This article aims to give you some practical suggestions on how to spend a week in the Madeira Archipelago, getting to know the most interesting places and enjoying the paradisiacal beach of Porto Santo.
1 – Air travel to Madeira Island.
These are the main airlines that make direct connections between mainland Portugal (Porto and / or Lisbon) and the city of Funchal – compare prices and make your choice.
- Tap Air Portugal – https://www.flytap.com/en/
- EasyJet – https://www.easyjet.com
- Ryanair – https://www.ryanair.com/en/
- Transavia – https://www.transavia.com/pt-PT/pagina-inicial/
2 – What to visit in Madeira Island.
Online, we rented a car at the Europcar company, with an office inside the airport and huge queues; it is preferable to take the password of service and go to have breakfast or photograph the statue of Cristiano Ronaldo to occupy this time of waiting!
Here are some companies where you can rent cars to visit Madeira:
- Europcar – https://www.europcar.pt/
- Future Rent – http://futurorent.com/
- AutoRentaCar – https://www.autorentacar.net/en/
Still in the airport, we obtained at the tourist office some maps and guides about Madeira. We visited Funchal, several viewpoints (Cabo Girão, Pico do Areeiro …), the typical Madeiran houses in Santana, etc.
At lunch, we opted for one of the many restaurants that serve cheap buffets, but in the evening we ate the best Madeiran steak on the island in the restaurant “As Vides” (291 945 322) – absolutely exceptional!
The night ended at Venda do Nelson (Vereda do Rochão, Câmara de Lobos), where you can taste a fantastic “poncha” (local drink).
3 – From Madeira to Porto Santo.
The boat ticket was booked in advance (https://www.portosantoline.pt/) and cost € 56 per passenger (round trip). It is advisable to arrive early to choose a good place. The “Lobo Marinho” (Sea Lion) is a very comfortable ship, with bars, restaurant, spaces suitable for children, etc.) and the journey takes a little over 2 hours.
Arriving in Porto Santo, we were transferred to the Pestana Beach & Spa, where we spent 6 days in an all-inclusive package. Here are some well-located hotel properties that may be of interest:
- Pestana Beach & Spa: https://www.pestana.com/en/hotel/pestana-porto-santo
- Hotel Vila Baleira: https://www.vilabaleira.com/
- Aparthotel Luamar: http://www.aparthotel-luamar.com/
The golden beach is more than 8 km long and the sea water is warm, quite calm.
4 – What to visit on the island of Porto Santo.
To explore the island of Porto Santo, we rented a car from the rent-a-car Moinho (http://cacv.dyndns.org/moinho_rent/moinho/). We visited Vila Baleira (including the house museum of Christopher Columbus), Calheta, Miradouro das Flores, Morenos, Pico Ana Ferreira, Casa da Serra and Miradouro da Portela, among others. Of course we also tried “O Rei da Poncha” (Poncha King Bar) (placed on João Gonçalves Zarco Street, 9400-166) and the delicious “caco” cake at Nico’s (near the taxi stand, in the center of Vila Baleira)!
5 – The homecoming.
We returned to Madeira on the Sea Lion; once it left Porto Santo at 8pm, we took the opportunity to book dinner in the ship’s restaurant, which we highly recommend! Last night, we tried the poncha at the White House Pub (White House R. 62A, 9000-113), where we said goodbye to Madeira!
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