When it comes to the best areas to stay in Madeira, there are several options that cater to different preferences and interests. Here are some top picks:
1. Funchal: Funchal is the capital city of Madeira and offers a vibrant and diverse experience for all age groups. It boasts a beautiful waterfront area, lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops. The city also offers a range of cultural attractions, such as museums, historic buildings, and art galleries. Funchal is a great base for exploring the island, with easy access to hiking trails and other natural attractions.
2. Santa Cruz: If you’re traveling with kids, Santa Cruz is a fantastic choice. This charming town offers a relaxed atmosphere and a range of family-friendly activities. The town has a lovely promenade where you can take leisurely strolls or enjoy a picnic by the sea. There are also playgrounds and parks for children to enjoy. Santa Cruz is conveniently located close to the airport, making it a convenient option for those with early morning or late-night flights.
3. Machico: Machico is one of Madeira’s most popular destinations, and for good reason. It offers a stunning natural setting, with beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs, and lush greenery. The town has a charming historic center, with cobblestone streets and traditional houses. Machico is also a great base for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of hiking and cycling trails in the surrounding area. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the nearby Porto da Cruz, a picturesque village known for its beautiful vineyards and traditional thatched houses.
4. Calheta: If you’re looking for sun, sand, sea, and the opportunity to explore, Calheta is the perfect choice. This coastal town is known for its golden sandy beach and crystal-clear waters, making it a great spot for swimming and sunbathing. Calheta is also home to the famous Casa das Mudas, a contemporary art center with stunning architecture and breathtaking views. From here, you can easily explore the western part of Madeira, including the impressive cliffs of Cabo Girão and the picturesque village of Ponta do Sol.
5. Jardim do Mar: For those seeking a more laid-back and off-the-beaten-path experience, Jardim do Mar is a hidden gem. This small fishing village is tucked away between towering cliffs and offers a tranquil atmosphere. It is particularly popular among surfers, thanks to its consistent waves and stunning views. The village is car-free, adding to its charm, and you can spend your days exploring the narrow streets or simply relaxing with a drink at one of the local cafes.
Madeira has something to offer for everyone, whether you’re looking for a vibrant city experience, a family-friendly destination, a place to immerse yourself in nature, or a surfer’s paradise. Consider your preferences and interests when choosing the best area to stay in Madeira and enjoy all that this beautiful island has to offer.