Funchal is the major city on the Madeira Archipelago, located a little less than two hours by flight from the Portuguese mainland. The islands are famous for their comfortable climate and thick forests. The pleasantly warm seas offer many opportunities to enjoy boating or water sports in the area. Funchal is not as crowded as other major tourist destinations in the area, this city is ideal for those who are looking for a quieter break away. Shopping options include handcrafted products and local wines, to boutique stores selling top name brands of clothing.
The city of Funchal has a long history and a sophisticated contemporary culture, so it's hardly surprising this capital of Madeira is popular with international visitors. Funchal is the capital of the island, and its busy port and colonial buildings are testament to the Portuguese colonists who claimed the island 500 years ago. The island is an autonomous region of Portugal and particularly renowned for its sweet, fortified wine Madeira. The main airport for Funchal is Christiano Ronaldo, more commonly called Madeira Airport.
Madeira Airport is the principal airport on Madeira and is located about eight miles outside the city of Funchal. The airport has one terminal, and most arrivals are from the EU, UK or Scandinavia. Additional flights are scheduled during peak summer months to cater for the booming holiday industry in Madeira.
easyJet and TAP Portugal operate the busiest routes into Funchal Airport from Lisbon; however, routes from London, Manchester and Bristol are all in the top 10 busiest services on offer. More than 30 airlines offer flights to Funchal via Madeira Airport including easyJet, British Airways, Jet2 and TUI Airways. Direct flights to Funchal take around four hours from the UK, and this sunny island has become very popular with holidaymakers seeking guaranteed winter warmth or late spring/early summer sun.
Funchal is a popular cruise liner port, and it is possible to catch a ferry from Portugal to the island, however, most travellers find flying into Funchal is the most convenient travel solution. The increased availability of budget flights from the UK's regional airports has helped grow the popularity of Funchal for short breaks and holidays, while the airport's proximity to the city is also a big plus factor for travellers.
Passengers arriving at Funchal Airport will find the Aerobus operated by SAM Madeira Bus is the cheapest way to get into the city centre, offering lots of stops for ease of access to local hotels. The bus operates seven days a week throughout the year and travellers can purchase tickets from the bus driver. Frequent car ferries run between Funchal and the nearby island of Porto Santo, and visitors are well advised to explore the island during their holiday. Some of the lesser known Funchal beaches include Sao Tiago beach and Formosa Beach.