Madeira is part of the Macaronesian archipelago and is located in the Atlantic Ocean, near the coast of Africa. Practically in the same vicinity as the Canary Islands. And that makes it not at all close to Madeira, as we are more than 3,700 km away :)
While still the Canary Islands are very popular among the holiday destinations of Poles and you can find plenty of options to fly there by plane, Madeira doesn’t have as many good connections, which may scare off potential interested parties.
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So how to fly to Madeira cheaply?
We have several options. We can fly directly from Poland, without connecting flights on a charter flight (which takes about 5 hours) or with connecting flights. In the second option, the trip gets longer for us. But one step at a time.
By charter to Madeira
Let’s start with a potentially easier option. A charter flight is nothing more than a flight we can buy from a travel agency. This travel agency hires an airplane to take it to the chosen destination of its clients, and then straight to the hotel. However, for some time now, tickets for such flights have often also been sold separately, without the need to buy accommodation in a particular place.
The advantage of this solution is that we have a direct flight (when often regular carriers do not offer us such connections from Poland) and the fact that we have luggage included in the ticket price.
The downside, however, is that we are limited by, for example, one flight per week, which entails strictly matching the dates of these flights. And often it is, for example, Tuesday or Wednesday (that is, not necessarily the most attractive days for departures). In addition, there is often no complimentary catering on board, which on flights like Madeira can already be disruptive.
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Getting back to the point, the offer of such flights is quite poor. Currently, charter airlines Travel Service and Enter Air fly to Madeira. Tickets can be purchased from major travel agencies.
What are the prices of charter flights to Madeira? Of course, variously. It is now possible to buy a ticket for £800 to around £1,300 with more advance notice. Two-way, for one person, with 20 kg checked baggage. This is important :)
Cheap airlines to Madeira
Unfortunately, Madeira is a destination that will not be reached by low-cost airlines Wizz Air or Ryanair. However, EasyJet flies there, although not directly from Poland. So it’s weak here, too.
EasyJet flies to Madeira (i.e. Funchal Airport) from Lisbon, Porto, London, Bristol and several other destinations. If we would like to fly there from Poland we have to reckon with at least one change, flying on two tickets. This is important because no one can guarantee that in case of a delay the second plane will wait for us. In addition, we have to pick up the luggage and later reship it. It is also common to have to wait several hours or, for example, an entire night for a connecting flight, which also increases the cost of the trip (if only through an extra night’s stay).
Nevertheless, one can travel either way. In this case, the total price of a low-cost airline flight to Madeira is about PLN 1,000 round-trip on Wizz Air from Warsaw to Bristol, where you change to Easy Jet to Madeira. On the way back we have a connecting flight in Porto. The price, of course, without luggage.
On the plus side, there may be a chance to see additional cities. For the transfer in this case we have about 10 hours.
Of course, you can buy such tickets cheaper. For example, recently Fly4Free reported on cheap flights to Madeira, where from Berlin via Manchester (and on the way back via Lisbon) you could fly for 337 PLN round trip :) It’s all a matter of opportunity, the number of connecting flights, flight time and the desire to visit additional places along the way :)
And how do the traditional carriers fly?
Let’s check the last option. Potentially the most expensive, but by design the most comfortable in terms of flight times.
The best way to fly to Madeira is by TAP Portugal, the national Portuguese carrier. Unfortunately, however, here too, as with low-cost airlines, we do not have a direct connection.
However, in this case we fly on a single ticket, we have free meals on board (even quite tasty ;-)) and we don’t have to worry about our luggage during the connecting flight.
And we can have two connecting flights(Lisbon + for example. Frankfurt or Munich) or just one (in Lisbon, of course). It all depends on the price and how much time we can spend on the trip.
How much do TAP Portugal tickets to Madeira cost? Relatively speaking, not too much. With one month’s advance notice, we will pay about PLN 1,300 for a round-trip ticket. We are talking about a connection with one connecting flight, checked baggage and a meal on board. Transfer time in Lisbon is 4h one way and 2h the other way.
Of course, taking into account 2 connecting flights, longer waiting time or additional promotions, it is possible to buy such tickets cheaper.
What to choose?
It’s up to you now :)
If you want to fly direct, in-flight meals are not important to you, and you are flexible with your travel time, we recommend a charter flight.
If you want to visit several places in Europe in one trip and don’t necessarily need a large luggage, budget airlines would be a good choice.
If you need flexible departure and return dates and, as a bonus, checked baggage and a meal on board are important to you, we recommend TAP Portugal.
We believe that the prices of all types of connections are similar (even more so considering what we have in the ticket price), it is just a matter of what is most important for you to travel :)
Just at the very end, we must remind you of how unique Madeira’s airport in Funchal is. If you are afraid of flying, read no further. If you’re curious about what we mean, please visit this post:)