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Car driving on Madeira

UK
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35 posts
9 reviews
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Car driving on Madeira

Before we went to Madeira last week I had read all these scary posts about driving on their roads .

I voiced these to my partner and he wasnt buying into it at all so we hired a car and I have to say it was a total joy. We did 523 miles in the week and travelled all round. No issues whatsoever. We stayed in Calheta.

Yes, apart from the main motorway type roads ( which are superb) the roads are narrower than we're used to but the speeds are less too and you edge past each other if needs be.

I navigated our way round using the Discovery Walking guides Madeira Tour and trail map and it did me proud.

Yes, the roads can be windy and hilly but at no point were any dangerous and in early February most roads apart from the very main drags were pretty empty.

Yes, the driver misses out on some views but that's no different from driving anywhere on holiday

Yes, your low gears get used more than we would ever be used to, but that's just the inclines and not dangerous.

We only went to Funchal one day - Parked for free at the Botanical Gardens signed off the motorway- walked down into town and then came up via the two cable cars - which cost far more than parking in Funchal but much easier and enjoyable too.

I didnt much like the time up at the top when enclosed by clouds and couldn't see much past the front of the bonnet so we chose to go back down to where we could see and walk elsewhere in sunshine. In fairness I wouldn't have liked that on a coach, mini bus or taxi either- this way we could about turn at our own will,

At no point did we feel we'd made a bad choice and we paid about £200 for a 1.6 car and used 1 tank of fuel at 60Eu and went all over the island each day to levada walks , up to the top a couple of times and out to Porto Sao Lorenco. Porto Moniz etc We would never have afforded a taxi each day for the day

Of course - not a good idea if your driver has vertigo or a height issue but on the whole - just sayin' - it's not as bad as it can be portrayed.

UK
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35 posts
9 reviews
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1. Re: Car driving on Madeira

Sorry - 523 kms not miles

Blyth, United...
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24 posts
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2. Re: Car driving on Madeira

We are going Madeira in May for 2 weeks, you have now convinced us of hiring a car. We are going to do,a lot of walking due to our hobby of geocaching. These are all over the island, so thanks for putting this all down on trip advisor.

England, United...
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3. Re: Car driving on Madeira

Good report Radarjet and glad you had a good time.

<Before we went to Madeira last week I had read all these scary posts about driving on their roads. I voiced these to my partner and he wasnt buying into it at all so we hired a car and I have to say it was a total joy>

I think you've summed it up there. If you have a confident driver it's great hiring a car. It gives you so much freedom to explore at your own pace.

Wrexham, United...
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4. Re: Car driving on Madeira

Radarjet - For anyone undecided about hiring a car , I think your post will convince them to go ahead .It worked well for you .

Thank you for posting such a positive report .

Chicago, Illinois
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87 posts
54 reviews
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5. Re: Car driving on Madeira

Thanks for sharing this information as we are going in December and were wondering about the roads and cliffs.

Blyth, United...
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24 posts
96 reviews
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6. Re: Car driving on Madeira

Thanks for giving all the information, we have hired a car. Now really looking forward to,our hol.

Oldham
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23 posts
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7. Re: Car driving on Madeira

Hi we hired a car in February for 3 days and got a very good deal pre booking in the UK. It was suggested that we have a car with Sat Nav. We really appreciated having this as it can be quite difficult to navigate your way in and out of Funchal I think we only paid another 15 Euros for it, we'll worth the money. The very centre of Funchal was always busy with traffic during the week and sometimes quite chaotic, but Saturday and Sunday the roads were much much quieter, so worth bearing in mind. .There is a book shop in the Dolce Vita shopping centre which have a good selection of road maps, the Madeira Centre also sell them, range from about 8 - 11 euros.

Agree hiring a car was well worth doing.

8. Re: Car driving on Madeira

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