If you're planning a trip to Madeira, the Portuguese archipelago off the coast of Africa, you won't want to miss its stunning beaches. With year-round sunshine and a rugged coastline, Madeira is home to a diverse range of beaches that cater to all tastes. From secluded coves to expansive golden sands, the island has it all.
In this article, we'll discover the best Madeira beaches to help you plan your perfect beach getaway. Madeira's beaches are waiting. So grab your sunscreen and get ready to discover the ultimate beach destinations in Madeira. Our guide gives you an insider's look at this beautiful Mediterranean paradise. Let's explore!
#1: Praia Formosa
Praia Formosa is an amazing beach in Madeira! Near Funchal, it boasts stunning coastal scenery. Its waters and white sand is crystal clear! You can spot dolphins playing and sea turtles swimming.
Snorkeling fans will love this beach! It has secluded spots with warm, shallow waters to explore. Plus, sheltered coves for relaxing.
Jet skiing and kayaking are possible here. Or if you prefer something more leisurely, sunbathing and long walks along Madeira's golden shores will be perfect! Praia Formosa should definitely be on your list when visiting this incredible island.
#2: Porto Santo
Take a beach vacation to Porto Santo on Madeira Island! The water may not be as clear and the sand not as picturesque as some of the other beaches on the island, but it still is great for a beach day. There are activities for everyone from windsurfing, sailing, and parasailing to leisurely strolls.
Families with children can take advantage of the calm waters for snorkeling and swimming. If you want some privacy, explore the deserted coves and inlets nearby.
After getting supplies from the local shops, head to one of the seating areas by the beach to take in the views while eating al fresco or having a cold drink with friends. Porto Santo is one of Madeira's most beloved gems!
#3: Calhau da Lapa
Calhau da Lapa, one of the most stunning beaches in Madeira, Portugal, awaits you! This breathtaking beach, located on the north coast of Madeira, is home to a 950m (3,117ft) white-sand stretch and crystal clear waters.
Surfers can get their thrill from the ocean swell, while others can relax in the sun, swim, or fish. Plus, there are several amenities like shade shelters and restroom facilities.
This secluded spot is untouched compared to other beaches in Madeira – ideal for an unforgettable experience. Get ready for perfect blue skies and turquoise waters as you explore this tropical paradise!
#4: Praia do Seixal
Are you a sun-seeker looking for an exquisite beach on your Madeira vacay? Then Praia do Seixal is the perfect destination for you! This secluded beach is one of the best in Madeira, with stunning views of the cliffs and ocean.
It's located near Porto Moniz in the west of the island. You can reach it by a winding road from Seixal city, or take a boat ride from Porto Moniz – it takes around two hours.
The beach has a pebbly and shallow shore, with crystal clear, aquamarine waters that are great for snorkeling. There aren't any sunbeds, umbrellas or other facilities, so bring your own shade if needed.
The nearby cliffs offer plenty of refreshment areas, with secret places to explore. Plus, you'll have time to take pictures of the beautiful landscape – as Praia do Seixal isn't well-known or accessible by public transport like other beaches in Madeira.
If you're looking for a peaceful getaway on your vacation or to explore some of the island's most beautiful shores – add Praia do Seixal to your bucket list!
#5: Praia dos Reis Magos
Head to Praia dos Reis Magos for one of Madeira's most gorgeous beaches. It's a paradise on the island's north coast. The phrase “Reis Magos” means “Three Kings.” And, the beach gets its name from 3 rocky islets close to the shore. In English, they're called “The Lady's Breast,” “The Little Boy,” and “The Captain's Head.”
Reis Magos beach is a popular spot. It has towering cliffs that drop to green-blue waters, and pebble-strewn shores. From here, you can see Porto Santo Island. Plus, a walkway weaves through trees, making way for a stunning view.
Once there, you can find lots of activities and amenities. Restaurants offer Portuguese food, and beach bars host music performances. Praia dos Reis Magos gives you everything you need for a perfect day at the beach – surrounded by nature and unique activities.
#6: Praia do Porto Moniz
Praia do Porto Moniz – the ultimate beach destination on Madeira Island. Located in the municipality of Porto Moniz, it's situated on the northern coast of the Portuguese island. With stunning blue waters, and framed with volcanic formations and cliffs, Praia do Porto Moniz is a must-see for beach lovers.
The views of the harbor are incredible and the “lava pools” – natural swimming pools made from cooled volcanic matter – are definitely worth a visit. Plus, there are pathways that make it easy to access spots away from the busy areas, for some peace and quiet.
On the shoreline, you can find plenty of activities to enjoy.
- Lounging on the golden sand
It's even great for children, with shallow depths close to shore.
Praia do Porto Moniz is the perfect spot for relaxation or an action-packed getaway. Add it to your travel list – you won't regret it!
#7: Praia da Fajã dos Padres
Head to Praia da Fajã dos Padres for a unique beach experience in Madeira! This black sand beach features peaceful surroundings and stunning views of the deep blue ocean and rolling hills. Enjoy lounging, parasols for shade and nearby restaurants.
For marine life lovers, the area is perfect for scuba divers or snorkelers. There are guided tours so you can explore the captivating underwater world up close. Discover little caves with octopuses, schools of colorful fish and more!
Relax on this breathtaking beach and enjoy an unforgettable experience. It should be at the top of your list when visiting Madeira!
#8: Praia da Calheta
Portugal's beautiful island of Madeira boasts some of Europe's most stunning beaches. From rocky shores to sandy coves, the island offers a diverse landscape perfect for soaking up the warm Mediterranean sun.
Praia da Calheta grabs the #8 spot – a tropical paradise located at the southernmost tip of Madeira, surrounded by nature reserves, mountain backdrops and unforgettable sunsets.
The golden sands of Praia da Calheta span over one mile, nestled between two mountain peaks. It's a favorite among locals who come on weekends and holidays to make the most of this special place.
Though not as crowded as other beaches near Funchal, it still has showers, toilets, and kiosks selling snacks and drinks. Don't forget your swimming gear – the waters here are crystal clear, with varying depths that make it great for snorkeling!
Whether you're visiting with family or friends or just want to spend some quality time by yourself, Praia da Calheta promises breathtaking views and plenty of photo opportunities!
#9: Praia do Garajau
Praia do Garajau, located on the south coast of Madeira, is one of the best sandy beaches around. The 1km shoreline has crystal-clear waters and white, soft sand. There are plenty of palm trees providing shade, making it a perfect spot to relax. To get there you can either take an ATV or hike for 15 minutes down the path.
The nearby village offers restaurants, bars, supermarkets, and hotels. On the beach you can rent sunbeds and paddle boats or kayaks. There are also lifeguards patrolling the azure waters, which recently won the Blue Flag Award from FEE.
Whether you're looking for a place to relax or have some fun in the sun, Praia do Garajau should be on your list!
#10: Machico Bay Beach
Machico Bay Beach in Madeira offers stunning views and crystal clear waters. It's secluded, but has a child-friendly atmosphere and shallow waters – perfect for relaxation. This golden beach stretches 90m in length and 300m in width, making it one of the biggest beaches in the area.
Rent a beach chair or bring a picnic to enjoy in the shade. If you're looking for a swim beach near town, Machico Bay is ideal. Take a breath of fresh sea air and savour the beauty of this picturesque bay. Make Machico Bay one of your must-visit destinations on Madeira Island!
Exploring Madeira Island's stunning beaches is like discovering Europe's secret paradise! Each beach offers its own unique charm, from golden sand to rocky cliffs. Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and hikes through the countryside – experiences you won't find elsewhere.
Appreciate the beauty each beach has to offer – from hillside views to shimmering waters and spectacular sunsets. These are some of Europe's best kept secrets. When planning your trip to Madeira, don't miss the chance to explore these incredible beaches! Make sure it's a unique and unforgettable experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best beach in Madeira?
According to Trip Advisor, Calheta Beach is the best beach in Madeira. It is a beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing.
What should I bring to the beach in Madeira?
You should bring a hat, sunscreen, a towel, sunglasses, and maybe a beach umbrella to the beach in Madeira. You may also want to bring a snorkelling mask if you plan to go snorkelling.
What is the best time of year to visit Madeira beaches?
The best time of year to visit Madeira beaches is from May to October. This is the warmest time of year and the weather is usually sunny and pleasant.
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