Although the best way to explore Madeira is by car, the terrain is steep and the roads are sometimes winding. The main highways get you quickly from one point to another, but other routes can be torturously slow. If you cut into the island's heart, you'll find hairpin turns as you zig-zag through the mountains. Though the driving can be tough, renting a car is easy; there are several internationally known rental companies waiting for you in the Arrivals Terminal, including Sixt, Europcar and Enterprise. Another option is to explore Funchal first, then pick up a car as you leave the city from local companies like Auto-Jardim, Bravacar, and Guerin.
Car Rental Contacts
Auto-Jardim. Av da Liberdade, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-046. 916 053 420; www.autocarhire.net.
Bravacar. Caminho do Amparo 2, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-248. 291 524 016; www.bravacar.com.pt.
Guerin. Estrada Monumental 241, Funchal, Madeira, 9000-100. 291 522 248; www.guerin.pt.
Moinho. Porto Santo Airport, Porto Santo, Madeira, 9400-110. 291/982 141; www.moinhorentacar.com.
Rodavante. Edifício Baía, Estrada Monumental 187, Funchal, Madeira, 9000. 291 742 448; www.rodavante.com.