Welcome to Porto Moniz, a charming coastal town nestled on the rugged north coast of Madeira. Known for its stunning natural landscapes, Porto Moniz offers visitors a plethora of activities to indulge in, from relaxing on volcanic rock pools to hiking along scenic coastal trails.

This page lists 16 things to do in Porto Moniz Madeira, plus further information, places to stay, a map of the area, and FAQs about Porto Moniz Madeira.

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My last visit to Madeira was in summer 2023 on a solo trip, but Madeira is also ideal for couples and families. I have also visited Madeira in the spring and winter time too. You may also like to check out my main Madeira Travel Guide if you are thinking of travelling to Madeira.

16 Great Things to do in Porto Moniz, Madeira

Let’s proceed with the list of 16 things to do in Porto Moniz.

You will also find a map of Porto Moniz, links for accommodation suggestions, tour suggestions and frequently asked questions about things to do in Porto Moniz at the bottom of the post.

1. Take a dip in the Porto Moniz natural swimming pools.

Start your journey with a visit to the iconic natural swimming pools carved into volcanic rock formations. These crystal-clear pools are filled with seawater, offering a refreshing dip while enjoying breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

There are two swimming complexes:

  • Piscinas Naturais do Porto Moniz: a lido complex, maintained and looked after, smooth edges, lifeguards and good for kids. Pay to get in.
  • Piscinas Naturais do Aquario: rocky natural pools, no lifeguards, some sharp edges, feels more naturally beautiful, more photogenic, free of charge.

For those who love exploring underwater, there’s plenty to discover with snorkelling opportunities among the fascinating rock formations and marine life.

2. Visit the Porto Moniz Living Science Centre.

The Porto Moniz Living Science Centre takes you on an interactive journey through the natural wonders of Madeira. Situated in the heart of Porto Moniz, this engaging educational facility offers a fascinating exploration of the island’s unique geology, biodiversity, and ecosystems.

Upon entering the centre, you’ll be greeted by informative exhibits, displays, and hands-on activities that bring the science of Madeira to life. From volcanic formations to endemic flora and fauna, the centre offers insights into the island’s geological history and ecological diversity.

Further reading: Ultimate Madeira Travel Guide.

3. Admire Ilheu Mole and its lighthouse.

Ilhéu Mole is a small islet located just off the coast of Porto Moniz in Madeira. Its most prominent feature is the charming lighthouse that stands proudly atop its rocky surface. This lighthouse, known as Farol do Ilhéu Mole, serves as a beacon to guide ships safely along the coastline.

A rocky islet with stratified geologic formations in the azure ocean under a clear blue sky. Porto Moniz Madeira.
Ilheu Mole

The lighthouse itself is a picturesque structure, with its white-washed walls contrasting beautifully against the deep blue sea. It has been guiding sailors and fishermen for many years, ensuring their safe passage through the surrounding waters.

Visitors to Ilhéu Mole can admire the lighthouse from the mainland. Some adventurous souls may even choose to explore the islet up close, perhaps by boat or kayak, to get a better view of the lighthouse and its surroundings.

4. Hike a Levada Trail near Porto Moniz.

Immerse yourself in Madeira’s lush landscapes with a leisurely levada walk. These historic irrigation channels wind their way through verdant forests, picturesque valleys, and quaint villages.

Near Porto Moniz, you can find several Levada trails offering stunning views and opportunities for exploration. Some of the nearby Levada trails include:

  1. Levada Nova: This trail is relatively easy and offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and coastline. It’s a great option for a leisurely stroll amidst nature. Read about my experience.
  2. Levada da Ribeira da Janela: This trail follows the Ribeira da Janela stream and takes you through lush forests and picturesque landscapes. It’s a bit more challenging but rewards hikers with breathtaking scenery.
  3. Levada do Moinho: This trail leads to an old watermill and offers views of the rugged coastline and ocean. It’s a shorter trail perfect for a morning or afternoon hike. Read about my experience.
  4. Levada das 25 Fontes and Levada do Risco: These two trails are located a bit further away but are worth the journey. They take you through dense forests to impressive waterfalls and natural springs.

These Levada trails near Porto Moniz provide excellent opportunities for hiking and experiencing the natural beauty of Madeira’s countryside. Just make sure to check the trail conditions and weather forecasts before setting out.

Further reading: 16 of the Best Levada Walks on Madeira Island

5. Visit Porto Moniz Vineyards.

Near Porto Moniz you’ll find several vineyards where you can experience Madeira’s winemaking tradition. Some vineyards in the area include:

  1. Vinhos Barbusano: Located in Ribeira da Janela, Vinhos Barbusano is a family-owned vineyard known for producing high-quality wines. Visitors can tour the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and enjoy tastings of their renowned vintages.
  2. Quinta do Barbusano: Also situated in Ribeira da Janela, Quinta do Barbusano is another notable vineyard known for its scenic location and excellent wines. Visitors can explore the vineyards, sample different varietals, and learn about the history of winemaking in Madeira.
  3. Quinta da Lagoa: Located near Seixal, Quinta da Lagoa is a picturesque vineyard overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The estate produces a range of wines, including Madeira wine, and offers guided tours and tastings for visitors.

Learning about the winemaking process, and indulging in a wine tasting session is an excellent activity to do in Porto Moniz Madeira.

Pictured below is 📍Vinhas do Tico, Caminho da Fajã do Barro, 9270-035 Porto Moniz, Portugal.

Coastal view overlooking the blue ocean with green vegetation in the foreground under a clear sky. Vineyards in Porto Moniz.
Vinhas do Tico Vineyard

Further reading: Food in Madeira: What to Eat and Drink on Madeira Island

6. See the Fort of São João Baptista.

Discover the historical significance of Porto Moniz at the Fort of São João Baptista. Originally built in the 17th century to defend against pirate attacks, this replica fortress was rebuilt in the 18th century. From its vantage point atop a cliff, the fort offers sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding coastline, providing a glimpse into Madeira’s dramatic natural beauty.

The fort is also the current site of the madeira Aquarium, see number 12 on this list.

Further reading: 25 Unique & Amazing Things to do on Madeira Island.

7. See Porto Moniz from above, at Miradouro da Santinha.

Miradouro da Santinha, or the Santinha viewpoint, offers visitors panoramic views of the town, the rugged coastline, and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching out before them. To reach Miradouro da Santinha, you can take a stroll or drive along the winding roads (there are several parking places).

An aerial view of the town of Porto Moniz near the ocean.
Porto Moniz Madeira

The viewpoint is named after the nearby Capela da Nossa Senhora da Conceição, also known as the Chapel of Our Lady of Conception, affectionately referred to as “Santinha” by locals. The chapel itself is a quaint and charming structure, adding to the ambiance of the viewpoint.

8. Visit Seixal Black Sand Beach & natural pools.

Take a scenic drive along the coast to Seixal and relax on its striking black sand beach. If natural pools are your thing, you can also see more natural pools just behind the beach at Seixal.

Surrounded by towering cliffs and lush greenery, this secluded spot offers a peaceful retreat for sunbathing and swimming. The scenery is simply breathtaking, making it a popular spot for photographers and nature lovers alike.

Dip your toes into the cool Atlantic waters or bask in the sun on the volcanic sands, offering a unique seaside experience. After a refreshing swim, stroll through the charming streets adorned with whitewashed houses and vibrant flowers, and enjoy fresh seafood at local eateries.

Further reading: 20 Gifts and Souvenirs to Buy From Madeira.

9. Go Whale and Dolphin Watching.

Experience the thrill of encountering marine life in their natural habitat with a whale and dolphin watching tour. Set sail from Porto Moniz and witness these magnificent creatures frolicking in the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean..

The Atlantic near the coast has a depth of 3000m, creating an ideal habitat for marine life. You can see: Atlantic spotted dolphin, Bottlenose dolphin, Common dolphin, Striped dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, Rough-toothed dolphin, False killer whale, Short-finned pilot whale, Blainville’s beaked whale, Sperm whale, Bryde’s whale, Sei whale, Fin whale, and occasionally Orcas, Blue whales, Minke whales, and Humpback whales.

10. See the sunset at Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse.

Marvel at panoramic views of the coastline from the Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse. Perched atop a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this historic landmark is a great place for capturing sunset views. As you approach the lighthouse, you’ll be struck by its striking white facade against the backdrop of the azure sea. The lighthouse is about 15 miles away from Porto Moniz.

A lighthouse on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Madeira.
Ponta do Pargo, Madeira, Portugal

Further reading: The 20 best towns in Madeira (and where to stay in each one)

11. Enjoy traditional Madeiran cuisine.

Indulge in Madeira’s culinary delights at Porto Moniz’s local eateries. Sample fresh seafood dishes, including grilled limpets and Espada (black scabbardfish), paired with locally grown fruits and vegetables for an authentic gastronomic experience.

There are lots of restaurants in Porto Moniz, just walk along past the natural pools and you will see lines of restaurants and cafes waiting to serve you.

Some restaurants in Porto Moniz Madeira:

  1. Restaurante Aqua Natura: This restaurant offers a diverse menu with a focus on fresh seafood dishes and traditional Madeiran cuisine. Located near the natural swimming pools, it provides a scenic dining experience overlooking the ocean.
  2. Restaurante Orca: A popular dining spot in Porto Moniz, offering a variety of local dishes, including fresh seafood and traditional Madeiran cuisine.
  3. Restaurante Salgueiros: Known for its welcoming ambiance and homemade Portuguese dishes, Restaurante Salgueiros offers a taste of authentic Madeiran cuisine. From hearty stews to flavorful seafood platters, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

These restaurants are all located within Porto Moniz, ensuring convenient access for visitors exploring the town’s attractions.

Further reading: Food in Madeira: What to Eat and Drink on Madeira Island

12. Pop into Porto Moniz Aquarium. 

With 12 exhibition tanks and more than 90 native species, Porto Moniz aquarium is a cool spot where you can learn about the marine life native to Madeira’s coastal waters.

It’s not the biggest aquarium you’ve ever seen (it doesn’t take long to get through 12 tanks) but it’s still a cool thing to do whilst you’re in Porto Moniz.

Natural rock pool with a staircase leading up to a stone tower, surrounded by lush hills.
Porto Moniz Madeira Aquarium

The aquarium is housed in the old fort of Saint John the Baptist. Originally erected in 1730 as a defence against frequent pirate raids, the fort’s ruins were acquired by the Porto Moniz Town Council in 1998. Drawing upon existing iconography, the council embarked on a restoration project to revive the structure to its original design.

13. Ride the Achadas da Cruz cable car.

Picture this: you’re soaring high above the rugged cliffs of Madeira’s northwestern coast, with the wind in your hair and the Atlantic Ocean stretching out below you. It’s not your everyday mode of transport, that’s for sure!

Cable car descending a lush green hillside with a panoramic view of the ocean.
Achadas da Cruz cable car

As you glide up in the cable car, you’re treated to some seriously jaw-dropping scenery. Amidst the lush green mountains and the vast blue sea, you can see the hiking trails along the levadas and mountain paths.

The village of Achadas da Cruz is perched on the cliffs, offering panoramic views that’ll leave you speechless. And if you’re up for it, you can hike down to the black sand beach below – it’s well worth the effort.

Interestingly, local farmers frequently use this cable car to transport agricultural goods and tools, facilitating their cultivation efforts along the shores of the sea.

14. Explore coastal caves.

Embark on an adventurous journey to explore the coastal caves and grottos that dot the shoreline of Porto Moniz. There are lots of hidden nooks and crannies to discover, and the rocky coastline adds to the excitement. You can either join a guided boat tour or rent a kayak to explore on your own.

15. Have a picnic at Ribeira da Janela.

Escape the crowds and immerse yourself in nature with a picnic at Ribeira da Janela. This picturesque valley, located just a short drive from Porto Moniz, boasts lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and tranquil streams, providing the perfect setting for a relaxing outdoor meal amidst breathtaking scenery.

Just find a spot by the water, spread out a blanket, and unpack your picnic goodies. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even dip your toes in the stream or take a short hike to explore the area further.

16. Visit the Igreja Matriz do Porto Moniz.

Visiting the Igreja Matriz do Porto Moniz, the main church of Porto Moniz, is a chance to experience the town’s religious and cultural side. The church’s simple yet elegant exterior invites you in, and once inside, you’ll find a peaceful atmosphere with sunlight streaming through stained glass windows. The interior is adorned with beautiful religious art and statues, offering a glimpse into Madeira’s history and traditions.

White clock tower with a pointed roof against a backdrop of green hills in Porto Moniz Madeira.
Porto Moniz Church

Itineraries for Porto Moniz Maderia.

My 7 day itinerary for Madeira West features Funchal, Cabo Girão
, Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol
, Calheta, Jardim do Mar
, Paul do Mar, Porto Moniz
, São Vicente, Seixal
 and a levada walk of your choosing.

My 12 day coastal Madeira itinerary features Funchal, Machico, Ponta de São Lourenço, Porto da Cruz, Santana, Sao Jorge, Sao Vicente, Seixal, Porto Moniz, Levada Grande, Ponto do Pargo, Paul do Mar, Jardim do Mar, Calheta, Ponto do Sol, Ribeira Brava, Camara do Lobos and Cabo Girao.

Best Tours in Porto Moniz.

Below are some of the top-rated tours in Porto Moniz, from my preferred tour operator Viator (I also use Get Your Guide as well, but Viator is my go-to).

1. Porto Moniz 4WD Jeep Full Day Tour. Cross the stunning Laurisilva forest, access ocean views, see waterfalls, volcanic beaches, and much more. Highlights include Serra d’Agua, Paul da Serra, Fanal, Porto Moniz, and Seixal.

2. Porto Moniz – Enchanted Terraces: Open 4×4 Full Day Tour. Head deep into the mysterious forest on a guided hike and sink your toes into the silky sands of the black sandy beach of Seixal. Departs from Funchal.

3. Jeep Tour, Porto Moniz Volcanic Pool, Fanal Forest and Cabo Girao. See the awe-inspiring plateaus at Paul da Serra. Admire the natural Porto Moniz pools, formed by volcanic activity long ago, as well as the renowned São Vicente vineyards and Cabo Girao.

4. Porto Moniz and Cable Car Tour. Comprehensive tour that showcases Cabo Girão’s skywalk, São Vicente’s waterfalls, Ponta do Pargo, and a scenic cable car ride. See a lot in a day, and also have free time to relax in natural pools and take a break for lunch along the way.

Things to do in Porto Moniz Madeira.

I hope this post has provided you with some ideas for things to do in Porto Moniz, Madeira.

Porto Moniz also features in my 7 day itinerary for the West of Madeira.

Where to stay Porto Moniz, Madeira

Porto Moniz is located on the northwest coast of Madeira. Here are some local areas you may wish to consider:

  1. Porto Moniz town centre: within walking distance of the town’s main attractions, including the iconic natural swimming pools. You’ll also have easy access to local restaurants, cafes, and shops.
  2. Seixal: a short drive away, Seixal is known for its beautiful black sand beach and the stunning Véu da Noiva waterfall. Staying in Seixal provides a more peaceful stay while still being relatively close to Porto Moniz’s attractions. See accommodation in Seixal.
  3. Achadas da Cruz: If you’re looking for a unique experience, this village is only accessible by cable car from Porto Moniz. This option offers a secluded setting, surrounded by lush greenery and stunning views of the ocean.
  4. Ponta Delgada: Another nearby village, Ponta Delgada, offers a charming and historic atmosphere. It’s a good choice if you prefer a quieter stay and want to explore a more traditional side of Madeira. See accommodation in Ponta Delgada.

Hotels in Porto Moniz

  • Popular hotels in Porto Moniz include Aqua Natura, with stunning views of the Atlantic. There are volcanic seawater pools, a sauna, Jacuzzi, birdwatching and Levada walks.
  • For something a bit different, try Madeira Paradise Glamping in Porto Moniz, with a shared kitchen and outdoor fireplace.
  • See all accommodation in Porto Moniz on Booking.com.
  • Remember to reserve your property early to lock in the price. Booking.com has free cancellation, so you can’t lose out.

You can book accommodation in Porto Moniz here, but I have also included some booking links for different parts of Madeira below. There is also a map showing accommodation by location. Clicking on the map will take you straight through to Booking.com.

Hotels in Funchal | Hotels in Calheta | Hotels in São Vicente | Hotels in Porto Moniz | Hotels in Machico | Hotels in Santana | Hotels in Ponta do Sol | Hotels in Câmara de Lobos | Hotels in Ribeira Brava | Hotels in Ponta Delgada | All hotels in Madeira.

Accommodation in Madeira

Here is a map from Booking.com showing hotels by location. You can zoom in, zoom out, drag and move the map. If you click the map, it will take you to Booking.com where you can look more closely at your options.


I recommend reserving your room immediately to get the best price. It’s usually free to reserve, and you can always cancel later on.

See the main Madeira page from Booking.com.

Frequently asked questions about Porto Moniz, Madeira.

Q: What are the Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools, and are they suitable for children?

A: The Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools are volcanic rock pools filled with seawater, ideal for both adults and children. They’re safe for swimming and offer stunning views of the ocean.

There are two swimming complexes:

  • Piscinas Naturais do Porto Moniz – a lido complex, maintained and looked after, smooth edges, lifeguards and good for kids. Pay to get in.
  • Piscinas Naturais do Aquario – more rocky natural pools, you feel more at one with nature, no lifeguards, some sharp edges, free of charge.

Q: How can I get to Porto Moniz from Funchal, the capital of Madeira?

A: You can reach Porto Moniz from Funchal by car, bus, or organised tour. The drive takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, offering scenic views along the coastal road.

Q: Are there any hiking trails near Porto Moniz?

A: Yes, there are several hiking trails near Porto Moniz, including the Ponta do Tristão trail, which offers panoramic coastal views. There are also various levada walks through lush forests and valleys, such as the levada Grande, levada de Ribeiro Janelo and levada Moinho waterfall hikes.

Q: What wildlife can I expect to see during a whale and dolphin watching tour in Porto Moniz?

A: During whale and dolphin watching tours, you may encounter various species, including sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, and occasionally, orcas.

Q: Are there any accommodations available in Porto Moniz?

A: Yes, Porto Moniz offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals, catering to different budgets and preferences. See all accommodation in Porto Moniz on Booking.com.

Further reading: The 20 best towns in Madeira (and where to stay in each one)

Q: Can I visit the Porto Moniz Vineyards for wine tasting?

A: Yes, Porto Moniz has several vineyards that offer wine tasting experiences, allowing visitors to sample Madeira’s renowned wines amidst scenic vineyard landscapes.

Q: Are there any restaurants serving traditional Madeiran cuisine in Porto Moniz?

A: Yes, Porto Moniz has several restaurants and eateries where you can sample authentic Madeiran dishes, including fresh seafood, Espada (black scabbardfish), and local specialties. See above for restaurant recommendations.

Further reading: Food in Madeira: What to Eat and Drink on Madeira Island

Q: Can I rent surfboards or bodyboards in Porto Moniz?

A: Yes, there are surf shops and rental facilities in Porto Moniz where you can rent surfboards, bodyboards, and other water sports equipment.

Q: Are there any guided tours available for exploring the coastal caves near Porto Moniz?

A: Yes, there are guided boat tours and kayak excursions that allow visitors to explore the coastal caves and grottos near Porto Moniz, providing a thrilling adventure experience. See my tours section, or check out this 4WD tour of Porto Moniz.

Q: What should I bring for a picnic at Ribeira da Janela?

A: For a picnic at Ribeira da Janela, it’s recommended to bring food, drinks, picnic blankets or mats, sunscreen, insect repellent, and any other picnic essentials.

Q: Are there any entrance fees for visiting attractions in Porto Moniz?

A: Entrance fees may vary depending on the attraction. While some attractions like the natural swimming pools may have a nominal fee, others such as hiking trails and viewpoints are typically free to access.

Q: Can I swim in the sea at Porto Moniz?

A: Yes, you can swim in the sea at Porto Moniz, but it’s essential to be cautious of the rough Atlantic currents and rocky coastline. Many visitors prefer swimming in the natural swimming pools for a safer experience.

Q: Are there any souvenir shops in Porto Moniz?

A: Yes, Porto Moniz has souvenir shops and handicraft markets where you can purchase locally made souvenirs, including pottery, embroidery, artwork, and traditional Madeiran products.

Further reading: 20 Gifts and Souvenirs to Buy From Madeira.

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Porto Moniz?

A: Porto Moniz is beautiful year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences. Summer (June to August) offers warm weather and ideal conditions for outdoor activities, while spring and autumn are less crowded with pleasant temperatures for hiking and sightseeing.

Further reading: The Best Time to visit Madeira Island, Portugal.

Map showing Things to do in Porto Moniz, Madeira

The Google map below shows the things to do in Porto Moniz as listed in this post. Click the blue icons to see more information about each place, or click the star to add to your own Google Maps.

Tours in Madeira

Below are some of the top-rated tours in Madeira, from my preferred tour operator Viator (I also use Get Your Guide as well, but Viator is my go-to).

1. Sunrise Self-Guided Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo: To save you the hassle of organising transport, the trip includes hotel pickup, then drop-off at Pico do Arieiro, and pickup from Achada do Teixeira once you’ve finished the hike.

2. Full-Day Madeira North West Coast Safari from Funchal: Take the scenic route between Ribeira Brava and Porto Moniz in an open-top safari vehicle; enjoy spectacular views of the Cabo Girão sea cliffs, Veu da Noiva waterfall, and the Paul da Serra plateau.

3. East of Madeira | Full Day 4×4 Tour: Travelling by 4WD, venture off-road and escape the crowds as you drive the Pico do Areiro mountain roads, stop in villages such as Ribeiro Frio and Faial, and visit a traditional A-frame house in Santana.

4. Half-Day Wine Tour in Madeira: Wonderful wine trail through the Laurissilva forest with wine and tapas included.

5. Private Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour in Madeira: 2- to 4-hour private charter by motor yacht. Snorkel and spot marine life including whales and dolphins. Light refreshments and a glass of sparkling wine included.

View all Madeira tours on Viator here. You can reserve tours immediately without paying anything up front, and cancel for free. Viator is a TripAdvisor company, so you know you will get a good service.


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