VISITORS GUIDE: TRANSPORTATION PLANS TO MAKE YOUR VISIT EPIC!
So you’re thinking of visiting Madeira. Excellent choice! This beautiful Portuguese island is a true gem, and there’s plenty to see and do. But before you start packing your bags, there are a few things you need to know about the logistics of Madeira.
OVERVIEW OF MADEIRA’S LOGISTICS INFRASTRUCTURE
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The archipelago consists of the main island of Madeira, and two smaller islands: Porto Santo and Desertas. The islands have a population of around 270,000 people, and the main island of Madeira is home to around 220,000 people.
Madeira is a popular tourist destination, with over 1.5 million tourists visiting each year. The tourism industry accounts for around 25% of the economy of Madeira. The main tourist attractions are the natural beauty of the islands and the climate which is warmer than mainland Portugal.
The main industries in Madeira are tourism, fishing, and agriculture. The main crops are bananas, grapes, sugarcane, and potatoes. The fishing industry is active in both deep-sea fishing and coastal fishing. There are several seafood processing plants on the island.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CITY OF FUNCHAL
The main island, Madeira, is about 600 kilometers from the African coast and 1,000 kilometers from the European continent. The capital of Madeira is Funchal.
Funchal is the largest city in Madeira with 105,000 inhabitants. This makes Funchal the sixth largest city in Portugal. Funchal is the cultural and historical center of Madeira, and we recomend you take some time to visit the city.
The Port of Funchal is the only deep-water port on the island of Madeira and is one of the most important ports in Portugal.
MADEIRA’S AIR TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE
The Madeira International Airport is the busiest airport on the island. It is located in Santa Cruz, which is on the east coast of Madeira. The airport has one runway and two terminals. Several airlines fly into Madeira, including TAP Portugal, British Airways, EasyJet, and Ryanair.
Currently there are no commercial ferry lines connecting Madeira to Mainland Europe or Africa, so the only way to visit the island is by airplane.
GETTING AROUND BY CAR
Madeira has several highways that cross the island, both around the coastline and cutting through the center of the island. The roads are well maintained, and feature many impressive tunnels that allow you to avoid driving adrenaline filled mountain passes. The best roads are leading to the Capital City of Funchal, so make sure that you time your trips to avoid rush hour traffic. You drive on the right side of the road in Madeira, so you can expect all cars to have the steering wheel on the left side.
Many canyons require two cars, so make sure to plan ahead, either rent two cars, arrange taxis, or figure out the appropriate bus schedule
GETTING AROUND BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Madeira does boast quality public transport options. The companies Horarios do Funchal, SAM, Rodoeste, and EACL each run different routes around the island.
Because of the difficult logistics of going canyoneering public transport is only recomended as a way to avoid having to rent a second car.
Another popular way to help solve your logistics problems in Madeira is to use the BOLT taxi service.
You may find that the costs saved by not renting a car arent worth the additional logistics costs of hiring a taxi or taking the bus.
If you are going to come to Madeira for an adventure vacation you are going to need to plan ahead. We recomend that you rent atleast one car, and either focus on canyons that only require one car, use public transport, taxis, or hitch-hike.
Whatever you do, be safe, follow the rules of the road, and have a good time!