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excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

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Manchester
posts: 35
reviews: 5
excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

Having just booked my first holiday alone to Madeira in December can anyone give me advice on places I can visit using the local buses, or would it be better to book excursions? I am staying in the Pestana Casino Park which I believe is quite near to the centre of Funchal. Also any advice on the best levada walks would be much appreciated.

Bolton, United...
posts: 1,322
reviews: 23
1. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

Hi Jules,

Firstly get yourself a Giro bus pass for all local journeys.€1.25 per trip.A good walk to loosen your legs up when you get there!!.If you come out of the Casino Park turn left(opposite way to the city)Keep walking passing Reids,Cliff Bay & CS Atlantic hotels.Drop down onto the promenade at the lido area.You can then follow the promenade footpath all the way to Camara do Lobos.You can stop off on the way for a spot of lunch & a drink.Nice & steady will take you about 2 hours from leaving your hotel.If you dont fancy walking back for whatever reason you can then jump onto the local bus & head back.Also i know a safe,simple levada walk.Will post later if you are interested.Soon be December now.

Rob

Edited: 3:16 am, November 09, 2012
Gateshead, United...
posts: 113
reviews: 18
2. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

giro bus tickets are number 1 top tip for travelling around funchal (yellow city buses only) they are available from newsagants and the kiosk at the central bus terminus in funchal, also some hotel receptions sell them e-mail your hotel and see if they do.

my other tip is do as much research as possible before you go as madeira isnt the best place for promoting itself everything is safe and easy but finding out the exact details is best done beforehand.

Brixham, United...
posts: 123
reviews: 4
3. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

Hello Jules

The bus network on Madeira is quite exrtensive. As has already been stated, yellow city buses serve Funchal and its immediate environs, but there are other bus companies (Rodoeste etc) which serve the rest of the island.

I suggest you google "Madeira bus timetables" before you go where you will find a wealth of information. There are also a wide range of excursions available, which I'm sure your hotel can advise on when you get there. Buses will always be the cheaper option, but bear in mind that the timetables are designed for the locals rather than the tourists (quite rightly).

Whatever you do I'm sure you will enjoy it

madeira
Destination Expert
for Funchal, Madeira, Madeira Islands
posts: 4,911
reviews: 24
4. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

There are sveral ways to see the Island, as has been said the local buses are very good but geared towards locals getting to work. If you want some company, there are tour companies who have mini bus tours ans pick up from your hotel. Both sites show lots of things to do, apart from Island tours, so may give you an idea of what's available.

www.madeira-seekers.com

www.madeirahappytours.com

It is a beautiful Island and I am sure you will enjoy the surroundings and especially the Christmas lights and other seasonal atractions and atmosphere.

London
posts: 114
reviews: 5
5. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

While the giro bus tickets are very good value for getting around Funchal and the surrounding villages it can be a long trip on buses further about on the island as they tend to go the back route and stop everywhere.

Given that the coach and minibus tours are great value I feel it is a shame not to at least do the West and the East tours. Trust me you will not be disappointed.

Manchester
posts: 35
reviews: 5
6. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

Many thanks for the helpful information, I will certainly buy myself a Giro bus pass. I would also be interested in the Levada walk. I can't wait to go now!

Oxford, England
posts: 106
reviews: 290
7. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

You can walk into Funchal from your hotel but you might want to get the bus back as I seem to remember it is uphill. Buses are fine for getting round Funchal and going to Monte. However I did some research before I went and thought the buses to other places were not very frequent and seemed to take quite a long time to get anywhere. I would therefore recommend an organised excursion to visit the rest of the island. On a minibus tour you will have the opportunity to talk to others on the trip and there will be a commentary. There is also no hassle because they will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. If you buy a Giro bus ticket on the promenade from the ticket machine don't allow anyone to help you as they will ask for a "tip" There's no problem buying a ticket on the bus if your Giro has run out of journeys, its just a bit more expensive. I thought it was better to buy a Giro for a certain number of journeys rather than a 3 day ticket but I suppose it depends on the number of trips you are going to make.

Broughty Ferry...
posts: 32
reviews: 4
8. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

Hi. Excursions are good value and plenty of choice. If you cone out of hotel and turn left a kiosk walk 50 u will see a small kiosk selling tours. Good value and safe when u in Funchal?

Broughty Ferry...
posts: 32
reviews: 4
9. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

Are you in Funchal over Christmas New Year period. Its a great time to be there.

London
posts: 114
reviews: 5
10. Re: excursions or local buses for solo female traveller?

December is a great time to do the yellow or red bus tour around funchal as if you do it at night you get a fantastic view of the Christmas lights which are spectacular. They are switched on the 8th December and are normally there until 6th January.