You have probably heard of Cristiano Ronaldo’s homeland, the island of small and delicious bananas, or the simple expression “pearl of the Atlantic.”
Madeira is the main of 4 islands of the eponymous region in the middle of the Atlantic, located about 1000km off the coast of Portugal. As an autonomous region, the archipelago belongs to Portugal and is part of the European Union.
The beaches in Madeira and the island’s tropical atmosphere is undoubtedly the key reason for many visitors’ interest.
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Are there any Nice Beaches in Madeira?
The beautiful island of Madeira leaves you breathless, either because of its nature or the tropical sides. Portugal, Madeira, has unique natural beaches, and many of them are breathtaking, considering how exclusive and unusual they are. From sandy, pebble beaches to beaches between mountains and beaches exclusively accessible by boat or demanding trails. There’s so much to do in Madeira for all traveller types, whether you’re visiting Madeira on a honeymoon, with family, a solo traveller or travelling with friends.
Best Beaches in Madeira
The most beautiful “Madeira playas ” are pebble or rocky. There are a few sandy ones. Madeira’s natural sandy beaches are black sand, not white as in Polynesia, for example, but this does not diminish their charm. Yellow sandy beaches are imported sand from Africa or the mainland, and there are also pebble beaches. Also, natural pools are very attractive when visiting Madeira with kids.
Below I bring you the 10 best beaches of Madeira:
#1 Calheta beach – Best for Kids
Location: Near Calheta City
It is one of the Madeira sandy beaches with sand imported from North Africa. Calheta consists of two yellow sandy beaches, one opposite the other, enclosed by sea walls. We can freely call it a lagoon made by man.
Regardless of which side of the beach you pick, there is a restaurant bar where you can relax, eat and drink Madeira-style food and snacks.
Sunny weather prevails, and lifeguards are watching over your safety.
A five-star hotel is located directly on the beach.
#2 Natural Pools Porto Moniz
Location: Porto Moniz, on the Northwestern Coast of Madeira
These are some of the best pools in Madeira, a completely kids-friendly place. Several million years ago, these pools were formed due to lava flows into the Atlantic Ocean. This area has a large swimming pool and a children’s pool.
Pools are easy to access (few stairs or slopes), but they contain sharp-edged rocks, so be careful. There are no entry fees, and do not have lifeguards.
The city has a small aquarium and a science museum. Yet, the main attraction is swimming in these natural pools. Near the pool is a restaurant where guests can have a meal while admiring the spectacular Madeira ocean views.
#3 Praia Das Palmeiras Beach
Location: Santa Cruz
The Palmeiras beach in Santa Cruz has activities for people of all ages and is a great place to spend a day at the beach with the family. This pebble beach, which proudly displays a blue flag in addition to its crystal clear waters, provides guests with two swimming pools (one for adults and one for children), changing rooms, showers, WCs, and first-aid facilities.
There beach consists of the pool area and the pebble part.
A lifeguard, a first-aid station, and a picnic area are also available at the Palmeiras beach. The entrance to the beach is free.
#4 Machico 2in1 Beach
Location: Near the city of Machico
Do you prefer a sandy beach, or do you choose pebble beaches? In the beautiful city of Machico, you can count on the best from both worlds. By going there, you will be able to visit the town inserted in the middle of the valley. Machico also has several restaurants, bars, and cafes around the beaches.
A rock wall provides a safe swimming environment. It’s really easy to get to, as it’s just off the main road. There is a parking lot nearby, but it fills up quickly.
A few quality hotels like Apartment Sophia Machico or Casas do Largo Dos Milagres
are located between 0.4 and 4 kilometres from the beach.
#5 Seixal beach
Location: 15min drive East of Porto Moniz
Seixal Beach Madeira is completely covered with black sand, gleaming and wonderfully soft. The lack of waves, crystal clear water, abundant flora, cliffs, and waterfalls round out the list of Seixal’s benefits. A breakwater erected on the right side of the beach adds to the tranquillity of the lagoon. This beach is undoubtedly in the top 10 beaches in Portugal and certainly one of the most beautiful Madeira sandy beaches.
Parking places on the walk down to the beach are easy to find.
There are also several restaurants along the shore.
#6 Doca do Cavacas
Location: Funchal city
Doca do Cavacas is located in Lido, just a few minutes from Funchal’s downtown area. The natural pool complex is a great place to cool off and sun up on warmer days. Because the water that fills pools is naturally from the sea, it’s ideal for sitting on the wall and enjoying the waves.
Entrance is charged. However, it is a fee well worth paying. Aside from the pool, the facility also has a restaurant-bar, making it a fantastic place to spend the day while still meeting the ticket fee.
#7 Faial Beach
Location: North coast of Madeira, Faial city
Faial pebble beach offers a natural swimming pool and a variety of recreational sites and infrastructure. Some of the activities available include a sand playing field suited for international beach football, handball, and volleyball competitions, a multi-sport pavilion, a saltwater children’s swimming pool, and a children’s play area.
A picnic area, changing rooms, first aid facilities, and a large sunbathing terrace are also available at this beach.
Features: Large parking lot and simple and free entrance.
#8 Garajau beach
This Madeira pebble beach is challenging to reach on foot. It is accessible by a cable car that takes three minutes to get to this beauty.
If you want to run away from the crowds, one of the advantages of this place is the lack of people. It is impossible to find a better place to dive and hunt ocean dwellers. In addition, new facilities have recently been added, including deck chairs, a diving centre, a restaurant, an off-season rescue service, and a medical facility.
Some of Madeira’s best resorts are nearby five-star accommodation Apartments Madeira and Casa Velha Do Palheiro.
#9 Praia Formosa
Location: western part of Funchal
Formosa is probably one of the most famous pebble beaches in Funchal. The island of Madeira’s largest beach complex stands out in terms of size and excellent water quality, impeccable service, and guaranteed safety. The International Blue Flag Eco Award has been given to this beach in Funchal.
Swimming is best on the beach’s eastern end. The sea’s entrance is smooth, the bottom is soft, and there are no surprises here. It’s coated in fine, silky, black exotic sand.
Rocks and big waves make entering the sea complex. Large pebbles cover the western section of the beach, flanked by massive rocks. Along the coast, there are promenades.
This Funchal beach has easy parking access and a lot of Beach bars, restaurants, and restrooms to take a break from sun&sea.
Nearby are Madeira luxury resorts, Forum Apartment Funchal, and Les Suites at Cliff Bay Portobay, where you can look for accommodation, and you will not regret it.
#10 Old Town Funchal beach – Praia do Almirante Reis
Location: In Funchal
Praia do Almirante Reis is one of rear Funchal beaches. It is a safe and small pebbly beach around 0.84km in length.
Since it is located in the city itself, all city institutions, restaurants, souvenir shops, hotels, bars are at your disposal.