Accessibility in Madeira for wheelchairs


Right in the middle of the Atlantic, The sub-tropical island of Madeira is located in the Atlantic Ocean around 960 kilometres southwest of Lisbon.the island of Madeira is a haven of natural beauty. The exotic colours of the flowers stand out from among the blue sea and the emerald green vegetation; this is an archipelago where two thirds are a protected area and where the largest Laurisilva forest in the world is located.

Madeira Cruise Port

There are several location where crusie ships can dock. Mostly small cruise ships will dock less then 1 km walk from the city center of Funchal. Big cruise ships will dock at the southern pier of Funchal. It is about 1-2 km from the city center. It is always better to check with your cruise company if shuttle service will be provided. By foot it will take about 20-25 min uphill walk to the center of Funchal. 

Taxi from the cruise port to the center of the city is fixed price. Only use official taxis which are yellow with a blue stripe, they do have a meter. 

The cruise port of Funchal is located at about 20-min walking distance from the town’s center. The Port of Funchal International Maritime Passenger Terminal, situated at Pontinha pier, is new and modern and is offering all necessary facilities for cruise passengers.

Getting Around Madeira With a Disability-Accessible Transportation

It is easy to get around the islands due to the modern road network. Almost all places of interest are easily accessible.

In Madeira, all taxis accept folding wheelchairs. If you use a fixed (non-folding) wheelchair, you can contact the taxi company (24 hours a day) Please address this issue in advance so that they can arrange an appropriate vehicle.

Public buses “Horários do Funchal” nº 1, 2, and 4 are accessible to wheelchairs with a folding ramp.

You can also rent a private minibus by contacting the local company.

However, the cheapest way to get around accessible Madeira is by bus. Therefore visitors can enjoy and explore the city safely by wheelchairs or in a mobility scooter.

Despite its hilly roads, Funchal received the “Access City Award 2017” award from the European Commission, a “special mention for its commitment to accessibility in a difficult geographical context.”

Wheelchair accessible activities

•Visit Monte via the cable car! – Enjoy this incredible cable car trip and discover the beautiful area of Monte in Funchal.

•Visit the CR7 Museum. Get to know the life and achievements of the best football player in the world!

•”A way for all” in Queimadas area (Santana). Let yourself be fascinated by the beauty of the incredible Laurissilva Forest.

•Are you fond of Art? Visit the Museum of Modern Art “Mudas” in Calheta. If you like sculpture and painting, visit the Henrique and Francisco Franco Museum and admire the incredible collection of these Madeiran artists.

•Do you travel with children? Get to know the Toy Museum, where there is a toy for all ages! Do not miss the Whale Museum in Caniçal and discover these giant marine animals.

•If you appreciate religious art, you will be surprised to visit Funchal’s cathedral, with a magnificent altarpiece from the 16th century! Note that there is an accessible entrance through the left/side door of the church.

•Meet the beautiful Farmers Market and smell, taste and feel the energy of this place through flowers, fruits, spices and vegetables. The fish market can be more easily accessed, through Rua da Boa Viagem.

•Have a picnic in Santa Catarina Park and relax with spectacular views of Funchal Bay. 

• Have fun aboard the Sea Nature catamaran, and see dolphins and whales in the immensity of the sea, its natural environment.

•Seeking culture? The Baltazar Dias Municipal Theatre offers fascinating spectacles, music and entertainment all year round. Check the program and choose your favourite day!  In this Theater, you’ll find accessible toilets and wheelchair seating.

Sometimes travelling to the unexpected can be stressful. I hope these tips will help you to enjoy a wonderful holiday!

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