When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Funchal?
Yearly temperatures range between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius, meaning that booking flights to Funchal is a good idea no matter the month. The best time to find cheap flights to Funchal is in late autumn or early spring. These seasons have pleasant temperatures, little rainfall and a low number of visitors. The period from October to March has more rain, but may have cheaper flights available. Peak season is from June to August, as the dry weather is ideal for outdoor activities, and during the Christmas period.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to Funchal?
To find cheap Funchal flights, book as early as possible, preferably a couple of months in advance. Rates gradually increase as your travel dates approach, though deals on last-minute flights can help you stay on budget. If you’re determined to fly during the peak summer season, make sure to save with low rates on return flights through Netflights.
Flying to Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport (FNC)
Once known as Funchal Airport, Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport (FNC) is Portugal’s fourth-largest airport and is named after the world-famous footballer. It is located just over 13 km away from Funchal.
There are several airports in the UK with flights to Funchal, namely Manchester Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport and London City Airport. All Funchal flights are served by two air carriers: British Airways and TAP Air Portugal. Most offer indirect flights and require a single stop in either Porto or Lisbon. London Gatwick is the only airport with direct flights to FNC, offered by British Airways. When conducting your search for return flights, keep in mind that most of the airports tend to schedule their departures around the same time, with varied lengths of stopovers.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport is a unique single-terminal airport, best known for its pillared runway which extends over the ocean. The terminal is partly underground and has three levels. There are no air bridges which means passengers must walk or take a bus shuttle to and from the terminal when boarding and disembarking flights. It has 40 check-in desks, 16 boarding gates and seven baggage belts. FNC has a number of amenities including ATMs, currency exchange agencies, luggage storage, information desks, a post office, restaurants, shops, a duty-free shop, health services, tourism services, disability assistance and free Wi-Fi.
Getting to the City from Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport (FNC)
To travel between FNC and Funchal using public transit, you can either take the airport shuttle, public bus, or taxi. The Aerobus shuttle departs from the arrivals area and goes to Formosa Beach, stopping by several hotels along the way. Public buses are the cheapest option and can transport you to several destinations in Funchal and around Madeira. Metered taxis can be found at the taxi rank at the arrivals area. They charge for luggage and have a 20 percent fare increase at the weekend. Car hires are also available in the arrivals area and include companies like Europcar, Enterprose, Hertz and Madeira Rent.
Why visit Funchal?
Funchal is a vibrant city with a Mediterranean climate and beautiful mountainous landscape. One way to experience its natural beauty is to visit the Jardim Botânico. This botanical garden neatly and creatively showcases indigenous and exotic plants species from the island and around the world. It’s also home to the Natural History Museum. You can also visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden which houses a large collection of plants from around the world in a park dotted with lakes, ponds and waterfalls. Travel to the gardens with the Funchal Cable Car, which provides stunning views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean as it rises above the orange rooftops. When you’re ready to head back, take the fun way down the hill in a wooden sled known on the Toboggan Run. Once back inside the city, view the local art work by taking a stroll through Rua Santa Maria in the Old Town. While you’re there, stop by one of its many restaurants and boutiques for a meal or some shopping. At the end of the day, wind down with a glass of fine Madeira wine.
Don't Forget Before you Fly
Before embarking on your return flights to Funchal, it is a good idea to get some euro for your travels. If you decide to exchange or take out money on arrival, FNC has ATMs on all three levels, as well as a currency exchange before security on level 0. Since Portugal is part of the EU, there is no visa requirement for British nationals travelling to Funchal. You can stay as a tourist for up to three months and must apply for a Registration Certificate from the local Camara Municipal if you wish to stay longer.