo is the ferry. You can take a day trip by ferry boat from Funchal any time of the year because these services start running early every morning, their return to the capital taking place late in the afternoon. Round-trip tickets cost 50€ approximately.
Going from Funchal to the Desertas islands in Madeira
The uninhabited Desertas islands are truly worth a visit, and you are advised to dedicate a whole day to one of the catamaran tours offered by local guides in Funchal. The breathtaking views of the cliffs and the natural reserve altogether make for a truly unique experience.
Accommodation in Madeira, Portugal
Even though the influx of tourists has considerably increased in the recent years, you can still find good hostels and hotels in Madeira when travelling on a tight budget. Read below for suggestions.
Budget accommodation in Funchal, Portugal
The Hospedaria Por do Sol is conveniently located next to a bus stop with regular connections with Cristiano Ronaldo airport and within short walking distance of the city centre and the marina. Besides, it features a terrace offering stunning sea views. The Botanical Garden lies 2,3 kilometres away. This accommodation in Madeira has rooms with private bathroom and guests may use safety deposit boxes and a WiFi network in the communal zone. Continental breakfast can be included in the nightly rate.
Bed & breakfast accommodation in Madeira, Portugal
The Quinta B is a B&B accommodation in Funchal that offers to pick up their guests and drop them off at the airport (12 kilometres from the establishment) for an additional fee. It has not only comfortable guest rooms with bathroom and free toiletries, but also a garden, a swimming pool and a nice terrace where travellers may have breakfast or try local wines and snacks. The friendly staff speaks both English and German, and can give directions to get to the nearby cathedral or the city casino, among many other attractions in the area.
3-star hotel in Funchal, capital of Madeira
The Hotel do Carmo is strategically situated in a spot from which you can reach the beach, the old town and the harbour on foot, plus it also provides airport shuttle service to guests with a reservation upon request. This hotel in Madeira, Portugal, features well-appointed rooms with safes and en suite bathrooms that can cover the needs of solo travellers, couples and families. There is WiFi access in shared areas and the peaceful surroundings, filled with local shops, invite to nice afternoon strolls.
Will you also visit Lisbon in Portugal? Take a look at our recommendations.