Madeira Airport - The Gateway to the Portuguese ArchipelagoTransports in Madeira Island 

Madeira Airport – The Gateway to the Portuguese Archipelago

The Madeira Airport (also known as Santa Catarina Airport or Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport) is located in the autonomous region of Madeira in the Portuguese archipelago. It is the main gateway for flights to the island of Madeira. It is a major international airport that serves flights from various cities throughout the world.


Madeira airport is located 25 km east-northeast of Funchal in the region of Madeira. It opened in 1964 and has a runway of 1,600 metres. The airport can accommodate all types of passenger aircraft. The runway was extended in the 1980s to 1800 metres, and the terminal and parking deck were renovated. The extension was inaugurated by then-President of the Republic Ramalho Eanes.

The nearest major airport is Porto Santo Airport, located in Porto Santo, Portugal, around 113 km from Madeira Airport. It is used by several airlines that offer flights to the Portuguese island. It is not a 24 hour airport, so you may have to wait for several hours for a bus to arrive at your destination.

The airport provides useful services, such as travel agencies, rent-a-car desks, ATM machines, currency exchange, free Wi-Fi, public telephones, and two lounges. In addition, the airport offers Fast Track services for passengers with special needs. Guests with disabilities can request assistance from specially trained professionals. However, this service must be requested at least 48 hours in advance. The facility also has adapted toilets for people with reduced mobility.

Madeira’s airport is located east of the town of Funchal. It can be reached via exit 22 of road VR1. The terminal is modern and offers a nice view of the sea. The distance from the airport to the city centre is about 19 km, which takes about 25 minutes by car. Taking a bus to Funchal centre is not recommended. A better option is to rent a car.

Madeira airport is coded CMN. The IATA and ICAO airports of Madeira use the same code. The airport has a long runway, which makes it ideal for flights to Madeira. The airport also serves international destinations from mainland Portugal. Madeira Airport has one terminal, and is estimated to receive two million passengers a year by 2021.


Madeira Airport has an extended runway of 2,781 meters (9,124 ft) to accommodate larger aircraft. This extension was completed between 2000 and 2002. The airport is now equipped with a modern runway that can accommodate flights of up to 1,400 passengers an hour. The airport has also recently undergone extensive renovations, increasing its usable area by over 1,500 square meters.

Madeira Airport has several services that are helpful for travelers, including duty-free shops, restaurants, cafes, and gift shops. It also has public telephones, free Wi-Fi, and two lounges. The airport also offers a Fast Track service for passengers with special needs. The service is provided by specialised professionals and must be requested at least 48 hours before departure. In addition, there are toilets adapted for those with reduced mobility.

The Madeira Airport has one terminal, which was built in 1973. It has 40 check-in desks and sixteen boarding gates. It also has seven baggage belts. Its single-runway, Runway 05, is also one of the world’s most dangerous airports, due to the cliffs and high mountains that surround the airport. The airport is also known to be prone to windshear on final approach.

Madeira Airport has a Medical facility that offers assistance and treatment. It also has an app that allows passengers to access multiple information and services. This application can help you check your flights, view maps, and find parking. Moreover, Madeira Airport offers free Wi-Fi, which is part of the VINCI airport wifi network. Madeira Airport also has a no-smoking policy and lockers for travelers to store their belongings. The airport also features two CIP lounges – the Atlantico CIP lounge and the Europa CIP lounge. These are open from the first departure until the last departure of the day.

There is also a tourist information desk, ANAM information desk, and ATMs. In addition, there are public telephones, a hair salon, and a lost-and-found office.

Transportation options

There are a number of different transportation options at Madeira airport. If you don’t want to deal with taxis or cabs, you can take a bus or an Uber to the airport. These services run frequently and can be very affordable. In case of an emergency, you can call them up and arrange a replacement transfer. It’s best to arrive at least 15 minutes early to ensure that you get picked up on time.

Madeira Airport also has a taxi rank outside the terminal building. Booking a cab ahead of time will save you both money and time. You can also opt for renting a car to explore the island. Several car rental companies have offices on the island, including Avis and Budget. Alternatively, you can book a car online in advance and avoid queues.

A car rental service is also available at Madeira airport. Using an Uber means you can request a ride from the airport up to 30 days in advance, regardless of whether you’re arriving on a weekend or holiday. You can schedule a ride through the app, which allows you to know when to expect a driver. You can also check the driver’s background through the app.

Aerobuses depart every hour from Madeira Airport and from the city. The journey takes between thirty and fifty minutes. A bus will stop at Praia Formosa Beach, which is the longest pebble beach on the island. This ride will drop you off at 02:45. You can also hire a taxi from the airport to the city center, but be aware that a taxi will cost more than a bus.

Travellers’ reviews

Madeira airport has a notorious reputation, but this has now changed. In 2002, the airport was re-built and is perfectly safe. Even so, pilots may require additional training due to the zig-zag approach and crosswinds. In addition, the airport is not suited for international flights, so it may be difficult for a small plane to land here.

If you’re flying into Madeira from a different island, a convenient and affordable airport transfer service is available. These transfers will take you to your hotel within 45 minutes. Drivers will be waiting with envelopes that have your name on them. If you want a round-trip service, be sure to arrange your pick-up time beforehand, as this will ensure that you get to your hotel on time.

Madeira is not your typical family holiday destination, but it is great for kids as the Portuguese are friendly and welcoming to families with young children. It’s safe to bring children, and all tourist facilities are of a high standard. While the island has no beaches, lava pools are a popular attraction. The island’s interior is made up of extinct volcanoes, including Pico do Arieiro, the island’s third highest peak.

While the island is Portuguese, the climate on Madeira is surprisingly mild. With the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the climate is milder than it is on the mainland. The island’s mountain range ensures rain, and its climate is tempered by the Atlantic. It is also cheap, and its tourist infrastructure is excellent.

Activities near the airport

After you land in Madeira, you can start exploring the island’s natural beauty. You can hire a car or hop on a shuttle bus to explore the island without driving yourself. Just remember to bring a small amount of cash to make sure you can pay for anything you want. You’ll also need hiking boots if you plan on hiking anywhere. The island has numerous trails to choose from, suitable for any fitness level.

The airport has an excellent catchment area, with nearly a quarter of the population living nearby. This makes the airport ideal for freight services. Madeira Airport is the first Portuguese airport to achieve ISO 14001 certification. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown and a short drive from the UNESCO protected Laurisilva subtropical forest.

You can also enjoy a view of the coastline, including the famous Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse. The viewpoint is high enough to get a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re traveling by car, it’s easy to park and walk to the lighthouse, which is easily accessible from the parking area. The views from the lighthouse are beautiful, and you can also visit an exhibit of lighthouse history.

Madeira’s interior is filled with fascinating history, and the island’s Madeira Story Centre is a fascinating museum that covers the entire island’s history, from volcanic origins to the pirates and the development of tourism on the island. The museum is open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM, and is home to one of the most impressive buildings in the island. The 16th-century Jesuit College of Funchal is one of the most famous buildings in the area, and is the home of the University of Funchal.

Another great way to spend an afternoon is to take a flight over the island. From the airport in Santa Cruz, you can also hire an airplane to take you over the island. The planes take off and land on the island, making it a great place for casual plane spotting.

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