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Situated off the north coast of Africa, Madeira is a subtropical archipelago of Portuguese islands. Heady mountains, black sand beaches and dramatic sheer cliffs promise some striking scenery, while greenery and wildlife are abundant too. A functioning island with its own unique culture, Madeira is not your average resort.
Madeira’s subtropical climate means the islands are lucky enough to enjoy fine weather almost all year round. However, the warmest periods are from April to September.
While near constant sunshine means it can be hard to find very cheap flights to Madeira, you may have better luck during winter season. Although the weather is generally still pleasant, the unshielded Atlantic coast of the islands experience more rain at this time of year.
While searching for cheap flights to Madeira, the best way to find good deals is to keep your search parameters as wide as possible. You can do this a number of ways.
The first is to remain flexible on dates. Always book your flights far in advance if you can, and be sure to select the ‘Show Flexible Dates’ option on the search results page. This will let you compare like for like flights on different days.
You can also use the ‘Nearby Airports’ option to see what other deals you can turn up nearby. For flights from London to Madeira, you should use select ‘All London Airports’.
Outside mainland Europe, Madeira is one of the most accessible destinations to fly to from the UK. Regular direct flights depart from London, Manchester and a number of other locations. While you may find direct flights faster, do check the price of indirect flights too – these can sometimes come at a discount.
Flights to Madeira from the UK take about four hours:
Named after everyone’s favourite Portuguese football star (who was born and raised on the island) flights to Madeira land at Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport. This is located in the capital, Funchal.
Once infamous for its notoriously short runway and challenging topography, an extension in 2000 lead to the airport winning an award for innovative engineering. You can now rest assured that flying to Madeira is as safe as any other major airport – although the view is certainly superior.
Air carriers flying here from the UK include:
Despite its small size, the island’s mountainous terrain results in necessarily winding roads. This means road travel can be somewhat time-consuming.
The cheapest form of transport is the bus, although this is also one of the slowest. You may prefer to take a taxi when travelling around the island. Both buses and taxis are available from the waterfront in Funchal.
Another option is to hire a car in Funchal. While the roads are winding, the views across the tree-blanketed peaks are exquisite, making this an extremely agreeable form of travel. Just be diligent about keeping your eyes on the road for any sharp turns.
If you’re looking for a little liveliness, Madeira’s capital Funchal is definitely the central hub. Funchal has a vibrant and sophisticated restaurant and bar scene, and you’ll find just as many locals here as tourists, even during the summer months.
While you’re here, we also recommend making time to visit to a traditional Portuguese Fado house. Meaning ‘fate’ in Portuguese, Fado is a key part of Portuguese culture that’s not to be missed. In intimate, low-lit venues, female singers perform beautiful songs packed with heartache. It’s truly atmospheric.
During your stay, be sure to make the most of the delectable Portuguese cuisine. Sipping a glass of Madeira wine with a seafood lunch is something you’ll often come across in portside restaurants and cafes. Portuguese desserts are also some of the best in the world. If nothing else, be sure to sample a ‘Pasteis de Nata’, an illustrious Portuguese custard tart.