edited December 1969
What is the public transport like on the Island and particularly airport to Funchal
Is it expensive?
The yellow buses from the Lido area are frequent and cheap, taxis are plentiful and must use meters, about 5 euros into Funchal. All areas are well served by public transport. From Airport to Funchal is about 25 - 30 euros and is a set charge. There is an aerobus which runs from the airport as far as Pria Formosa and is free for Tap guests and 6 euros for everyone else.
public transport is cheap on Madeira. We prefer it because it's more comfortable than driving on your own. On my website all information about busses are in German, but here you can find some English ressources:
Regards e Feliz Natal - Anton
Are all the people on the island as helpful as you?
We are really looking forward to coming over to the island at the end of Jan
Any ideas on cheap but good car hire at the airport?
It depends on how long you are coming for.
For a week or 2 we find it cheaper to buy a car rental "voucher" in our home country before we come than to arrange renting locally.
For a longer period, we can usually negotiate a good deal with any of the companies.
Our usual is to buy a voucher for the first week so that we do not have to deal with negotiating rates when we arrive at the airport, and then negotiate a price with the off airport office (much cheaper because there is such a hefty fee for them using the airport) for the rest of our stay.
The most expensive way is to show up at the airport and rent then. Prices are high in Madeira as importing cars is expensive, so people can get quite a shock and think they are being ripped off when that is not the case.
And yes, I've found people (both local and expat) in Madeira to be more friendly and helpful than in a lot of other places.
Hope you enjoy your stay.
we have found just about everyone friendly but the madeirans are very friendly.
we met a local woman on the bus who when she heard my wife and i speaking english ,was overjoyed to have a conversation.it turned we all live in the same town ,so we were invited to her house for a look round /a drink/meet her husband and then next door to meet her in-laws.
an open invitation to call anytime.dont think this would happen in the UK.
they are proud of their homes and their island(rightly so in my opinion)
For car hire go to travelsupermarket,co you will get an option from different car hire companies on the island starting at 20euros per day another good site is economycarrentals they will recommend sixt car hire at the airport also 20 euros and you can book up to 2 days before the hire.
We come to Madeira every year and our first stop is the Madeira Bus Company office Office - we buy a 7 day Tourist pass 17 Euros - the buses are fantastic and you get all over the island - much cheaper than booking tours - went to Monte and the Valley of the Nun's this year. Here is the link -
Horários do Funchal, Transportes Públicos S.A. - O seu Transporte na ILHA DA MADEIRA
Horarios do Funchal have the smartest and most helful drivers in the world
Unfortunately, they only serve the Funchal area. Buses to the western part of the island are infrequent, dirty and old. The service leaves a lot to be desired. Out here, car hire is the only option other than taxis - which can get very expensive way out in the countryside (like 30km from Funchal!!).
Thank you because you shared on the Island
Just as an update:
The Aerobus is not free for TAP passengers anymore, now it's 5 EUR one ride and 7.50 EUR for a return ticket.
Horarios do Funchal, now travels to areas other than Funchal. For this Interurban service they use yellow/grey buses.