Far away from tourism - A day tour on the north coast of the island
Not only worlds, often clouds separate the south from the colder and scenically spectacular north of Madeira. The north coast is covered by cliffs and wild mountain slopes with a wide variety of plants. Driving along the seemingly endless coastal roads of the north coast, an even more beautiful panorama awaits after every turn. Especially in sunshine, the contrast between the royal blue sea, the dark rocky outcrops and the lush green plants is perfectly expressed. Many large but also small hidden waterfalls plunge into the depths and the roaring sea waves break on the rock walls of the untamed coast.
As a day trip, a road trip along the north coast is always worthwhile - pick a day when the sun is shining in the north to marvel at the full beauty of this region (Tip: Check out the webcams that are distributed throughout the island to check the exact weather situation).
We present you a day trip along the north coast! Starting from Funchal, it makes sense to start in the east of the north coast (Porto da Cruz) and then drive west to Porto Moniz.
Starting point - Porto da Cruz The tranquil coastal village captivates with its stone beach and the view of the striking eagle rock. Here it is definitely worthwhile to enjoy a drink on the small beach promenade. Nowadays, wine is grown here instead of sugar cane. As an alternative side trip, you can visit the trout farm of Ribeiro Frio in the interior of the island.
1st stop - Faial The viewpoint "Miradouro do Guindaste" in Faial offers a fantastic view along the spectacular cliffs up to Ponta de São Lourenço.
2nd stop - Santana This farming town is famous for its "Casas do Colmo", thatched houses with striking red doors, which make beautiful photo opportunities. (Also, Santana is the perfect starting point for hikes to Madeira's highest peak, Pico Ruivo, as well as many other beautiful hikes on the north coast).
3rd stop - São Jorge In the northeast of the municipality, on a rocky outcrop jutting far into the sea, is the Farol da Ponta de São Jorge lighthouse, built in 1959, at an altitude of 257 meters. In addition, directly on the coast are ruins of old sugar cane factories that were built there during the settlement of the island. Of the old constructions, the entrance gate of Calhau is the most significant structure and makes a perfect photo opportunity for unique shots.
4th stop - Miradouro das Cabanas The view is simply spectacular. The platform is located at a bend in the ER 101 road between São Jorge and Arco de São Jorge. The view extends to the picturesque towns of Boaventura and Ponta Delgada. Here, time seems to stand still as the sea fades into the sky on the horizon.
5th stop - Miradouro do Bom Jesus The viewpoint Rocha do Bom Jesus in the municipality of Boaventura is an excellent and spectacular place to see Ponta Delgada on the left and Boaventura on the right. On clear days with good visibility, you can even see the island of Porto Santo.
6th stop - Sao Vicente The town center was built on the hillside, providing an idyllic setting. São Vicente is considered an ideal starting point for hikes and also offers a point of interest: a system of five lava caves that can be visited. Walk through passages naturally formed by the lava here. Some of them open up as large cave spaces with collections of water or even underground lakes.
7th stop - Seixal This natural fine black sand beach borders the Seixal port on one side and an imposing mountain with green vegetation on the other. Here surfers can improve their surfing skills or you can simply relax on the beach and take in the scenery. From the sea, the view opens up to the immense north coast including impressive waterfalls.
8th stop - Porto Moniz Porto Moniz has a beautiful harbor as well as the lava pools so typical for Madeira. These are pools set into the rocks, naturally filled with seawater. If you look out from Porto Moniz into the Atlantic Ocean you will see the small rocky island Ilhéu Mole, on which there is a small lighthouse.
We wish you a lot of fun on your tour and enjoy the rough and breathtaking atmosphere of the north coast of the island! 😊