Travel to Madeira
Madeira is a sub-tropical archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean and an autonomous region of Portugal. The archipelago is made up of two populated islands, Madeira and Porto Santo, and two groups of unpopulated islands called the Desertas and Selvagens Islands. It is part of the European Union ultraperifric area. Known worldwide as the Islands of eternal Spring, Madeira, “Ilha Jardim” Garden Island or Pearl of the Atlantic, it has a mild climate throughout the entire year. Madeira island is 310 miles from the African coast and 620 miles from the European continent, only 1h 30mn flight from mainland Portugal and about 3h from all the main countries in Europe. Portugal is part of the European Monetary Union and therefore the currency used in Madeira is the Euro (€). Banks are open, in general, from Monday to Friday (08:30 to 15:00). You will find automated teller machines (ATMs) almost all over Funchal. Please note that most tellers will not allow more than € 200 per withdrawal (maximum € 400/day). You can find more information on the website Madeira islands
Getting to Madeira
It is possible to fly directly from most European Capitals to Madeira International Airport. The following Airline companies fly regularly to Madeira International Airport: Monarch Airlines, TAP Portugal, Portugália, SATA, British Airways, Norwegian Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Air France, easyJet, Finnair, First Choice Airways, Thomson, LTU, Thomas Cook, Condor, Niki, SAS, Sterling, Transavia, My Travel, Binter Canarias and Jet2.com.
Upon arrival bus services are available to take you to the various locations in the island. Travel time is approximately 15 minutes. On average, every hour, a bus leaves the airport to Funchal, Machico and Caniço. There is also an Airport-bus connection between the airport and Funchal, which is free for passengers from TAP, and cost € 5,00 for travelers in other airplane companies.
Cruise ships port here but there are no scheduled ferrys from Mainland portugal to Madeira.
Reaching the Venue
The Symposium will take place in the VIDAMAR Madeira Resort which is only 5 minutes away from downtown Funchal, so walking is advisable. If you wish to sightsee the island you can easily rent a car, all European rules of the road apply in Madeira.
Passport and Visa Requirements
If you are visiting Portugal, a valid passport is necessary for Participants outside European Community. It is the responsibility of the visitor, before entering Portugal, to ensure that he or she has the necessary documents, including those for entry into another country or re-entry into his or her own country.
Passport must be valid for at least six months beyond length of stay required by all nationals referred to in the table, except for EU nationals holding a valid national ID card.
Citizens of the European Union do not require a visa to enter Portugal. Passports are required for all foreigners except for EU nationals (excluding the UK: British nationals are required to have a passport) and citizens of Iceland, Norway, Malta, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, who may use valid National ID cards.
Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa for stays of 90 days or less, but their passports must be valid for six months beyond the length of stay: Andorra, Argentina, Australian, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR), Iceland, Israel, Japanese, Korea (Rep), Liechtenstein, Macau (SAR), Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Uruguay, US, Vatican City and Venezuela. All citizens of countries not mentioned above require a valid passport and visa to enter Portugal.
Portugal is a signatory to the Schengen Agreement.
If you need to apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa and your Portuguese Consulate or Embassy office requires a letter of invitation, please contact the organization. All Letters of Invitation will be sent via e-mail and/or current mail to the participant or to the Consulate/Embassy, according to the request. Due to the lengthy Visa issuance process (sometimes longer than three months), you should request the Letter of Invitation as soon as you decide to attend the Meeting.
The Organizing Committee is unable to assist in any matters relating to visa issuance procedures other than to mail Letters of Invitation. If you have specific questions, please visit the websites/contact your local Portuguese Consulate or Embassy.
Enjoing your stay in Madeira
Albeit a relatively small island, there are plenty of things to do. Madeira has several sightseeing spots, for you to enjoy:
- Levadas An impressive system of aqueducts built between 1461 and 1966 to bring water from the mountains to farmland.
- Cabo Girão One of the world’s highest ocean cliffs (590m/1,935 ft. above sea level).
- Jardim Botânico Funchal Botanical garden.
- São Vicente Caves. Volcanic caves (grutas) where you can visit lava tubes.
- Jardim do Monte Palace Magnificent gardens of the former Monte Palace hotel.
- Jardim Orquídea Orchid garden.
- Madeira Story Centre, . The best way to learn about Madeira’s history and culture.
- Miradouro means viewpoint. Splendid views of the island can be seen from various viewpoints, including Pico dos Barcelos, Pico do Arieiro, Pico de Facho, Curral das Freiras, Monte.
There are also several Golf Courses. You can get more information on Madeiras Tourist Office website
“Festival do Atlântico” – Atlantic Festival
The Atlantic Festival is one of the most recent tourist entertainment events, which took place for the first time in June of 2002, in order to increase Madeira islands as a tourist destination and to provide its visitors the opportunity to experience one of its locals ancient tradition, the fireworks, a tradition which is lived intensively particularly during the End of Year Festivities. It is a tourist attraction which is characterized by the combination of fireworks and music, as it consists of a synchronized show which associates musical themes in backgound. Some of the main highlights within this year’s programme are the “Beginning of Summer Music Show” by Madeira’s Light Orchestra, performance which take place on Saturday night, at the city’s pier, before and afterwards the pyromusical show. Apart from these events other concerts and shows which integrate Madeira’s Music Festival as well as, other cultural and entertainment activities.
Each pyro musical show has the duration of about 20 minutes, start at 10.30pm at the entrance of Funchal’s harbor (commonly designated as “Pontinha”). The shows will take place within the 4 Saturdays of June, on the 7th, 14th 21st and 28th of 2014. The show which is held on the last Saturday of this month and is under the responsibility of the company in charge of all the involving logistic and therefore is not subject to the competition, taking part of the competition ceremony for the winner’s announcement and the delivery of the corresponding prize.
Find more information here