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Is It Safe to Travel to Madeira in 2024?

Updated September 19, 2023

Generally, Madeira is a safe destination. Portugal’s islands off the west coast of Africa are stunning, sunny, and serene. Locals helped us put together this guide to make sure your trip is a safe one—it covers everything from the coronavirus to tips for solo travelers. 

Work with a local to build your trip to Madeira. They'll offer up-to-date information that you might not find online—and tips on how to stay away from the crowds. Learn more

Is it safe to travel to Madeira? 

Madeira and COVID-19

Madeira is open for travel! Here’s the latest:

  • There are currently no COVID restrictions for entry to Madeira
  • The S-Alerta app is recommended for contact tracing purposes. 
  • Masks are required in healthcare settings. 

Anyone who also plans to travel to mainland Portugal will need to follow the Portugal COVID guidelines for that portion of the trip.

Safety in Madeira 

Waterfall Is It Safe to Travel to Madeira
Waterfall in Madeira |  Josefin/Unsplash

Called Portugal’s “pearl of the Atlantic”, Madeira is made up of four stunning islands. Lovely and secluded, it’s a fantastic place to visit in Portugal—a veritable island paradise!

When it comes to safety, locals recommend keeping a couple of things in mind: 

  • Bring plenty of water and sunscreen on hikes. Madeira is a mountainous area with many incredible trails. These can be difficult. Be sure to pace yourself and to bring the right supplies.
  • Be vigilant about your belongings on the beach: If you decide to travel to a beach in Madeira, don’t leave your belongings unattended on the shore while you go for a swim.

Although Madeira is a safe destination, locals tell us there are some safety considerations to keep in mind. Overall, these are all based in common sense. Portugal is safe, and Madeira is no exception! 

Common scams in Madeira

Although Portugal is a safe destination, it does attract many travelers—and travelers can attract scammers. Locals tell us that these are some common scams in Madeira to watch out for: 

  • Taxi scams: Although transportation in Portugal is generally safe, use some caution when hailing a taxi. Be sure the cab has a working meter. If the driver says it’s broken, it could be a scam—and you’ll end up overpaying for a ride. 
  • Overpriced fruit at Mercado dos Lavradores: The fruit in Madeira is incredible—the iconic and sweet monstera deliciosa—is a must-try. But be wary while buying fruit at the market. You may be overcharged, or given back incorrect change. 
  • Petty theft and pickpockets: Use common sense and caution when in tourist hubs or transportation centers. When you’re in a crowd, keep an eye on your belongings. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. 

All in all, Madeira is very safe. As long as you’re aware of safety issues like these, you should be fine. 

Is Madeira safe for solo travelers? 

Solo Travel Is It Safe to Travel to Madeira
Woman in Madeira |  Tim Roosjen/Unsplash

Portugal is a safe destination for solo travel—and so is Madeira. Solo travelers should take the same precautions they would anywhere else. These include: 

  • Watching your drinks made 
  • Knowing how to get home at night
  • Staying near well-lit, well-populated areas

Work with a local to plan your trip for more about exploring Madeira on your own. It’s like having a best friend in Portugal...but you can still travel solo. 

Important Portuguese phrases 

No matter where you stay in Portugal, whether Lisbon, Porto, or Madeira, it’s good to know a few words in Portuguese. Locals tell us that these basics are a good start: 

  • Por favor - Please
  • Obrigado - Thank you
  • De nada - You’re welcome
  • Bom Dia - Good morning
  • Com licença - Excuse me
  • Onde está- Where is the…

If you work with a local to build your Portgual trip, they can help out with simple translations or let you know more key phrases to know. 

Emergency information to know

Although you likely won’t need it, here’s some information to keep on hand in case of an emergency:

Emergency number- 112

The U.S. Embassy - +351 21 727 3300

The U.S. Embassy Website: https://pt.usembassy.gov/

If you run into issues during your trip, you can always reach out to your local for help via phone.



Still have questions about travel to Portugal?
Why not ask someone who lives there? ViaHero connects you with a local to help plan your trip. They’ll create a guidebook based on your personal travel style.
You’ll see a unique side of a destination and travel independently—all while saving time and money in the planning process. Find a local today.

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