Madeira - Useful Information
Geopraphical Coordinates: 32º 46´N – 17º 0´W. Surface area 749
Kms2. - Highest point is 1.861 metres.
There are two main Islands in the Madeira Archipelago which is part
of Portuguese national territory. These are the “Ilha da Madeira” and
the “Ilha de Porto Santo”. There are other small islands which
are uninhabited named “Desertas” and “Selvagems”. The
location of the Archipelago is in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately
500 kms from the African coast and approximately 1000 kms from the
continent of Europe. The journey from Lisbon Airport is about 1hour
30 minutes. Interestingly, Madeira has the highest sea cliff in the
world at 589 metres.
The much smaller "Ilha de Porto Santo's" is situated
50 kms from the main Madeira Island. The island has a lovely golden
sand beach extending 9 kms, and provides swimming in clear and
temperate sea water. It is a 15 minute plane journey from Madeira
The international telephone Index for making calls to Madeira is
00351 and the local prefix code is 291.
The voltage in the archipelago is 220 V.
Due to its temperate climate the Archipelago enjoys abundant water
for human consumption.
Its geographic location and its generally mountainous nature, the
Madeira Islands enjoys a pleasant temperate climate with it seldom
being too hot or too cold and with an average moderated humidity.
The temperatures oscillating between the 23º in the summer and the
17ºC in the winter
When taking a walk with light clothes or shorts always use some
sun protector. The sun in Madeira is normally strong and can cause
burns even in some cloudy days. After 10:00 a.m. we recommend for
older visitors it is preferable to wear some form of cap. Some
form of light impermeable jacket or an anorak could be advisable
if it should start raining.
For walking in the mountain it is always necessary to take warm
clothes as the height increases the weather can suddenly change
and therefore the temperature can drop and it can be much colder
than temperatures found at sea level.
It is not necessary to have any specific vaccine prior to your visit.
There are sixty seven Health Centres around Madeira Island and one
on Porto Santo Island. There are also two public hospitals in the
central town of Funchal.
Visitors from the European Union to not need to have a Visa for
Being a part of Portugal the currency of the Madeira Islands is
the Euro. The main credit cards are accepted in nearly all
commercial establishments, restaurants, bars and hotels.
Local tradition and costumes are reflected in much of the items
on sale, wine and lace being major items of interest.
Commercial establishments are open from 09.00 hrs. until 13.00 hrs.,
and then from 15.00 hrs. until 19.00 hrs., from Monday to Friday.
Saturdays they only open from 09.00 hrs. until 13.00 hrs. However,
some Shopping Centres open every day from 10.00 hrs. to 20.00. hrs.