Before planning your trip, find out about how to get to the Madeira Islands, the papers you need, customs formalities and health precautions.
You can fly to Madeira and Porto Santo and there are daily flights between Lisbon and Funchal taking an hour and 25 minutes. Flights between the islands take around 15 minutes. There are two airports, Madeira International Airport and Porto Santo Airport.
Funchal and Porto Santo are frequent calling places for cruise ships. Their ports are gateways to the islands and departure points for other destinations. The trip between the islands takes about 2h30 hours by ferry, which can also carry cars.
Getting around the islands is very easy, thanks to the modern road network built in recent years. Practically all places of interest are easily accessible by road.
If you are visiting the islands from a European Union country belonging to the Schengen Agreement there are no restrictions on entry. Visitors from countries that don’t take part on this agreement, it is required to have an identification document, which, under Portuguese law, means a valid passport and, in some cases, a visa.
Goods leaving the island are not subject to any limitations. However, if the customs officers feel that the quantity is excessive, you may be asked to prove that the articles are for your personal use.
You do not need any vaccinations before travelling to the archipelago. Emergency treatment at state hospitals is free of charge for European Union citizens and there are good private health care services for visitors from other countries. There are 67 health centres in Madeira and one in Porto Santo. Funchal has two public hospitals.
Pharmacies are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each pharmacy has a sign on the door giving the names of the duty pharmacies open outside these hours.
Information and communication technologies are highly developed in the region. The international dialling code for Madeira is +351.
There are public phones in the main streets of the larger towns. Some take only phone cards, which you can buy in cafés, tobacconist and post offices. To call abroad, dial 00 followed by the country code.
In Madeira summer time is GMT. The clocks go forward one hour on the last Sunday in March and back an hour on the last Sunday in October, as in the rest of the European Union.
The electric current in Madeira is 220V. Water is abundant in Madeira and is all drinkable and of excellent quality. In Porto Santo the water is desalinated and is also quite safe to drink.
The banks are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Exchange bureaus are open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Saturdays, when they open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. At other times you can exchange money at hotels.
If you need help from the police, dial 112. There is a Lost and Found Department at 28 Rua da Infância, Funchal, phone (+351) 291 208200.
The islands in this archipelago are among the safest places in the world for a holiday. Provided that you take the usual precautions dictated by common sense anywhere in the world you are not likely to have any problems here. Most hotels have safes or other places for keeping valuables
In case of fire call Bombeiros Municipais do Funchal on (+351) 291 200 930 or Bombeiros Voluntários Madeirenses on (+351) 291 229 115.
Avenida Arriaga,18 | 9004-519 Funchal
Tel.: 291 211 900 | Fax: 291 232 151
Avenida Arriaga, 16
Tel.: (+351) 291 211902
Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monumental Lido Shopping Centre
Estrada Monumental, 284
Tel.: (+351) 291 775 254
Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Santa Catarina de Baixo
9100 Santa Cruz
Tel.: (+351) 291 524 933
Open daily from 9 a.m. to midnight
9125 Caniço de Baixo
Tel.: (+351) 291 932 919
Forte Nossa Senhora do Amparo
Tel.: (+351) 291 962 289
Forte de São Bento
9350 Ribeira Brava
Tel.: (+351) 291 951 675
Centro de Observação de Natureza
Lagoa - Lugar de Baixo
9360-119 Ponta do Sol
Tel.: (+351) 291 972 850
Casa da Cultura de Câmara de Lobos
Rua Padre Eduardo Clemente Nunes Pereira
9300-116 Câmara de Lobos
Tel.: (+351) 291 943 470
9270 Porto Moniz
Tel.: (+351) 291 852 555
Sítio do Serrado
Tel.: (+351) 291 572 992
Centro de Artesanato
Av. Manuel Gregório Pestana Júnior
9400-141 Porto Santo
Tel.: (+351) 291 285 189
Praça dos Restauradores
Tel.: (+351) 213 469 113
Estrada de Santa Clara, Nº 60
Rua da Carreira, 62
Caminho de Santo António, 219
Caminho do Engenho
Edif. Flor do Engenho, LJ.3/0 BL.B
Rua da Praia, 3
Rua Gonçalves Zarco, 74
Rua Dr. Alcindo Drumond, 1