Madeira beaches

TOP 10: The most beautiful beaches in Madeira

Are you planning a holiday in Madeira? Then definitely pack your bathing suit, because countless beaches and bathing possibilities await your visit on the green island. The multi-faceted Atlantic Ocean shimmers in various shades of turquoise through azure blue to a deep dark blue. Dreamy coves, sandy and pebble beaches and natural pools promise a varied beach holiday along the coast. Whether on foot, by bike, on the back of a horse or by car - explore the most beautiful beaches of Madeira! We will show you which ones they are and where you can find them. 

Prainha Beach

One of the best beaches in Madeira is undoubtedly Prainha Beach. It is located near the municipality of Caniçal and can be reached on foot or by car. You can park your car for free at the large car park. Nestled between high rocks the small beach of fine and dark volcanic sand is protected from the wind. A bar offers non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks and snacks.

Our tip: Combine your beach day with a long walk: from Caniçal, a picturesque coastal path leads past Prainha Beach.  

Praia da Laje

Other top beaches include the natural Praia da Laje beach, surrounded by a picturesque landscape of green mountains about 2km from Seixal. It is impressive with its black and soft sand, which is of volcanic origin. Stone formations in the sea stop the waves, so that you can enjoy a pleasant bathing. Boulders and steep cliffs scattered on the ground form a wild and untamed backdrop. There is a beach bar, showers and areas to park your car. The journey from Seixal is via the motorway.

Our tip: At Praia da Laje you can go fishing and diving.  

Calheta Beach

The special thing about this beach: it was artificially created and filled with huge amounts of golden sand from the Moroccan desert. Right next to the new marina, where there are restaurants, it is within walking distance within Calhetas. It consists of two parts connected by a huge sun terrace. Two stone walls in the sea serve as breakwaters and are responsible for the calm water, which invites you to relax and splash around. This makes Calheta Beach an ideal retreat for families with small children. In addition, sun loungers and parasols are available for hire.

Our tip: Do it for the water sports and try your hand at canoeing or windsurfing.  

Garajau Beach

Not far from the village Ponta do Garajau a small, dark peddle beach welcomes you at a depth of 200m at the foot of the cliffs. You can either get to Garajau Beach by foot via a narrow path or by the new cable car, which carries you down for a fee. The Atlantic Ocean is really impressive at this point with crystal clear and undulating water, unlike anywhere else on the island. For convenience and safety, there is a beach café and a first aid facility.

Our tip: The Garajau beach is part of the reserve Natural Parcial do Garajau and offers optimal conditions for diving with visibility of up to 50m.  

Praia dos Reis Magos

Playa Dorada is located at the centre of the former fishing village of Playa Blanca and is ideal for families. Children can make excellent sand castles in the bright sand and splash in the shallow water. Around the beach, many restaurants, cafés and a supermarket provide for your physical well-being. If you want to avoid the strong midday sun, stroll through the shops and perfumeries.

Our tip: From the small harbour next to the village beach you can take a trip in a glass bottom boat and explore the underwater world in an exclusive way.  

Doca do Cavacas

In addition to the beaches, the natural pools of volcanic rock, which have been developed into fully-equipped bathing establishments, promise an equally comfortable bathing pleasure. Doca do Cavacas is located in Funchal and is connected to the Lido Promenade. You will swim in a large, natural seawater pool and find there also an entrance into the sea. The complex is equipped with sun terraces, loungers, changing rooms, toilets and dining facilities serving freshly caught seafood specialities.

Our tip: From the western area you have a great view to the city of Câmara de Lobos and to the second highest cape of Europe, the Cabo Girão.  

Praia da Lagoa

The main beach of the north-eastern municipality of Porto da Cruz is the fine-sand and dark brown Praia da Lagoa, which is partially interspersed with polished stones. Worth seeing is the majestically towering mountain range. Thanks to its shallow shore, children can splash about and a playground provides some additional fun. It is framed by a sun deck with restaurants and bars. Furthermore, it has a surfing school.

Our tip: Praia da Lagoa is considered an insider tip for surfers. Madeira's teens especially use the high waves outside the bay. Take surf lessons or rent a board on-site. 

Baia de Abra

Those who appreciate isolation and peace will love the Baía de Abra. It is hidden in an idyllic bay and is covered with large, rounded stones. Its seclusion makes it particularly attractive for those seeking relaxation and couples in love, who want to spend undisturbed hours together. Occasionally, local anglers come here with whom you can have wonderful conversation. Since the beach is completely untouched and has no facilities, you should take your own food. 

Our tip: Above the Baía de Abra there is a viewing point from which you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the steep coastline.  

Ribeira do Natal

Another paradise among the beaches of Madeira is the Ribeira do Natal outside of Caniçal. Warm and crystal-clear waves glide along its stony shore, luring you in to an extensive bath. The beach is framed by cliffs of colourful sedimentary rocks and has been awarded the title "gold quality" in 2016 by the nature conservation association Quercus. It also scores points for its good infrastructure of sun loungers and umbrellas, a stand for food and drink, parking and during peak season it also has bathing supervision.

Our tip: A long pedestrian path connects the Ribeira do Natal with Caniçal. This is very popular for walking and jogging.  

Praia Formosa

Praia Formosa is one of the longest beaches in Madeira and consists of four sections, which are partly rocky, gritty and sandy. It welcomes you in São Martinho, the western district of Funchal and shines with its central location in the capital. Above the beach you can stroll along the boulevard and stop in the cosy cafés. For a walk, follow the path to the Lido beach or the port of Camara de Lobos. To make your stay active, use the sports centre. 

Our tip: Praia Formosa is the perfect place for romantics to watch a beautiful golden sunset.  

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