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Why rent a car in Madeira?
Madeira is a great destination to discover by car. From capital Funchal to little villages, rocky beaches, and impressive mountains, having your own wheels is the best way to see it in its full diversity.
Top ways to enter Madeira
- Madeira Airport: Named after the living Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo (whose statue greets the arriving visitors), Madeira Airport is served by more than 40 airlines that connect the island to destinations in mainland Europe.
- Porto Santo Airport: The second and much smaller airport of Madeira, serving the island of the same name, has regular service to Madeira Island and Lisbon, as well as summer flights to and from Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
Useful city facts
- An island archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal. Its population is nearly 300,000 people.
- The largest city and capital is Funchal.
- Madeira enjoys much warmer climate than continental Portugal. The summers are hot and very dry. Even in winter, the temperature rarely drops below 15 (60) °C (°F). Despite that, it’s not rare for snowfall to occur in Madeira mountains.
Top destinations and activities
- Funchal. Madeira’s capital and by far the largest city has different attractions like the Madeira Botanical Garden, the historic Madeira Market where you can still buy produce from local farmers, and the beautiful. São Lourenço Palace
- Porto da Cruz. The small and cozy village on the Atlantic Coast that lives in the shadow of Penha da Águia (the Eagle Rock) boasts regional museums, a rum factory, mountains for hiking, and impressive surfing waves.
- Calheta. Calheta is most famous for its sugarcane museum and visiting here can be easily combined with seeing the two neighboring fishing villages, Paul do Mar and Jardim to Mar.
Traffic and parking tips
- You can only enter the roundabout after giving way to cars already on it.
- The car documentation and insurance always has to be inside a vehicle.
- Drivers can only use a mobile phone if it is a hands free or an earpiece.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.2 for novice drivers.
- Safety cameras are in use.
- When parking in a street, your car must be parked facing the direction of travel.
There are no toll roads in Madeira, but there are quite a few in mainland Portugal. See the official website for maps and prices.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Ponta de São Lourenço. This nature reserve is where unique plants like the Ice Plant and the Cardoon have found their home. Those who dare to climb the steep mountain paths and the volcanic rocks will be rewarded with impressive ocean views.
- Ribeiro Frio Natural Park. Another nature reserve, Ribeiro Frio can be best explored by walking its levadas or nature paths. The only human activity here is the trout farm that you can visit.
- Porto Santo. The ferry to Porto Santo Island takes about two hours from Madeira Island, but is well worth the trip. The cozy Vila Baleira is the only human settlement on the island, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the island’s wild beaches and private atmosphere.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental cars in Madeira are the VW Polo, the Ford Fiesta, and the Fiat 500. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
- Azores. Even further out in the Atlantic Ocean than Madeira and lying nearly half-way between Europe and North America, the 9 Azores islands offer even more dramatic mountains, volcanoes, and beaches.
- Lisbon. Easily reached by a number of flights every day, Portugal’s first city is one of the most fun, colorful, and relaxed capitals of Europe.
- Porto. Full of history and unique atmosphere, Porto is a fascinating city to explore for days, although you might be tempted to visit the surrounding Northern Portugal region as well.
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are some of the things you can try to do to get a good rental car deal in Madeira:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Madeira is the cheapest in January when renting a car is about 65% cheaper than the yearly average.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Madeira?
What’s the usual rental length in Madeira?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Madeira?
Top 7 Locations near Madeira
Top 10 Best Madeira Suppliers in 2019
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