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Where To Stay In Madeira: Best Areas To Stay


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Silva Flowers



Welcome to the beautiful island of Madeira, a stunning destination known for its natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. If you’re planning a trip to this Portuguese archipelago, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is where to stay. With a variety of charming towns and regions to choose from, each offering its own unique attractions and experiences, finding the perfect accommodation can greatly enhance your visit.


Whether you’re seeking a luxurious resort, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a budget-friendly hotel, Madeira has something to suit every taste and preference. In this article, we’ll guide you through some of the best areas to stay in Madeira, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your travel style and interests.


From the bustling capital city of Funchal, with its bustling streets and picturesque harbor, to the tranquil coastal towns and villages surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes, Madeira offers a diverse range of options for your stay. Each area has its own unique charm and attractions, and exploring different parts of the island will provide you with an authentic experience and a deeper understanding of Madeiran life.


So, whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation, an adventurous hiking getaway, or a cultural immersion in the island’s history and traditions, read on to discover the best areas to stay in Madeira and start planning your unforgettable trip.



Funchal, the capital city of Madeira, is a vibrant and bustling destination that offers a mix of historical charm and modern amenities. Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, Funchal boasts stunning views and a mild year-round climate.


One of the main attractions in Funchal is the picturesque Old Town, with its narrow cobbled streets, colorful buildings, and charming squares. The historic district is home to numerous shops, restaurants, and bars, offering a lively atmosphere day and night. Don’t miss visiting the Mercado dos Lavradores, the local market where you can find a variety of fresh produce, traditional crafts, and Madeiran delicacies.


Funchal also offers a range of cultural and historical sites, including the stunning Sé Cathedral and the fascinating Museum of Madeira Wine. The Monte Palace Tropical Garden is another must-visit attraction, with its beautifully landscaped gardens and breathtaking views of the city and the sea.


When it comes to accommodation options in Funchal, you’ll find a wide range of choices to suit all budgets. From luxurious waterfront hotels to charming boutique guesthouses and comfortable apartments, there’s something for everyone. Staying in Funchal also provides easy access to the city’s vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues to enjoy.


Whether you’re exploring the historical sites, enjoying the local cuisine, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, Funchal offers a fantastic base for your Madeira adventure.


Santa Cruz

If you’re looking for a tranquil coastal escape with easy access to the airport, Santa Cruz is an excellent choice. Located just a short drive from Madeira’s main airport, this charming town offers a peaceful atmosphere and stunning natural beauty.


Santa Cruz is known for its beautiful beaches, with clear turquoise waters and golden sands. Praia das Palmeiras is the main beach in the area, offering a relaxing spot to soak up the sun and take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. There are also a variety of water sports and activities available for those seeking a bit of adventure.


In addition to its beautiful coastline, Santa Cruz has a charming town center with traditional shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can wander through the streets, admire the colorful buildings, and indulge in local cuisine while enjoying the laid-back vibe of the town.


If you’re interested in cultural attractions, Santa Cruz is home to the imposing Santo da Serra Church, a historic landmark worth exploring. The town also hosts a weekly market, where you can browse and purchase fresh produce, local handicrafts, and souvenirs.


When it comes to accommodation, Santa Cruz offers a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a beachfront resort, a cozy guesthouse, or a self-catering apartment, you’ll find choices that provide comfortable accommodations and warm hospitality.


With its serene beaches, picturesque town center, and easy accessibility, Santa Cruz is an ideal choice for those seeking a peaceful and relaxing getaway in Madeira.



Nestled on the eastern coast of Madeira, Machico is a charming town that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical attractions. As the second-largest city on the island, Machico provides a vibrant atmosphere while still maintaining its small-town charm.


Machico is renowned for its beautiful sandy beach, Praia de Machico, which provides a wonderful spot to relax and enjoy the sun. The beach is also a great starting point for a variety of water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding.


One of the highlights of visiting Machico is exploring its rich history. The town played a significant role in the discovery and colonization of Madeira, and you can learn about its maritime past at the interactive Municipal Museum of Machico. Additionally, the Machico Fortress, with its imposing walls and breathtaking views, offers a glimpse into the town’s defensive structures from centuries ago.


Machico is also a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers. Set against a backdrop of dramatic cliffs and verdant mountains, the town provides access to several stunning hiking trails, including the picturesque Levada do Caniçal and Levada do Castelejo. These trails allow you to immerse yourself in Madeira’s lush landscapes and discover hidden waterfalls, charming villages, and panoramic viewpoints.


Accommodation in Machico ranges from charming guesthouses to comfortable hotels, many of which offer stunning ocean views. Whether you prefer a cozy and traditional stay or a modern and luxurious experience, you’ll find options that suit your taste.


With its beautiful beach, rich history, and proximity to hiking trails, Machico is a fantastic choice for those seeking a blend of relaxation, culture, and outdoor adventures during their visit to Madeira.



Located on the southeastern coast of Madeira, Caniço is a charming and picturesque town that offers a peaceful and laid-back atmosphere. Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Caniço is an idyllic destination for those seeking natural beauty and tranquility.


One of the main attractions in Caniço is the iconic Ponta de Garajau – a stunning sea cliff that provides breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline. The area is also home to the Garajau Nature Reserve, a protected marine area that offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving. Exploring the underwater world here will reward you with encounters with a variety of marine life, including colorful fish, rays, and even turtles.


Caniço also features a charming town center with traditional Madeiran architecture, narrow streets, and local shops. You’ll find a variety of cafes, restaurants, and bars where you can enjoy the renowned local cuisine and sample traditional delicacies such as Espetada (grilled meat skewers) and Madeira wine.


For those seeking outdoor activities, the nearby Ponta do Garajau offers a beautiful hiking trail that leads to the famous Christ the King statue. This scenic path provides wonderful views of the coastline and is perfect for nature enthusiasts and photographers.


In terms of accommodation, Caniço offers a range of options, including hotels, boutique guesthouses, and self-catering apartments. Many of the accommodations in the area boast stunning ocean views, allowing you to wake up to the sound of the waves and enjoy breathtaking sunsets from your balcony.


Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation, exploring underwater wonders, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Caniço provides a charming and serene base for your Madeira getaway.



If you’re looking for a more relaxed and sunny atmosphere on your visit to Madeira, Calheta is the perfect destination. Located on the southwestern coast of the island, Calheta is known for its stunning golden sand beach and warm climate.


The main attraction in Calheta is its beautiful man-made beach, Praia da Calheta. With its calm and crystal-clear waters, it’s an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is lined with cafes and restaurants, where you can enjoy delicious seafood and refreshing drinks while admiring the ocean view.


Calheta is also home to the impressive Calheta Rum Distillery, where you can learn about the production process of Madeira rum and even have a tasting experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the interactive exhibits and discover the history and culture of this captivating spirit.


For nature lovers, the surrounding area of Calheta offers breathtaking landscapes and opportunities for outdoor activities. The locality is known for its levadas, the irrigation channels that crisscross the island. Hiking along these levada trails will lead you through lush forests, picturesque villages, and stunning viewpoints, allowing you to immerse yourself in Madeira’s natural beauty.


Calheta offers a variety of accommodation options, including beachfront resorts, boutique hotels, and rental villas. Many of these accommodations provide stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding countryside. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a peaceful and serene vacation.


Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the local culture, or embark on outdoor adventures, Calheta provides an enchanting setting for an unforgettable experience in Madeira.


Porto Santo

If you’re seeking a paradise-like beach destination in Madeira, look no further than Porto Santo. This small but breathtaking island is located just a short ferry ride from Madeira’s main island and offers pristine golden sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.


Porto Santo is famous for its 9-kilometer long sandy beach, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. With its gentle slope and warm waters, it’s an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, and beach activities. Whether you’re looking to relax under the sun or engage in water sports such as windsurfing or paddleboarding, Porto Santo beach has it all.


Aside from its stunning beaches, Porto Santo also offers opportunities to explore the island’s natural beauty. The interior of the island is characterized by rolling hills, rugged cliffs, and captivating landscapes. You can discover the unique flora and fauna by hiking along the various trails that crisscross the island.


For those interested in history and culture, a visit to the Christopher Columbus Museum is a must. It commemorates the time the famous explorer spent in Porto Santo and offers insights into his life and discoveries.


Accommodation options in Porto Santo range from luxurious resorts and hotels to cozy guesthouses and apartments. Most offer stunning sea views, and some even provide direct access to the beach. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family-friendly vacation, you’ll find the perfect place to stay on this charming island.


With its magnificent beaches, natural beauty, and serene atmosphere, Porto Santo is a true gem in Madeira. Whether you visit for a day trip or choose to stay longer, this island paradise will leave you with memories to cherish.


Ponta do Sol

Nestled on the southwestern coast of Madeira, Ponta do Sol is a picturesque village known for being one of the sunniest spots on the island. With its charming streets, scenic coastline, and warm weather, it’s no wonder that Ponta do Sol has become a popular destination for travelers seeking a peaceful and idyllic getaway.


The village is centered around its main square, Praça da República, where you’ll find a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops. You can take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets lined with traditional houses, adorned with colorful flowers, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of Ponta do Sol.


Situated on a rocky cliff, Ponta do Sol offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. One of the highlights of visiting this village is the Ponta do Sol promenade, a beautifully landscaped coastal walkway that provides panoramic views of the sea and neighboring cliffs. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset and embrace the tranquil beauty of the surroundings.


Ponta do Sol also offers opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking and swimming. The village is close to a variety of hiking trails that offer a chance to explore the island’s lush landscapes, rugged coastlines, and hidden waterfalls. For those looking to cool off, there’s a pebble beach with calm waters, providing a refreshing spot for a swim.


Accommodation options in Ponta do Sol range from family-run guesthouses to upscale boutique hotels. Many of them offer stunning ocean views and provide a cozy and welcoming atmosphere for a relaxing stay.


Whether you’re seeking a tranquil retreat, enjoying the local cuisine, or exploring the natural beauty of Madeira, Ponta do Sol offers a charming and serene ambiance for an unforgettable experience.


Ribeira Brava

Located on the southern coast of Madeira, Ribeira Brava is a delightful town known for its scenic beauty and charming atmosphere. Nestled between soaring mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, Ribeira Brava offers a perfect blend of natural wonders and cultural heritage.


One of the main attractions in Ribeira Brava is its picturesque town center. The town is centered around a charming square, where you can find traditional houses, colorful flowers, and local cafes. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade and enjoy the views of the sea or visit the local market to sample fresh produce and regional specialties.


The town is also home to the beautiful Church of São Bento, known for its intricate woodwork and religious artifacts. Step inside to admire the stunning architecture and soak up the tranquil atmosphere.


Outdoor enthusiasts will also find plenty to do in Ribeira Brava. The town is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, offering opportunities for various activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and canyoning. Explore nearby levada trails and be rewarded with breathtaking views of lush valleys, dramatic cliffs, and cascading waterfalls.


When it comes to accommodation, Ribeira Brava offers a range of options suitable for different budgets and preferences. From charming guesthouses to comfortable hotels, you can find a cozy and convenient place to stay that allows you to explore the town and its surroundings.


Whether you’re interested in cultural heritage, outdoor adventures, or simply relaxing by the sea, Ribeira Brava provides a perfect base for your Madeira experience.


São Vicente

Situated on the northern coast of Madeira, São Vicente is a charming town nestled in a lush, green valley. Known for its stunning natural beauty and rich volcanic landscapes, São Vicente offers a unique and captivating experience for visitors.


One of the main attractions in São Vicente is the volcanic caves. The São Vicente Caves and Volcanism Center provides an opportunity to explore the ancient lava tubes that were formed millions of years ago during volcanic eruptions. Take a guided tour and marvel at the intricate rock formations, underground lakes, and learn about the volcanic history of the island.


The town itself is a picturesque and peaceful place, with traditional houses, colorful gardens, and a tranquil river flowing through its center. Stroll through the charming streets, visit the local shops, and enjoy a relaxing meal at one of the cozy restaurants offering traditional Madeiran cuisine.


Nature lovers will be delighted by the surrounding landscape of São Vicente. The town is surrounded by majestic mountains, deep valleys, and beautiful forests. Explore the nearby Levada dos Tornos trail, which winds through lush greenery and offers stunning views of the countryside and the sea.


Accommodation options in São Vicente range from boutique hotels to cozy guesthouses, many of which blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, providing a peaceful retreat. Enjoy the tranquility and immerse yourself in the beauty of São Vicente.


Whether you’re interested in exploring volcanic formations, immersing yourself in nature, or experiencing the charm of a traditional Madeiran town, São Vicente offers a captivating destination to enhance your trip to Madeira.



Madeira, with its stunning beauty and diverse attractions, offers a range of wonderful areas to stay that cater to different preferences and interests. From the vibrant capital of Funchal to the tranquil shores of Santa Cruz, each region has its own unique charm and offers a variety of experiences for visitors.


Whether you’re seeking a bustling city vibe, a peaceful coastal retreat, or an adventure amidst nature, Madeira has something to offer everyone. Explore the historical streets of Funchal, relax on the golden sands of Calheta, or immerse yourself in the natural wonders of São Vicente and Ponta do Sol.


Each area provides its own distinct character, with a range of accommodation options to suit every taste and budget. From luxurious resorts to charming guesthouses and self-catering apartments, you’ll find comfortable and hospitable accommodations in every corner of the island.


Whether you’re attracted to the vibrant energy of Funchal, the serene beauty of Ponta do Sol, or the natural wonders of São Vicente, your stay in Madeira is sure to be a memorable one. Take the time to explore different areas, soak up the unique atmosphere, and indulge in the island’s rich culture and cuisine.


No matter where you choose to stay in Madeira, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, warm hospitality, and a deep sense of tranquility. So, pack your bags, embark on your Madeira adventure, and create memories that will last a lifetime.