Madeira is no Tenerife – there’s no abundance of beautiful beaches with fine, golden sand (technically there some, but they were artificially created). Which doesn’t mean that there are no beach worth spending a day on! There are a few places on Madeira where a visitor longing for beach holiday should visit, and we will describe them briefly below.

What are the best beaches of Madeira?

Surprisingly, the best sandy beaches on Madeira can be found on the smaller island of Porto Santo, sometimes jokingly called ‘a beach with an islet’. There, you will find miles of sandy beaches and turquise ocean, making it a popular place for wedding shoots. You can get there by a plane or a ferry.

On Madeira itself you can find two artificial sandy beaches, in Machico (existing alongside a natural beach made of stones, gravel and black volcanic sand) and Calheta (protected from strong waves, it offers peaceful water perfect for beginning swimmers and children). If you prefer natural beaches, try out tiny Prainha (small beach located in a cove, with slightly darker sand), Seixal (black sand beach without strong waves and with gorgeous views on the cliffs of Madeira), Alagoa (dark sand beach in Porto da Cruz) and Laje (another beach in Seixal).

When visiting Madeira it would be a shame to avoid stone and gravel beaches, as often they offer unique opportunities. Praja do Garajau is perfect for snorkeling, for example. You should also visit at least one faja – small beach under a cliff. Our favorites are Faja dos Padres and Faja do Rancho.

What are your favorite beaches on Madeira? Share them in the comments!

Best beaches of Madeira / photo: Don Amaro
Best beaches of Madeira / photo: Don Amaro

Now check out attractions of Madeira and accommodation on Madeira!