Madeira Funchal Airport Car Hire
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Funchal Airport (FNC) is situated 13km from Madeiran capital Funchal, is commonly known as Madeira Airport but officially named Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport after the famous footballer and son of the island. Portugal’s fourth-busiest airport, it usually processes around 3.5 million passengers annually. Madeira is an archipelago and autonomous region of Portugal which is full of pretty coastal villages, black sand and pebble beaches and a verdant, vertiginous interior which is incredibly fertile and hosts a plethora of vineyards, vegetable farms and fruit groves. The dramatic coast and mountainous interior make this a magnificent place to explore by car and you can easily find a great deal on car hire at Funchal Airport with Enjoy Travel. For instance, a mini-sized car like a Fiat 500 costs just £11.08 (€12.22) per day if you book off-season, while an economy car like Volkswagen Polo costs £15.92 (€17.56) a day, and even a sporty BMW 2 Series ̶ ideal for posing as you parade around Funchal or cruise along the coast ̶ costs only £29.22 (€32.21) per day. Enjoytravel.com partners with reliable Funchal Airport car hire providers like Europcar, Alamo and Dollar to bring you the best deals and most diverse fleets, with secure and cost-effective agreements. Choose your perfect car from an excellent choice of deals online then pick it up at FNC and get rolling in ravishing Madeira.
Madeira’s spectacular airport with its distinctive stilted runway was first opened in 1964 and at that time the runway was only 1600m long. In 1973 a new terminal was opened which increased the airport’s passenger processing capacity to half a million a year and between 1982 and 1986 the runway was extended to 1800m. The final runway refurbishment took place in the year 2000, when the track was extended to 2781 metres thanks to part of it being constructed on a platform perched over the sea and supported by 180 solid pillars. Now capable of handling practically any size of civilian or military aircraft, Madeira was finally accessible to traffic from any international destination and today it serves a multitude of global as well as domestic cities. In 2016, FNC was renamed the Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport.
In the unlikely event you haven’t heard of Cristiano Ronaldo, his stellar career merits a brief mention ̶ after joining Manchester United aged 18 he won the FA Cup in his debut season, won the Champions League with Manchester United against Chelsea in 2008, scored the winning goal in the Copa Del Rey final for Real Madrid against fierce rivals Barcelona in 2011 and won the European Championships with Portugal in 2016.
Facilities at FNC are good, with ample ATM machines, currency exchanges, free Wi-Fi access and standard amenities such as toilets and baby change rooms. Shopaholics are catered for with big name shops like Pandora, Sunglass Hut, Attitude and Fashiongate, while you can slake your thirst and sate your appatite at eateries like Burger King, Pizza Hut, Cockpit and Starbucks.
Madeira is a premier global tourist destination and won ‘Best Island Destination’ at the World Travel Awards for five subsequent years between 2015-2019 and despite its popularity with tourists it’s extremely eco-friendly and sustainable because 77% of the land is protected from urban development, ensuring that its natural beauty and biodiversity is secured.
Rent you car at Funchal Airport from Enjoytravel.com and look forward to touring this inspirational island under your own steam, but first take a look at some top tips on driving here and the best things to see and do.
Driving around Funchal Airport
Funchal isn’t far from the airport and the drive is pleasant and well-signposted, with scenic views of the rugged coastline. If you want to hear general and traffic news in English here, tune into Kiss FM Portugal on 95.8 FM.
Always drive on the right-hand side of the road in Madeira. The speed limit in villages, towns and cities is 40-50km/h and it’s 90 km/h for motorways.
Some of the driving rules and conventions here might be familiar to you, others less so. Here are few tips:
- There are some-awe inspiring serpentine roads in Madeira, many of which hug close to cliff-edges and feature hairpin bends and blind corners. Please be extremely careful, drive conservatively and courteously and don’t attempt any risky overtaking manoeuvres.
- Seatbelts are mandatory for the driver and all passengers and no child under 12 is permitted to sit in the front of the vehicle.
- The drink-driving limit in Portugal is 0.05 mg and the law is stringently enforced ̶ as well as endangering yourself and other road users, you could face a fine, loss of your license and even jail time.
- Don’t cross solid white lines or double lines and always give way to traffic coming from the right.
- The ideal hire car in Madeira will depend on your plans and the size and requirements of your party, but because of the type of roads in rural areas of the island, many visiting drivers prefer a rugged SUV-type vehicle with an elevated driving position and wide wheelbase. However, if you’re travelling as a family with small children, a mini-sized car is ideal for the narrow streets and compact parking spaces in Funchal.
- Keep an eye out for local buses at all times ̶ they’ll arc wide when they turn around cliffsides and will probably drive faster than you expect. If one is behind you on the road, allow it to pass you and if you see one on the road ahead, the best bet is to stop at a safe spot until it passes, and then proceed on your way.
- Carry your driver’s license, ID, insurance documents and car hire documents with you when you’re on the road.
Follow these rules and you’ll have a safe and superb time in Madeira!
A useful guide to Funchal and Madeira for FNC car hire customers
There’s plenty to see and do in Madeira ̶ here are a few recommendations:
- The eastern side of Madeira is an otherworldly nature reserve characterized by gargantuan volcanic rocks, steep cliffs, weird and wonderful plants and mind-boggling views over the Atlantic from famous viewpoints like Ponta de São Lourenç Alternatively, if you’ve got a head for heights, don’t miss the 580m-high skywalk at Cabro Girão, which is perched on a cliff edge and even has glass flooring to add to the thrilling feeling of floating on air. Needless to say, the vistas are eye-popping. If you’re feeling fit, you might like to tackle the Pico Ruivo, Madeira’s highest mountain. At 1862m the air is fairly rarefied, but it’s a manageable hike if you’ve got the right gear on and keep a close eye on the weather and you’ll see lizards, birds and breath-taking views along the way. However, if this all sounds a little too much like hard work for a holiday, why not get your fill of gorgeous views on the Funchal Cable Car instead? The cable car takes you from Almirante Reis to Monte, the city’s highest suburb and there’s plenty to see here, including a lovely church and the fascinating Monte Palace Tropical Garden. For a unique mode of transport on your descent, hop in a basket toboggan and a skilled pilot will whisk you all the way down via twisting roads on what feels like a slightly surreal helter-skelter ride!
- There are several sublime drives here, including the climb from Funchal to Curral das Freiras in the island’s interior and the famous VE2 route from São Vicente to Porto Moniz, which follows the green cliffside all the way around and offers outstanding ocean views ̶ cool off with a dip in the divine Seixal rock pools on the way! Meanwhile, if you’d like an enchanting hike, park your car at Ribeira Frio off the ER 103 and take the Levada da Serra do Faial path up to the Vereda dos Balcoes belvedere. You’ll pass a mystical forest with orchids, mahogany trees and plane trees before reaching the beautiful belvedere, which offers a blockbuster view across the stark stiletto peaks and lush green hills of the Metade Valley. Madeira is also an amazing place to go diving and there are dive centres in various occasions who can take you to see octopus, moray eels and excursions to Savage Islands, where you can splash around next to turtles, seals and dolphins.
Funchal Airport is your gateway to great times in Madeira ̶ rent a car at FNC with Enjoy Travel and embrace this unique island!
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