Car hire in Madeira
Hiring a car in Madeira
With its year-round summer climate and the fact that it has become a highly celebrated island destination, Madeira is one of the most beautiful places to holiday in Portugal. Located in the middle of the Atlantic, Madeira is known for its natural beauty, which makes it a joy to explore no matter when you visit. Whether you want to relax on the coast and enjoy the sea views while soaking up the sun or take a more active approach to your trip, Madeira has it all.
With loads on offer, hiring a car in Madeira is a great way to fit as much into your holiday as possible. Driving is easy for the most part, especially if you follow the ER101, which takes you all around the coast of the island.
What you need to know
There are several car hire companies operating in Madeira, so you have options when it comes to finding the right deal and vehicle for your trip. Use our booking tool to easily compare offers, safe in the knowledge that there are no hidden extras. Booking your car through Holiday Autos also means you get 24/7 support should you need it, as well as free cancellation so you're covered if you change your plans. This service is why millions of people across the world book with Holiday Autos every year.
Where to pick up your car
Picking up your hire car couldn't be simpler, as you can do it as soon as you land. Car hire desks are located inside the only terminal building at Funchal Airport (FNC). The terminal building is mostly located underground, but the car company you choose will ensure you have all the information on where you can collect your car from upon your arrival. This means you can start your holiday straight away without needing to wait for connections to your hotel.
If you're flying to Porto Santo, which is in the archipelago of Madeira, you can collect your car from the arrivals hall of Porto Santo Airport.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Driving in Madeira will allow you to take in the beauty of the island, whether you head inland or follow the coastal road. Hiring a car ensures you can explore to your heart's content and come to understand why it is that so many people return to Madeira year after year. Want to find the perfect beach? Madeira's long coastline is full of them. Prefer something more active? Why not try your hand at a game of golf or take a hike and enjoy the lush vegetation the island is known for? And don't forget Madeira's varied and interesting culture. All this can easily be discovered by heading out in your hire car.
Madeira has so much on offer no matter where you're staying on the island, but particularly if you are near Funchal. This is Madeira's largest city and will put you close to a number of interesting attractions, such as the stunning Madeira Botanical Gardens. Located just 8km from the centre of Funchal via the VR1, the botanical gardens cover 80,000 square metres and rise 300 metres above sea level. Here you'll find beautifully exotic plant life unlike any other collection in Europe. You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing which area of the gardens to visit first, although a good place to start is the Madeiran indigenous and endemic section.
A popular day trip in Madeira is to Curral Das Freiras (Nun's Valley), which is just 13km from Funchal via the ER107 and VE6. The village is located at the bottom of a cauldron of rock, providing beautiful mountain views. Here you can enjoy some specialities, such as local chestnuts and ginja liquor, which comes served in glasses made of dark chocolate.
The size of Madeira means that you can get to the opposite end of the island in as little as an hour, so most attractions are open to you if you hire a car. This means that you can really explore Madeira and visit interesting places like Aquario da Madeira, which is located in the village of Porto Moniz on the northern coast of the island. Simply drive along the VE1 and join the VE4 just after Ribeira Brava before turning onto VE2.
If you're already heading north along the VE4, you may want to stop off at Grutas e Centro de Vulcanismo. Here you can enjoy a tour around the local caves, which are actually lava tubes that were created around 900,000 years ago. You can also visit the Centro do Vulcanismo, which allows you to take a 3D look at the volcanic birth of Madeira.
Top attractions in Madeira
The whole of Madeira is open to you if you choose to hire a car, which means you can take in all the sights.
A great way to explore the beauty of Madeira is to head up to Cabo Girao. This is the second highest cliff face in the world and features a stunning view that will ensure you fully appreciate how beautiful the island is - although standing close to the railings isn't for the faint-hearted. The lookout point also has a glass skywalk for those feeling really brave, while those who prefer to keep their feet on real ground can make the most of the shops in the area.
Monte Cable Car
Another way to see the sights of Madeira is by hopping on the Monte Cable Car. You can jump on a car from Funchal Old Town at the Campo Almirante Reis or at the other end in Monte. The cars hold up to seven people and allow you to look out on Funchal Bay and the landscape of Madeira. Once you arrive in Monte, you can take a different route down to Livramento. The Carro do Monte is a traditional toboggan ride on a wicker sled and is the ideal mode of transport for those seeking a thrill.
Porto Moniz Lava Pools
Porto Moniz is located in the northwest corner of Madeira and is worth a visit for a number of reasons, not least is the natural lava pools. Volcanic lava settled in the area to form pools that naturally fill with clear sea water, offering a beautiful place to swim. There are two areas of pools to visit, although only one is really suitable for swimming in and costs money for admission. However, the free pools are worth a visit just for their natural beauty.
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