Porto Santo Flights Until 22nd September

The national government has extended the contract for the air service from Madeira to Porto Santo until 22nd September.  There has been a succession of contract extensions which have led to problems with booking flights as the various deadlines have approached.  There is as yet no sign of a long-term solution. The ferry service continues as usual.

Walking Routes Update (12th April)

On 12th April, IFCN announced the re-opening of the following walking routes:     PR 15 - Vereda da Ribeira da Janela     PR 16 - Levada Fajã do Rodrigues The routes that remain closed are:     PR 1 - Vereda do Areeiro - Vereda Este (via Pico das Torres)     PR 4 - Levada do Barreiro     PR 7 - Levada do Moinho     PR 10 – Levada do Furado     PR 19 - Caminho real do Paul do Mar     PR 20 - Vereda do Jardim do Mar     PR 23 - Levada da Azenha In addition, there are partial closures of routes PR 3 (Vereda do Burro) and PR 12 (Caminho Real da Encumeada). The full list of the current state of walking routes can be found on the  IFCN website. The temporary partial closure of PR 3 is described here . The partial closure of PR 12 for work on the hydroelectric plant continues. These closures are for the safety of visitors and it is an offence to use the routes when they're closed.

Access Restrictions to Pico do Areeiro

Local press are reporting plans to restrict access to Pico do Areeiro by motor vehicles owing to increasing traffic problems and obstructive parking. A recent video showed a dawn traffic jam. The intention is that access beyond the recently-created car park will be restricted to taxis and residents: everyone else will have to complete their journey on foot. The details of the new regulations and their date of introduction have yet to be confirmed.

Madeira Embroidery Archive Exhibition

From April 3rd to September 13th, the Centro de Estudos de História do Atlântico - Alberto Vieira (Funchal) has an exhibition of archival material relating to the history of Madeiran embroidery.  On show will be material from the records of the former manufacturer João Eduardo de Sousa, Lda., which are in the process of conservation, as well as material from four catalogues documenting embroidery and clothing from the latter part of the 19th century through to the 1940s. Centro de Estudos de História do Atlântico - Alberto Vieira is located R. das Mercês 8, Funchal and its listed opening hours are 9.00am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Further Bus Strikes Threatened in April and May

Two prospective dates for bus strikes on parts of the Madeira bus network have been announced: April 17th and May 14th. A strike earlier in the year saw most Rodoeste services halted, with lesser effects on services of SAM and EACL. HF buses were not affected.

More Visitor Charges in 2025

New charges will be introduced in 2025 for visitors to some popular tourist destinations on the island. This has been in the works for some time - already there are charges at Cabo Girão and Ponta de São Lourenço : the charge for the latter will be increased in 2025. The additional locations likely to be affected are: Balcões Pico do Areeiro Rabaçal  The Rabaçal area is the location of a number of very popular walks including the Levada das 25 Fontes and Levada do Risco. Increasing numbers are causing problems, particular with parking, and it is hoped that the charges will help control numbers and raise revenue to meet the increased level of maintenance required. However, the charges will be very modest - around 2 euros - and local residents will be exempt, so the results remain to be seen. It has also been announced that a 2 euro charge will be levied for each passenger disembarking cruise ships in Funchal from 2025.