Madeira Practical Information for Tourists

Madeira Practical Information for Tourists

“Madeira Practical Information for Tourists” is a blog post packed with essential details to ease your trip planning. Here, you will find practical tips regarding public transportation, along with links to official tourism websites for exploring Madeira’s local attractions. Additionally, there’s information on cultural events happening on the island, a list of beaches, and scenic viewpoints. It is a compendium of practical data designed to help you make the most of your journey to this enchanting island.

Public Transportation

Transport: Renting a car for convenience during sightseeing is advisable. Within Funchal, getting around comfortably can be done using the city’s public buses. For short rides, taxis or tuk-tuks are also available options.

taxis and tuk-tuks are alternative transportation options for short distances in Funchal

Public transportation in Funchal is well-developed and relatively easy to navigate. During peak hours, especially on main routes, it is mostly tourists who utilize it. Timetables are displayed at each stop.

On the website, you can find a guide to public transportation, maps, a list of locations where you can purchase a bus card, and a list of all intercity connections within the island.

You can ride the buses with single tickets (available from the drivers – priced at 1.95 Euros), but it’s more convenient to purchase a prepaid GIRO card. The card can be purchased for a specific number of rides or a certain number of days: 1 day – 4.5 Euros, 3 days – 11.5 Euros, 5 days – 16.5 Euros. When purchasing a GIRO card, there is a one-time surcharge of 0.5 Euros.

Madeira GIRO card
Madeira GIRO card

Accommodation, Local Cuisine, and Prices

Accommodation: It is advisable to book accommodations in advance. I recommend checking offers on platforms such as Booking or Airbnb, although the most comprehensive selection of lodging options can be found on the official website of the Madeira Promotion Bureau.

Dining: Madeira is renowned for its local specialities. Don’t miss out on trying Espada (black scabbardfish, found only off the coast of Madeira and Japan), or one of the many seafood dishes. Cataplana is a popular fish stew made with tomatoes and garlic, usually served with rice in a special pot, while caldeirada is a fish and seafood soup.

Beverages: For refreshments, try Brisa or Poncha. Brisa is a popular carbonated drink produced on the island since 1970, available in various flavours, including passion fruit. Poncha de Madeira is considered the national drink of Madeira and is popular not only on the island but throughout Portugal. Its main ingredients are rum, fresh lemon, orange or other fruit juice, and honey.

Prices: Prices in Madeira vary. Be prepared for a moderate price level, but the experiences will be priceless.

Useful links

Madeira Practical Information – Tourist Buses

Tourist buses operated by Yellow Bus and Sightseeing Tours run around the island.

Bus Turistic Funchal Madeira
Bus Turistic Funchal Madeira

Yellow Bus

Explore major attractions in Funchal, Câmara de Lobos, and Cabo Girão aboard a panoramic bus. Enjoy Hop-On Hop-Off tours with tickets available for 24 hours, 48 hours, or 5 days. Audio guides are provided. Exclusive benefits include wine tasting at Blandy’s Wine Lodge and entrance to the Bordal Embroidery Factory. Tickets can be purchased directly on the Yellow Bus company’s website.

City Sightseeing Red Bus

Discover Funchal’s main attractions with the City Sightseeing Bus. Enjoy Hop-On Hop-Off tours with tickets valid for 24 hours. After purchasing the voucher, it remains valid for 12 months. Additional benefits include wine tasting, the option to cancel tickets without fees, and dedicated customer service via the app. Tickets can be purchased directly on the City Sightseeing company’s website.

Madeira Promotion Bureau

On, you’ll find all possible information about the island: event calendar, festivals, cultural events, concerts, descriptions of all attractions, trails, accommodation options, dining, and much more. I encourage you to visit this place if you’re looking for more detailed information. Below are a few selected suggestions:

Cultural Events

Madeira is known for its rich cultural life, with numerous fascinating events taking place on the island throughout the year. Here are some noteworthy events to participate in during different months:

  • Madeira Carnival – February: Carnival parades, colourful costumes, and a joyful atmosphere make Madeira’s Carnival an unmissable event.
  • Festa da Flor (Flower Festival) – April: One of the most significant cultural events in Madeira. Cities on the island are adorned with thousands of flowers, with the highlight being the Flower Parade.
  • Madeira International Film Festival – May: If you are a cinema enthusiast, visiting Madeira in May for this festival showcasing diverse films from around the world is worthwhile.
  • Atlantic Festival – June: In June, Madeira celebrates its ties to the ocean. This festival features fireworks displays, concerts, and other cultural events.
  • Madeira Wine Festival – September: This festival celebrates the famous wines of Madeira. Participate in tastings, learn about wine production, and enjoy the atmosphere.
  • Columbus Festival – September: Commemorates Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America and related historical events. Parades, concerts, and shows are part of this festival.
  • Madeira Nature Festival – October: For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, this festival offers various events such as hikes, bike tours, and nature shows.
  • Christmas and New Year’s Festivities – December/January: Madeira attracts tourists during the holiday season with its unique atmosphere. Funchal’s central square is decorated with colourful lights, and the New Year’s Eve fireworks displays are among the most impressive in the world.

Remember that dates may vary from year to year, so it is worth checking the current event calendar before planning your trip.

Below is the full list of all cultural events on the island:

Hiking Trails

Madeira is a true paradise for hiking enthusiasts, offering extensive and diverse hiking trails. Here are several reasons why hiking in Madeira a must is:

Riberio Frio Madeira
Riberio Frio Madeira
  • Breathtaking landscapes: Madeira is renowned for its incredible natural beauty, and hiking allows you to immerse yourself in picturesque landscapes. Mountains, forests, cliffs, and ocean views create unforgettable scenery.
Miradouro do Fio Madeira
Miradouro do Fio Madeira
  • Variety of trails: The island offers a variety of trails tailored to different difficulty levels and preferences. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice, you’ll surely find something suitable.
  • Unique flora and fauna: Madeira is home to many plant and animal species found nowhere else. During hikes, you can observe unique fauna, including endemic bird species and plants.
  • Waterfalls and levadas: Hiking in Madeira leads to stunning waterfalls and picturesque levadas, creating unique and magical experiences.
  • Culture and traditions: Hiking trails often pass through traditional villages, where you can learn about the local culture and customs. It is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the island’s authentic life.
  • Clean air and environment: Hiking in Madeira allows you to breathe fresh mountain air, bringing health benefits. Additionally, the island is known for its environmental care, making it an excellent destination for ecotourism.
  • Well-marked trails: The hiking trails in Madeira are well-marked, with many routes of varying difficulty. The safety of hikers is a priority, allowing even less experienced tourists to enjoy the hikes.
  • Unforgettable ocean views: Following mountain trails, you can admire spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. These views are among the most beautiful in the world.

Madeira unforgettable ocean views

In summary, hiking in Madeira is not just a physical activity but also a chance to discover the unique nature and culture of this magical island.

Here are links to all hiking trails:

Viewpoints in Madeira

Visiting viewpoints in Madeira is an unforgettable experience, and here are several reasons why it is worth taking the time to admire the views from these picturesque locations:

  • Spectacular views: Madeira offers incredibly diverse landscapes, and viewpoints allow you to admire them from the most scenic perspectives. From mountain peaks to cliffs and the ocean, the views are unique.
Madeira offers incredibly diverse landscapes
Teleferico Do Rancho


  • Sunsets: There’s nothing more beautiful than watching the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean from a viewpoint.
  • Relaxation and contemplation: Viewpoints are the perfect place for relaxation and contemplation. The tranquil atmosphere sounds of nature, and space allow you to detach from the daily hustle and bustle.
Viewpoints are the perfect place for relaxation and contemplation
Botanical Garden Funchal
  • Variety of viewpoints: In Madeira, you will find many different viewpoints, each offering unique perspectives. Some are accessible directly from the road, while others require a short hike, providing an opportunity to explore different areas of the island.
In Madeira, you will find many different viewpoints, each offering unique perspectives.
Miraduro Pico dos Barcelos
  • Education about nature and culture: Many viewpoints have informative panels or educational centres providing information about Madeira’s nature, history, and culture.
  • Easy access: Many viewpoints are easily accessible by car or bus, making them available to a wide range of tourists.
  • Silence and tranquillity: Despite being popular among tourists, many viewpoints offer silence and tranquillity, especially in the early morning or late afternoon.

In summary, viewpoints in Madeira are not only excellent places to admire landscapes but also opportunities for relaxation, contemplation, and enriching oneself with knowledge about this extraordinary island.

All viewpoints:

Beaches of Madeira

Though renowned for its mountainous landscapes, Madeira also offers beautiful beaches. Here are several reasons why visiting different beaches on this charming island is worthwhile:

  • Diversity of beaches: Madeira boasts a variety of beaches catering to different preferences. From sandy beaches to scenic rocky coastlines, there is something for everyone.
Madeira boasts a variety of beaches catering to different preferences
Calhete Beach Madeira
  • Relaxation and tranquillity: Madeira’s beaches are often quiet and peaceful, making them ideal places for relaxation and recharging before returning from vacation.
  • Water activities: Some beaches offer opportunities for various water sports such as diving, kayaking, or windsurfing. Water sports enthusiasts will surely find something exciting here.
  • Clean water: The water around Madeira is known for its cleanliness and clarity, making the beaches ideal for swimming and bathing.
  • Scenic locations: Some beaches are set in picturesque bays or surrounded by cliffs, adding charm, and making them excellent places for coastal walks. For example, Prainha Beach is a natural beach located on the east side of the island, which we passed on our way to Santana.

Beaches of Madeira

  • Fishing culture: Some beaches are associated with local fishing culture. There, you can see traditional fishing boats and try fresh seafood.

Madeira Fishing culture

  • Great sunset spots: Beaches are perfect places to admire the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, creating magical moments.
  • Access to nature: Many beaches are surrounded by beautiful coastal areas and parks, allowing for combining beach relaxation with coastal walks.
  • Community and culture: Beaches are meeting places for the local community, allowing tourists to immerse themselves in the local atmosphere and learn about local customs.

Visiting different beaches in Madeira allows you to discover the diversity of nature, culture, and attractions that this island has to offer. Whether you are seeking tranquillity, water activities, or fascinating landscapes, Madeira’s beaches have much to offer.

Madeira – Useful Phone Apps

Before heading to Madeira, download apps on your phone that will significantly enhance your comfort and benefits from your trip.

Madeira – my other posts

I also invite you to check out my other posts about Madeira:

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial