Porto Moniz is a charming little town surrounded by mountains and the Atlantic Ocean located on the northwest side of Madeira. It is a place famous for its magnificent natural pools formed by volcanic rocks.
For us, visiting Porto Moniz was one of the highlights of Madeira!
Since the construction of a highway that connects Porto Moniz to São Vicente, the city is only 45 minutes from the airport and Funchal.
On your way there make sure to stop at the Santinha viewpoint overlooking the city on the road to Porto Moniz. The view from there is stunning. (google map location: here)
1. Swim at the natural pools at Porto Moniz
The natural swimming pools fill up according to the tide when the waves submerge the rocks.
Over time, these swimming pools have become a veritable well-appointed, maintained, and supervised seaside resort, in a setting of great beauty!
The pools are open all year round.
– Winter from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
– In summer: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
– Children up to 3 years old: free
– From 4 years old: 1.50 euros
On the side of the Cachalote restaurant, going towards the fort, you can also swim for free but in a wilder area. Depending on the tide, it is fine to swim there too.
2. Visit the Fort João Baptista in Porto Moniz
Along the bay there is a pretty promenade that leads to Fort Fort João Baptista built in 1730.
It served as a defense against pirate attacks. The fort was bought by the city in 1998 and it was rebuilt identically. A little further you will find a small port.
Today the fort houses the aquarium.
3. Have fun at the amazing Aquarium of Porto Moniz
The Aquarium opened in 2005 to preserve the marine biodiversity of the Madeira Archipelago. It consists of 12 thematic pools where more than 90 species live. The visit is quick but it allows you to discover the various species that inhabit the waters of the Madeira archipelago.
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Normal price: 7 euros
From 5 to 14 years old and from 65 years old: 4 euros
4. Visit the mystical Fanal Forest
Do you like trees and fairy tales? Go to this magical forest where you will often see a thick mist. This place feels like a fantasy film set. We also encountered pretty big cows enjoying their time in the forest. Such a stunning place!
5. Check our Miradouro das Achadas da Cruz
Located in the northwest of Madeira Island, the Achadas da Cruz viewpoint will give you an excellent view of the Atlantic Ocean and Fajã das Achadas da Cruz. Next to the viewpoint, you will find a cable car, opened in 2004, which connects to Fajã das Achadas da Cruz, allowing you to visit farmlands, small cabins, and the beach.
6. Be amazed at Miradouro do Véu da Noiva near Porto Moniz
Another famous viewpoint in Madeira: Miradouro do Véu da Noiva
Véu da Noiva viewpoint is one of the most beautiful on the island of Madeira. From there, you can admire the magnificent waterfall of the same name and the north of the island.
Looking at the height of the waterfall and the heavy head of water flowing down the cliff, you will feel like you are seeing a bride’s veil (hence the name).
The viewpoint is located on the old ER 101 road that connected Seixal to São Vicente. Until a few years ago it was possible to pass under the waterfall, but in 2008 there was a huge landslide that destroyed part of the road and the tunnel that passed under the waterfall.
Best places to eat in Porto Moniz
Being so close to the sea, Porto Moniz is of course famous for its seafood. We tried Sea View restaurant (here). The food was great. If you like fish, we always recommend the Scabbard! A specialty of Madeira. We love it. (You can check the menu here)
Best places to stay in Porto Moniz
In Conclusion about the best things to do in Porto Moniz
When you come to visit Madeira and are looking for the most charming places, Porto Moniz stands out as a must. And we quickly understood why: the splendid natural pools made of rock and lava. This place is unmissable during a trip to Madeira.
FOR OTHER THINGS TO SEE IN MADEIRA, READ THIS POST: 30 BEST THINGS TO SEE IN MADEIRA