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Madeira - - rent car or rely on taxis?

Conan

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We'll be in Madeira next year (six nights in July). I have a Hertz car reservation - - 5 days for 200 euros (logistics require returning the car the day before we leave and taking a taxi to Funchal airport for departure).

Should I drive myself, or would I be better off with taxis throughout? We'll be staying at Pestana Madeira Beach Club.

We'll need to get from the airport to the hotel on arrival, plus at least three days exploring the island. And what about evenings in town? Bus, taxi or car?

So, rent the car or rely on taxis and transit?

Thanks!
 

Laurie

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We almost always rent a car in Europe and don't tend towards using public transportation, for convenience - but in Funchal, you don't really need one or want one, especially for a week. There are good restaurants surrounding the resort. You're on the edge of town and can walk into the historic town center easily - its downhill, and there are cheap buses almost everywhere (maybe you'll want to ride the bus back up the hill at night - maybe not). You can see most of the island that way, maybe you'd want to tack on a 1-day tour, or rent a car for a day or 2.

We stayed at the very same resort, by the way, and loved it! We had 2 weeks in Madeira, the first week stayed in Canico and used a car for some island touring. The second week we spent in Funchal, dropping the car on arrival, and never missed it. Funchal was a much better location. There are cheap buses from the airport, and cabs weren't too much either. There's a bus stop almost in front of the resort.

Of course it depends on exactly what you want to do while you're there... but to us, the best places were reachable by bus. We liked levada-walking, which was better with no car because we could bus to one place, walk, and take a different bus back. Don't forget a trip to Nun's Valley - we took a bus there, which was part of the experience. Then we walked from the top, down the mountain into the valley, and took a different bus back to town. You obviously can't do that if you have a car.

Madeira is a wonderful destination, enjoy your trip! :wave:
 
Last edited:

Denise P

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I own a Pestana timeshare in a resort across the street from the Beach Club and agree with the previous poster regarding the convenience of the buses.

I would also recommend any of the Pestana escorted tours. They are reasonably priced and include a really good 3 course lunch on full day tours as well as a break for tea and cake. The half day tours also include a tea break.

If there are more than 2 of you travelling, the taxis can also be good value but agree a price before you set out if they do not have a meter.
 
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