Find out all about the best beaches and the way to get there.
The bathing complexes
Often the island’s residents and visitors swim mainly in the numerous seawater swimming pools, which have been built or adapted on the rocky coast, where one can also find easy access into the sea by using steps from the rocks. They are mostly situated in the tourist areas of Funchal and Caniço. These include the public Lido municipal complex in Funchal (free entrance) and Barreirinha in the old town of Funchal. The private hotel Galomar Lidocomplex in Caniço de Baixo is also accessible. To use them costs about 2–5€ and some other hotels offer the same facilities and access to visitors, but are usually more expensive.
The largest and most famous natural seawater pools are found in Porto Moniz nearly 1 hour from Funchal on the northwest of the island.
Doca do Cavacas bathing complex
This is a small rocky beach complex with a natural swimming pool of volcanic origin and direct access to the sea. To the west of this beach, bracing views can be enjoyed over the highest cape in Europe (Cape Girão) and Formosa Beach. On the top of the complex you will find a seafood restaurant. The price range is medium and there are no meat options. Doca de Cavacas may be reached from Praia Formosa by a connecting tunnel. An entrance fee is also charged.
Opening hours: 11 AM – 7 PM
Location: Rua Ponta da Cruz Piornais, 9000-103 Funchal.
Located between the Lido and Formosa beach. It can be accessed from the Lido Promenade. Public transport: Horário do Funchal No 2.
Price: 1,70 €, for an additional price you can rent out a sun bed and an umbrella.
There are special offer packages.
Facilities: Lifeguard, bar, changing rooms
Ponta Gorda bathing complex
Opening hours: 10 AM – 7 PM
Location: Passeio Público Marítimo, Ponta Gorda, 9000-758 Funchal. Located in the beginning of the Lido Promenade.
Public transport: Horário do Funchal No 1, 2.
Price: 5 €, for an additional price you can rent out a sun bed and an umbrella. There are special offer packages.
Facilities: Lifeguard, bar, café, changing rooms, access to the ocean, natural swimming pool, seawater swimming pool, swimming pool for children, kids play area.
Near the old town of Funchal where Avenida do Mar ends is the Praia da Barreirinha, a beautiful beach resort with a restaurant, changing rooms and showers.
Opening hours: 10 AM – 7 PM
Location: Largo do Socorro, n.o 1. 9060-305 Funchal
Price: 2 €, for an additional price you can rent out a sun bed and an umbrella. There are special offer packages.
Facilities: Lifeguard, bar, changing rooms, access to the ocean.
Tip: Funchal bathing complexes (Barreirinha, Doca das Cavacas, Ponta Gorda) have a family card, which you can buy for 6,70 € (gives you the right to 5 entrances for 1,34 € each to any of these complexes). The card is rechargeable, so you can put enough money for 5, 10, 15 etc. entrances
Porto Moniz natural lava swimming pools
A stunning natural bathing complex formed by black lava rocks. A sole concrete barrier has transformed this paradise on water into the famous natural swimming pools of Porto Moniz and protects visitors from the fierce waves of the Atlantic. At the beach complex there is a restaurant, changing rooms and showers. There are secure areas for children.
Opening hours: 10 AM – 5.30 PM
Location: Porto Moniz, 1 hour drive from Funchal, located in the northwest of the island.
Public transport: Rodoeste No 139 (at 9 AM from Funchal, 4.45 PM from Porto Moniz), No 80 (at 10 AM from Funchal, at 4 PM from Porto Moniz), roundtrip 12 €, travel time is around 3 hours.
Price: 1,50 €, for an additional price you can rent out a sun bed and an umbrella.
Facilities: Lifeguard, bar, changing rooms, lava pools.