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Driving in Madeira

Speed Limits
Motorways: 120 km/h
Open Roads: 90/100 km/h
Urban Areas: 50 km/h

Minimum Driver age: 18

Minimum Driver age for Rentals: 21

Required equipment for your car: First aid kit. Fire extinguisher. Warning triangle. Reflective jacket. Winter Tyres.

Seatbelts: Compulsory for both front and rear-seat passengers

General driving information: Drive on the right hand side of the road. The use of seat belts is compulsory, children under the age of 12 are not allowed in the front seats.

Airport Locations

Car Hire Madeira

Book your cheap car hire online for all car rental on the island of Madeira, Portugal. We have cars available at all the major locations on the island including Funchal Airport, Funchal Town and Funchal Port.

Madeira Archipelago was discovered by the Portuguese in 1418, it consists of the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and the uninhabited islands of Selvagens and Desertas. Madeira lies on a similar latitude to Bermuda and Los Angeles. The surface of Madeira Island is 459 square miles, 35 miles long and 13 miles wide. Madeira is 378 miles from Morocco and 620 miles from the European continent. Madeira´s stunning coastal scenery and soaring peaks complement a rich artistic and architectural heritage.

They named the islands Madeira, the word for "wood" in Portuguese, after the dense tropical and subtropical vegetation that covered the mountains and valleys. But for centuries, no one has associated the islands with wood. To the world, Madeira means "wine." The group of islands comprise of the main island of Madeira, the smaller island of Porto Santo and the three uninhabited islets of Ilheu Chao, Deserta Grande and Ilheu de Bugio, and the Selvagens (a group of uninhabited islets located south of Madeira). The islands are hilly and of volcanic origin and the coast of Madeira is steep and rocky with deep eroded lava gorges running down to the sea.

Must See in Madeira

The Caves of São Vicente

These are located on the left bank of the river crossing São Vicente in an area called ‘Pé de Passo’. They are of volcanic origin, and are composed of a series of lava tubes, the result of an eruption that happened 400 thousand years ago. This complex of ‘volcanic tunnels’ represents a network of over 1000 metres in length and so far it is the biggest known on Madeira.

Porto Santo

Is one of the islands constituting the archipelago of Madeira. It is amazingly different from the island of Madeira. Whilst lush green predominates in Madeira, Porto Santo is almost stripped of vegetation and the southern coast is bordered by a 9km long beach of soft golden sand, which makes it a highly esteemed resort area.


The city of Funchal will take more than a day to explore as it offers a wide range of places to see, all part of its natural built heritage. From the flourishing 'sugar town' of the 15th and the 16th century many buildings have survived until today. Most of this built heritage you will find in the centre of Funchal, which can be divided into three historically important areas: ‘São Pedro', 8216;Santa Maria' and ‘Sé’.

Dates for Your Diary

Madeira Wine Rally

It has nothing to do with wine, except maybe toasting the winner of this racing car event. The event attracts drivers from all over the world. (Early August).

The Feast of Nossa Senhora do Monte

A festival celebrating the deliverance of the people from hunger and plague. (August).

Round the Island Canoe Race

Each year, entrants from all over Portugal come to Madeira Island to test their strength and stamina with the best canoeists. The race begins at Funchal harbor and encircles the island. (Late August - Early September).

Madeira Wine Festival

It should come as no surprise that this event is one of the most popular festivals in town. If your cruise arrival coincides with the festival, you're in for some wine-tasting fun. (Early September).

New Year's Eve

The harbour is the best place to be. With fireworks and church bells ringing out, ship horns and sirens sounding the arrival of the New Year.