Car hire at Funchal Airport
Car hire at Funchal Airport
Funchal Airport (FNC) is the main international hub for the island of Madeira. Despite being off the north-west coast of Africa, the archipelago consisting of four islands belongs to Portugal. This can be seen in its language and culture as you explore with your hire car. Driving from the airport to Funchal itself takes around 20 minutes via the VR1.
What I need to know
There are plenty of car rental firms operating out of Funchal Airport, meaning you can take your pick. Compare car hire deals with our site to secure a vehicle of the right size for your needs and at the best price. You'll also enjoy the added benefits of zero credit card fees and 24-hour assistance should you need it.
Where to pick up my car
The majority of Funchal Airport car hire companies offer pick up at the terminal, so you just need to make your way to the desks, which are located on Level 0. The remaining providers allow their customers use of the free shuttle bus or a meet and greet service to get them to where they need to be without any hassle.
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“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
Nestled between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, Funchal is a picturesque city with lots to enjoy. Start your exploration in the Old Town and venture out along the waterfront and finally up Monte for stunning views of the city. You’ll find some wonderful gardens, too, so pick which ones you’d like to visit for a splash of colour.
Nearby Funchal Airport
Named after the cross that was erected on the coast to mark a safe port for Portuguese sailors, Porto da Cruz is just a 15-minute drive from Funchal Airport. It is a charming village that still processes sugar cane to make rum and molasses. The fishing village of Canical is just as easy to get to and is home to an interesting Whale Museum.
Even getting to the other end of the island is no problem with your hire car and after driving for just over an hour you’ll arrive at Porto Moniz. Here, you will find the stunning natural swimming pools that have been formed by lava and are perfectly contrasted with the blue of the sea water that fills them.
Eating and drinking
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants in the Old Town in Funchal, as well as the harbour. Since Madeira is an island, it makes sense that the seafood is particularly good, but there are other specialities to look out for too. Try picado, small pieces of fried beef with garlic and peppers; or milho frito, cornmeal cut into cubes and fried.
Things to do
When it comes to activities in Madeira, hiking is high up on the list. There are several peaks to summit, but also a network of levadas - water irrigation channels – that can be followed across the island. If you’d prefer a more adrenaline-fuelled descent, then enjoy a traditional toboggan ride down from Monte, with guides to help steer the way.
Among the sights you may wish to include on your Funchal itinerary are the Monte Palace Gardens, which combine beautiful blooms with traditional azulejo tiles; and Santa Clare Monastery. Constructed in the 16th century, the building is both historic and interesting, meaning you’ll get a lot out of a visit.
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