Porto Moniz (Madeira): The Complete Guide

Porto Moniz is a relatively small town, and all of the sights can be easily seen in a couple of hours of sightseeing. It is located west of Santana and Machico, and northwest of Funchal. A half-day could be spent exploring the harbour and fort, and then relaxing in the lava pool complex.

Porto Moniz, with its quaint charm, is a compact town where its main attractions can be comfortably covered in just a few hours. You can easily dedicate half a day to exploring the harbour and fort, and indulging in some relaxation at the unique lava pool complex.

Visiting Porto Moniz (Madeira) for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Porto Moniz (Madeira) on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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History of Porto Moniz (Madeira)

The exact timing of the initial colonization of Porto Moniz remains somewhat uncertain, though it is generally believed to have begun in the early part of the last quarter of the 15th century. Among the earliest settlers was Francisco Moniz O Velho, a notable figure who played a key role in the development of the area. He is known for having cultivated previously unused lands, and for establishing both a farm and a chapel there. Francisco Moniz, a nobleman hailing from the Algarve, was wed to Filipa da Câmara, daughter of Garcia Rodrigues da Câmara. His lineage is significant, as he was a descendant of João Gonçalves Zarco, a famed explorer credited with the discovery of Porto Santo in 1418 (alongside Tristão Vaz Teixeira) and later, the island of Madeira in 1419, in collaboration with Bartolomeu Perestrelo.

Porto Moniz was officially recognized as a municipality on October 31, 1835. However, its status as a municipality faced several interruptions, leading to its brief abolishment and subsequent reestablishments during the periods of 1849-1855, 1867-1871, and once more between 1895 and 1898.

10 Best places to See in Porto Moniz (Madeira)

This complete guide to Porto Moniz (Madeira) not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Porto Moniz (Madeira) and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Natural Swimming Pools of Porto Moniz

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Michael Gaylard
In the Porto Moniz area, visitors are treated to a unique aquatic experience with three natural swimming pools, complemented by the presence of a natural black sand beach. These pools are a marvel of nature, formed by volcanic rock formations that have been shaped over time. The design of these pools allows the cool, fresh […]
Location: Porto Moniz, Portugal | Distance: 0.00km
Visiting Natural Swimming Pools of Porto Moniz

Aquario da Madeira

Aquario Da Madeira, Porto Moniz, Madeira
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Karelj
Nestled within the historic Forte de São João Baptista de Porto Moniz, the quaint Aquario da Madeira occupies the grounds of the old castle. This fort, dating back to 1730, is constructed from the locally sourced basalt stone and was originally erected to safeguard the town against pirates. The aquarium itself, which opened its doors […]
Location: Aquário da Madeira, Rua do Forte de São João Baptista, Porto Moniz, Portugal | Hours: 10am to 6pm | Price: Adults: €8 | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Aquario da Madeira

Ribeira da Janela

Ribeira Da Janela
pixabay / Anita Menger
Ribeira da Janela, located in the northwest of Madeira Island, Portugal, is a small village known for its distinctive natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere. The village is named after the stream (Ribeira) that flows through it and the unique rock formation near its mouth that resembles a window (Janela in Portuguese), hence the name Ribeira […]
Location: Ribeira da Janela, Portugal | Distance: 2.60km
Visiting Ribeira da Janela

Calhau das Achadas da Cruz

Calhau Das Achadas Da Cruz
CC BY-SA 3.0 / anagh
Situated at the northwestern tip of Madeira Island, Calhau das Achadas da Cruz holds significant importance in the Porto Moniz municipality, thanks to its breathtaking scenery. Nestled amidst majestic mountains and the vibrant sea, this location has become increasingly popular for its distinctive beauty. A notable attraction here is the Achadas da Cruz Cable Car, […]
Location: Calhau das Achadas da Cruz, Achadas da Cruz, Portugal | Distance: 4.00km
Visiting Calhau das Achadas da Cruz

Fanal Forest (Madeira)

Fanal-forest-madeira
Pixabay / Andreas
On the northern side of Madeira Island, you’ll encounter an enchanting mist that weaves a captivating ambiance through the ancient trees of Fanal Forest. The gnarled branches of the century-old Ocotea Foetens trees intermingle with the fog, creating a scene straight out of a fairy tale. In this blog post, I will provide you with […]
Visiting Fanal Forest (Madeira)

Seixal

Seixal In Porto Moniz, Madeira
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ximonic (Simo Räsänen)
On the picturesque north coast of Madeira Island lies he small town of Seixal celebrated for its exceptional beauty. Seixal Beach Porto de Abrigo do Seixal beach, more commonly known as Seixal Beach. This stunning natural setting resembles a living postcard and has become a beloved destination for enthusiasts of the sea, nature, and photography. […]
Location: Seixal, Portugal | Distance: 8.00km
Visiting Seixal

Miradouro do Véu da Noiva

Mirador Del Velo De Novia, Seixal, Madeira, Portugal
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Diego Delso, delso.photo
Situated along the historic road linking São Vicente to Seixal, one finds one of Madeira Island’s north coast’s most celebrated and socially shared landmarks: the Véu da Noiva Waterfall. This enchanting waterfall, easily visible from the Véu da Noiva viewpoint, captivates visitors with its serene and unique beauty. At this viewpoint, the landscape unfolds in […]
Location: Miradouro do Véu da Noiva, Antigo Traçado da ER101, Portugal | Distance: 9.00km
Visiting Miradouro do Véu da Noiva

Garganta Funda Waterfall 

Garganta Funda Waterfall 
© 2024 Andrew Ashton
Within the Madeira archipelago, numerous locations showcase Nature’s remarkable exuberance, and the Garganta Funda Waterfall unquestionably stands among these exceptionally beautiful places that leave no one untouched. Nestled on the southwestern edge of the island, within the Calheta municipality, reaching this natural sanctuary involves heading towards the parish of Ponta do Pargo, notable for its […]
Visiting Garganta Funda Waterfall 

Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse & Viewpoint

Ponta Do Pargo Lighthouse
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Joly Jumper
Situated at the westernmost tip of Madeira Island, the Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse Viewpoint provides a sweeping vista of the Atlantic Ocean and the distinctive rock formations that define its surroundings. This exceptional location merits a thoughtful visit. Found at Ponta da Vigia, the island’s farthest western cape, this viewpoint perches atop a 290-meter-high cliff, […]
Visiting Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse & Viewpoint

São Vicente, Madeira

São Vicente, Madeira Portugal
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Vitor Oliveira
The municipality of São Vicente, nestled in Madeira, is renowned for its extensive Laurissilva forest, a gem of the archipelago and a testament to its rich natural heritage. This forest is not only significant for its diverse flora and fauna but also for its remarkable state of preservation, making São Vicente an ideal destination for […]
Visiting São Vicente, Madeira

Best Time to Visit Porto Moniz (Madeira)

Porto Moniz enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year, making it an attractive destination regardless of the season. The warmest months in Porto Moniz tend to be July, August, September, and October. During these months, the town experiences dry periods, especially in July and August, offering ideal conditions for those seeking sunny vacation days. On the other hand, the rainiest months are typically January, October, November, and December, when the region receives most of its rainfall. For beachgoers and swimmers, the best time to visit would be between July and November, as these months provide the most conducive conditions for swimming and enjoying the water.

 

 

 

Average Temperatures in Porto Moniz (Madeira)

  • January 16°C 6
  • February 16°C 7
  • March 19°C 6
  • April 19°C 6
  • May 19°C 3
  • June 21°C 3
  • July 23°C 0
  • August 26°C 1
  • September 23°C 3
  • October 22°C 7
  • November 19°C 8
  • December 18°C 9

How to get to Porto Moniz (Madeira)

Traveling to the North West tip of Madeira Island, specifically to Porto Moniz, takes approximately 50 minutes from Funchal. The journey begins with a trip across the center of the island, heading towards São Vicente. From there, you’ll traverse the renowned ‘gold route’, notable for its tunnels, some of which were constructed post-Second World War. For those preferring public transport, there are two bus lines available for this route: Line 139 and Line 150, both of which can conveniently take you to your destination in Porto Moniz.

Tours and Activities from Porto Moniz (Madeira)