How to get to Madeira (by plane or boat)


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Being far removed from the Portuguese mainland, the vast majority of visitors to Madeira arrive by plane. However, some also arrive by cruise ship.

Flying to Madeira

From Portugal: easyJet, TAP Air Portugal, and Ryanair are the top carriers that fly from Lisbon and Porto to Madeira.

From Europe: Madeira is well-connected to many destinations across Europe (see table below).

From the USA: If you’ll be coming from outside Europe, it’s likely you’ll have to make a stopover somewhere (for instance in Lisbon). There is only one direct flight to Madeira from outside Europe: an infrequent New York JFK to Madeira flight run by Azores Airlines. Try searching for this flight directly on the Azores Airlines website, as due to its limited schedule it doesn’t easily show up on search engines.

From the UK: There are regular direct flights from London, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds, Liverpool, and Newcastle upon Tyne. Jet2 and easyJet have the most routes, plus a few from British Airways and Ryanair.

Madeira has an airport on the main island as well as a small airport on the smaller island of Porto Santo. The latter only has very few flights, so Madeira Airport International Cristiano Ronaldo (airport code: FNC) is likely your best bet.

Tip: Madeira’s airport is known for having one of the more challenging landing approaches in Europe. While it’s safe to fly to Madeira, flights are sometimes delayed or canceled due to adverse weather conditions, or in rare cases may be rerouted to Porto Santo. We suggest having travel insurance with coverage for delay or cancellation — just in case!

How to find cheap flights to Madeira

The best way is to use flight search engines such as Google Flights, Skyscanner, Kiwi, or Momondo.

We suggest playing with the dates to find the most attractive flight schedules and prices.

However, avoid booking through flight search engines or third-party agents like Kiwi. If you have a customer service issue, it just creates unnecessary headaches to have an intermediate to deal with, so it’s best to book directly with the airlines.

It’s possible that a stopover in Lisbon or Porto will find you better or cheaper flight options. You can try searching separately for a return to the Portuguese mainland and onward travel to Madeira.

Flight routes to Madeira

The following destinations have regularly scheduled flights to Madeira. Some of these are seasonal (e.g. summer only).

Austrian AirlinesVienna
Azores AirlinesNew York鈥揓FK, Ponta Delgada
Binter CanariasGran Canaria, Porto Santo, Tenerife鈥揘orth, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Marrakesh, Tenerife鈥揝outh
British AirwaysLondon鈥揌eathrow
CondorD眉sseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig/Halle, Munich
easyJetBasel/Mulhouse, Berlin, Bristol, Lisbon, London鈥揋atwick, Lyon, Manchester, Milan鈥揗alpensa, Paris鈥揅harles de Gaulle, Porto
Edelweiss AirZ眉rich
EurowingsD眉sseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Hamburg, Prague, Stuttgart
Eurowings DiscoverFrankfurt, Munich
IberiaMadrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, M谩laga, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia 
Jet2.comBelfast鈥揑nternational, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London鈥揝tansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich
Norwegian Air ShuttleOslo, Copenhagen
RyanairBeauvais, Bergamo, Charleroi, Dublin, Lisbon, London鈥揝tansted, Manchester, Marseille, Nuremberg, Porto
Scandinavian AirlinesStockholm鈥揂rlanda
SmartwingsBrno, Prague
Swiss International Air LinesGeneva
TAP Air PortugalLisbon, Porto
TransaviaAmsterdam, Lyon, Nantes, Paris鈥揙rly, Porto
TUI AirwaysBirmingham, Manchester
TUI fly BelgiumBrussels
TUI fly DeutschlandD眉sseldorf, Frankfurt, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart
TUI fly NetherlandsAmsterdam
Wizz AirBudapest, Katowice, Rome鈥揊iumicino, Vienna, Warsaw鈥揅hopin
Source: table adapted from Wikipedia

Ferries or cruises to Madeira

Cruise ships regularly make port in Funchal, normally staying for under a day. You can see the cruise ship schedule here. If you arrive by cruise ship, you’ll want to check out this 1-day Madeira itinerary.

There are limited options to get to Madeira by ferry. Currently, there is no regularly scheduled ferry and your only option is to board as a passenger on a cargo ship. We will refer you to this blog which has extensive information.

In years past, ferries have traveled between Lisbon and Madeira, or between Madeira and Tenerife. When these ferries are running, they only go during the summer high season.

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