Getting About

There is no doubt that a hired car or taxi is also a convenient way of getting round the island. All taxi drivers carry a government-approved price list for journeys outside Funchal. However, don't be afraid to bargain. Your hotel porter may be able to suggest a driver for an all-day tour. Some of the drivers are especially knowledgeable about the island’s culture and customs; others again are keen walkers.

Coach tours are the most popular way of 'seeing Madeira in a day'. They provide a painless introduction to road conditions and a remarkable overview of island scenery. You'll discover in comfort the landscapes you'll want to explore later at leisure on your own.

Another way of getting about is by bus. The system is economical, reliable and fun! You get splendid views perched up on bus seats and most of the buses are new and quite comfortable. The drivers are expert; you’ll feel safe in their hands. The two largest operators, SAM and Rodoeste, have bus stations. While SAM's is fairly convenient, Rodoeste's is not! But most people catch SAM and Rodoeste buses at their main departure points on the Avenida do Mar (see plan) and buy tickets on the bus. Other 'country' bus tickets (EACL, ECCL, SR do Faial) are usually bought at the operators' kiosks near the bus departure points. For orange town buses, fare-saving tickets are available. (By the way, don't be confused by identical bus numbers, e.g. orange town bus 20 to Monte; green/cream country bus 20 to Santo da Serra.)

Do arrive early for your bus! It may take you several minutes to find the one you want and they leave right on time!


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