The Madeira archipelago, which is part of Portugal, is located in the Atlantic Ocean, 978km southwest of Lisbon. The archipelago is of volcanic origin. It comprises the islands of Madeira (736km2), Porto Santo (43km2), Desertas (14km2) and Selvagens (4km2). Only the first two islands are inhabited. The latter two are nature reserves.
Madeira was discovered in 1419 and colonisation began in 1425. Madeiraquickly became the foremost and most important island trading post in the Atlantic Ocean. Funchal grew in importance as a staging port for Portuguese ships on route to the Gulf of Guinea as the geographical and commercial exploration of the west coast of Africa grew. Later on, as the Portuguese Discoveries expanded, Funchal gained further importance as ships stopped off on the way to Brazil and India.
Nowadays, Madeira is a reputable tourism destination and hosts a competitive International business centre for the development of International activities.
Madeira can be reached by air or by sea. Flights between Lisbon and Funchal take 1 hour and 25 minutes. Connections to Europe´s main capitals take around three hours.
Madeira International Airport´s runway was recently extended to allow intercontinental flights to land. There are direct flights to Madeira from London, Paris and other European cities as well as from some South American cities. There are currently more than a dozen daily flights connecting Madeira to Lisbon and Porto.
Trip to Madeira - Entry
In most cases, to visit Madeira on tourism or business, you just need a valid national passport, or other ID document in the case of European Community citizens.
Citizens of non-EU countries require the following to stay in Portugal long-term:
- Possession of a travel document valid for at least 3 months beyond the termination date of the planned visit;
- A valid visa appropriate to the purpose of the stay, which must always be obtained from a Portuguese diplomatic mission or consular office outside of Portugal;
- Possession of sufficient funds to support themselves for the duration of the stay;
- Non-inclusion on the common or national list of non-admissible persons.
Citizens of European Union member states, member states of the European Economic Space and Switzerland possess the right to enter, stay and reside in Portugal. If they decide to reside in Portugal, they must apply for a residency card within 3 months of entering Portugal.
Accommodation in Madeira
You can choose from a vast range of four and five-star hotels located in Funchal. As an alternative, you can opt for more recent accommodation solutions, consisting of smaller-sized units in rural areas, which permit closer contact with the local population and nature. Hospitality, tailored customer service, good taste and quality are the traditional and dominant characteristics of all hotels. NEWCO can help you reserve your hotel.
Custom formalities in Madeira
There are no limits regarding the export of articles. If you are conveying a quantity of goods that customs officials deem to be excessive, you may be asked to prove that the items are for personal consumption.
Vaccinations and health precautions
No vaccinations are required before visiting the archipelago. Emergency services in public hospitals are provided to European Union citizens free of charge. Private medical assistance is appropriate for visitors of other nationalities.
Infrastructures in Madeira
In recent years Madeira´s infrastructures have undergone substantial investment, creating modern and efficient infrastructures that make the people of Madeira proud.
These infrastructures have been the motor behind the archipelago´s development. Examples include the modern road network, the new commercial port beside Madeira´s Industrial Free Zone and the modern telecommunications network with high-quality connectivity levels and bandwidths.
Well located high-quality real estate for residential or commercial purposes is easy to find, at reasonable prices.
Official language in Madeira
The official language is Portuguese, though most people are fluent in at least one foreign language - principally English - due to Madeira´s vocation for international services.