Car Hire in Madeira
This information is correct as of April 2015
Hire a car in Madeira and discover the best of the island on your own schedule. You don’t need to wait for buses and taxis: with your own set of wheels you’ll have the freedom to go where you want, when you want. Whether you’re planning a week of exploring or just need a small car for getting to and from the beach, you can find the best deals in Madeira with Skyscanner.
Where to hire a car in Madeira
Car rental is available at Madeira Airport through Europcar, Hertz, Sixt, Goldcar, Avis/Budget, Rodavante, and Guerin (Enterprise). More car hire companies can be found in the island’s major towns and cities. Funchal offers the most options, and most of the car hire companies are clustered around the beach-side neighbourhoods. There are also a couple of car rental locations in Machico, Auto100 Car Hire and Machico Rent, both beside the beach.
Driving in Madeira
Generally the roads in Madeira are fairly quiet: even in Funchal. The rural roads can be a bit nerve-wracking for nervous drivers, as they’re quite steep and narrow. A strong constitution is recommended, as is a car with a larger engine. You will definitely be rewarded by some spectacular views. Other than that, driving in Madeira is an absolute dream.
Traffic drives on the right, and your rental car will most likely be a left-hand-drive. If this is your first time driving abroad it will take a bit of getting used to. Just remember to overtake on the left and pay extra attention at T-junctions.
Parking in Madeira
Parking in Madeira is usually free, although you sometimes have to pay to park near popular tourist attractions and beaches. There are lots of multi-storey and underground car parks in Funchal: one of the most popular is beside the cable car terminal. The Anadia Shopping Mall also has a large car park and is only a five minute walk from the attractive old town. If you’re visiting over New Year’s Eve or Carnival (Shrove Tuesday) you might have trouble finding a space to park.
Great day trips in Madeira
Ponta de Sao Lourenco
This untouched nature reserve is a beautiful destination for a day of hiking. Gaze across the blue waters of the Atlantic, scramble up the volcanic rocks, or take some snaps of the rare plants lining the path. If you’re planning on doing the whole hike bring plenty of food and water, as it can take a good few hours.
The imported golden sands and calm waters of Calheta’s two beaches make them a firm favourite with families. Best of all, these beaches are on Madeira’s “sunny” coast: so good weather is practically guaranteed. Swimming is recommended, as is simply lounging around reading a good book.
Sao Vicente Caves
Visit the Volcanism Centre first to learn about how the island was formed. Afterwards you can wander through the intriguing volcanic caves, which were formed in an eruption that happened over 400 thousand years ago. There are 700m of tunnels to explore, filled with interesting volcanic features.