In summary, here is the list of important documents to carry when travelling to Madeira:
- Valid identity card or passport
- Plane ticket
- Driving licence if renting a car
- European Health Insurance Card
- An international credit card such as MasterCard or Visa
- Documents specific to COVID-19, paper or online certificates
I suggest you go to the section dedicated to COVID-19. It is very important not to neglect the preparations related to the current health situation.
Identity card or passport?
Portugal being a member of the European Union, French nationals, including minors, can enter freely with a valid passport or national identity card. If you have an identity card issued between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2013, the card is valid for a further 5 years, even if it is visibly out of date.
In order to avoid any problems, particularly on the return flight, it is in any case better to be up to date and have your identity card redone at the town hall.
If you hire a car during your stay in Madeira, you will need your driving licence.
European Health Insurance Card
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can be used in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) states or Switzerland. It must be applied for directly via the AMELI account on the website or the application. This card makes it easier to receive medical care in Europe, and therefore here in Madeira.
What to do in case of theft / loss of paper during the stay in Madeira?
On the spot, this will not necessarily be a problem, but on the return flight to France, it can be complicated if your identity card or passport is lost or stolen. It is possible to be accepted by the Portuguese airline on presentation of a declaration of loss or theft. But this is a tolerance, and the airlines are, in fact, entitled to demand a pass established by the French consular authority (cost of 55 €). In the event of a problem, you will have to go to the French consulate in Funchal.
Your bank card
Think about increasing your credit card limit, it can be annoying to get stuck during your stay because of a silly card limit. You need a MasterCard or Visa card to avoid extra charges. Find out beforehand. Especially with possible simple withdrawal cards.
Finally, remember that today you can get MasterCard bank cards for free with online banks. I went to Revolut for my part. I'm not necessarily very happy with this international card on a daily basis, but it's very practical when travelling abroad. It can also be interesting to have a Premium or Gold card to benefit from the different insurances, but this has a significant annual cost (between 130 and 140 € / year).