Formerly known as Santa Catarina Airport and also referred to as Madeira Airport, Funchal Airport is the main gateway for Madeira and is found 16km northeast of Funchal.
The island itself is quite remote, with its closest neighbour, the Canary Island of Tenerife, located 400 miles away. With plenty to see and do both in the city itself and across the island, a rental car is a fantastic way to get around and enjoy this stunning volcanic beauty!
Sightseeing in Funchal
Plan a trip on the famous Monte cable car, providing fabulous views over the city and harbour. The departure area is found in the Old Town and the 15 minute journey ends nearby to the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens located on the outskirts of the city. Opened in 1991, these stunning gardens have taken influence from around the world with oriental gardens, koi carp, Buddhist sculptures, and much more; it truly is a beautiful haven and should certainly feature on your itinerary.
Spend some time exploring the fabulous Old Town area too; boasting colonial architecture fringed by narrow streets, it's the perfect setting for an afternoon wander. For starters, sample some of the goods for sale at the farmer's market and learn of the island's history at the Madeira Story Centre.
Day Trips Around Madeira
Hire a car and just shy of an hour's drive away, you will arrive in the northern village of Sao Vicente. Here you will find popular volcanic caves where you can see demonstrations of volcanic eruptions and also take a stroll through the caves.
You're never far from the sea in Madeira so why not indulge in diving, swimming, whale and dolphin watching, boat trips, water skiing or surfing? Alternatively, arrange car hire and take a drive to Porto Moniz during high tide and indulge yourself in the natural bathing pools and beautiful scenery.
After all that fun in the water, why not dry off on land and drive to Nun's Valley for the famous tour where you can sample local chestnuts and wild cherries? Alternatively, weekend markets are plentiful across the island and are a great way to spend the afternoon; some of the best include Ponta Delgada and Santo da Serra. It's worth a visit if you wish to sample some local produce on your travels.