Disabled travellers in madeira and funchal

edited December 1969 in Holidays
I m a disabled woman from France and i dream about madeira. I walk with an ambulator for my activities. I would like to know if this beautiful island is not a place for my vacations. can you give somme informations about that? I can't drive a car.. I am used to international travel and planes .
Please give me some answers : i would like to come in Funchal for two weeks in June.
Thx very much


  • There are also disaböled people in Madeira, but it is unfortunately the easiest place for people who has difficulties when they walk...very much stairs everywhere, lots of high climbing etc many diaabled peolple in Madeira move with 4 wheeled mopeds...i dont know the name in English...in Finland we call them hillclimbers...but it is not so easy to use either. Whole island is a big mountain highesta place about 1860 or so high...and everything around is uphill...or even worse downhill...it is even more difficult to walk even when you are healthy as a horse....only places for you are two main roads avenida do Mar and avenida arriaga...they are not for mountain climbers.
    The island is very very very beautiful, I hope that you have a friend or strong nurse who can help you to manage to move there maybe with a wheelchair ot so. Other vise i think it could be impossible.

    When you read about the hotels there almost every of them say that the hotel is not suitable for disabled people, narrow corridores, small elevators, stairs and height differences in and outside of the hotel, even in the same room you could have 2-3 different heights...bed is on one level, other parts of the room on another and bathroom on the third....
    I hope that you still have the situation to go there...it will be great experience for you after all
  • Dear Mr or Mss Murumelli,

    Thank you very much for your letter. I wish so much to go to madeira that i will try anyway: it is a too beautiful place !! Now i will choose carefully my hotel and i hope i will be able to enjoy some places like botanical gardens. I will stay a week in Paradise.
    Thanks for your very useful informations.
  • We spent a week in Funchal with my sister and her husband who is in a wheelchair as he has M.S. We had an advantage as we know Madeira well so had an idea where we could access and where not. While I would have to agree that Madeira is very hilly the centre of Funchal around the cathedral is relatively flat. There are cafes in this area where you can sit outside. However access to toilets could be an issue in Funchal. It is possible to get in the market if someone can help you over the one step at the entrance and you can see into the fish market but it is down steps. It can be a bit of a bumpy ride as a lot of streets have cobbles. I found the Madeirans very considerate ,moving out of the way of the wheelchair on the pavements etc. Some new hotels have better access. The Calheta beach hotel at Calheta has ramps at the entrance and an easily accessible toilet. Also there are ramps on the sea front meaning one can access the cafes by the marina. The sea front at Porto Moniz is also flat and easy to get around. My brother-in law had a great time.
  • Further to my previous post I would also suggest getting a town centre hotel as it is a long way up the hill to the hotel zone!
  • Dear karen p.

    Thank you very much for your two useful letters. I walk with a deambulator so i think it will be a little easier than for you brother-in-law. usually i m able to climb small stairs ( 10 or 12 ) and i hope i will find some help from people if needed. I will plan my stay careffully with th help of yours letters.
    Toiletts are always a problem for disabled people anywhere: i will be careful;-)
    I will inform the travels agencies of my specific problems.
    I hope i will be able to help other disabled travellers with my experiences in madeira soon and think about writing some page on the web on this problem.gratefully MTH
  • I hope you enjoy your trip to paradise without the snake! It really is worth to see...have been there 9 times and go again next Xmas and New years time...3 week...I have lived there half year...nice!
    People there are very helpfull...yuo dont even have to ask and most of them will help you before you know what happened!
    Politenes is also not so nice thing always because they are so polite that almost all doors open inside...think about small toilet with inside opening door...even fine moving person have to be an acrobate to get out or in there....but they do so bacause other ways you might be so unpolite that you slap somebody with that door!!!!!!
    I think you will find your own special places wher you can be...there are many places you can enjoy yhe feeling and wiews outside and if you can go those few steps you can also be inside. In old town there are many nice restaurants, but the roads there are small stone...not nice to walk even with perfectly working legs. In centre of the town stones too but flat ones. I give you one tip more...if it rains or have been raining walk on the black stones they are not so slippery as the white ones, they are lige glas when they are wet.

    Happy traveling to Madeira, pearl of Atlantic
  • Dear Mister,
    Thx for your useful tips about Madeira.
    Politeness is hard sometimes it seens... inside a house i can walk without problem and i hope i will resolve the pb of toilets. I will be carefull to use your tip about black and white stones.
    you have been ten times in madeira : i hope i will survive my own trip (lol)
    have you used the services of touristics buses ? can you tell me about them?
    Yours, MT
  • Sorry I have beeb on summervacation. Tourist busses are unfortunately for so called normal people, but they are quite good and drivers are nice and helpfull so you said that it no problem to go couple of stairs so you will be able to go to a bus also. Smallbusses are more comfortable wider doors etc so maybe that kind of bus will be more suitable for your needs. Have you already been on the island???? Tell us all about your experiences, that might help other disabled persons a lot and elderly peole too who have difficulties by walking there mostly hillside up and down!!!!
  • I am seeking the name or Email address of any mobile scooter dealers on the Island. I would welcome any comments on this request, I have thr impression that Madeira is not very Disabled frindly to visitors in this respect.
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