The village of Seixal, Madeira, is one of the most impressive and photogenic places to visit on the island. It is home to:
- lush mountains,
- steep cliffs,
- The Seixal nature pools with a lava arch,
- The Seixal beach with natural black sand.
Below is my guide to help you plan your visit with tips, map and photos.
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Why visit Seixal in Madeira + things to do
In this little town on the North coast, you can enjoy:
- several natural pools at the bottom of cliffs,
- a giant lava arch, under which you can swim,
- a beautiful black sand beach with a small waterfall,
- lush mountains,
- and more...
The top things to do in Seixal are:
- Enjoy the black sand beach
- Visit the natural pools with the lava arch
- Admire the views from the seafront promenade, at the top of the cliff.
More photos after the planning tips.
Planning Tips & Map - Seixal, Madeira
Where is Seixal located? Map
- North-West coast of Madeira
- Funchal to Seixal = 45min drive
- Porto Moniz to Seixal = 15min drive
- Below is a map to locate it and get oriented:
This highlight (with GPS coordinates and practical tips) is included in my travel Guide eBook that helps you easily plan your Madeira trip:
Plan your perfect trip around Madeira!
How to get to Seixal?
Need to rent a car in Madeira?
- Compare car rental prices on Discovercars.com - one of the best customer-rated comparison sites!
- Choose the car and company you prefer (remember you need enough power for the steep roads)
- Consider their full coverage option - I always take it for peace of mind!
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
- Free access to all
- Easy access by car to the back sand beach and to the pebble beach
- Very steep walk down to the pools (stairs and slopes)
- Toilets at the beach and at the pools
- Few restaurants in town
- Clear parking areas, but not big ones
- Visit early if you want to easily find spaces
- The pools and sandy beach are great at sunrise
- If you want to check the current conditions, have a look at the Seixal webcam
Where to stay in Seixal
- Seixal is a nice quiet place to stay to explore the North coast and the West of the island - See best rated accommodations in Seixal
- You will mostly find rentals such as the North Coast View House - check out pictures and availability
- Otherwise, Porto Moniz is a great place to enjoy natural pools and the West Coast, and it has hotels - See best rated accommodations in Porto Moniz
- More tips on my article about where to stay in Madeira
Seixal natural sand beach - Praia do Porto do Seixal
Let's start with the beach.
This is one of the rare beaches in Madeira with natural sand (learn more about the Madeira beaches).
And it is black sand!
In my opinion, this is clearly the most beautiful beach on the island.
Some people compare it to Hawaii because of the black sand and the lush green cliffs surrounding it.
A landscape typical of an old volcanic island.
Best visited at low tide and at sunrise.
The sand is fine and soft.
And there is even a small waterfall on the beach!
The road goes all the way down to the beach and the port.
Here you can learn to surf with the Madeira Surf Center.
Seixal public pool
At the same spot, if you look towards the West, you will find a seawater pool and facilities.
It is the public pool (not the natural ones), and a large one.
I visited early morning and walked a little around the pool.
The lava rocks were full of large black crabs moving around on the sea side!
Seixal natural pools - Poça das Lesmas
The other highlight of a visit to Seixal are the Natural pools, called Poça das Lesmas.
You have to park at the top of the cliffs, along the main road in the town.
Make sure you check the views from above!
Once you are parked (limited parking spaces), you have to go down those high cliffs.
It starts with a staircase and then there is a steep slope zigzagagging.
Along some portions of the slopes, there are small stairs. I found them more comfortable than the slope.
It is quite hard on the knees, but worth the effort!
- Opening hours - continuous access
- Entry price - free access
You can walk between the lava rocks to admire the various pools. One is large, others are smaller.
The water here is clear.
But the main feature of the pools is the impressive lava rock arch.
It is a thick block of volcanic rock with the water under it.
Waves can enter the pools and push water towards the staircase. So be careful, if you don't want your camera to get wet!
It is probably one of the most photographed spots by amateur and pro photographers. This is because you can have reflections of the arch in the water.
You can see great pictures on the Internet with someone going into the water. I was all alone, and there was some wind, so my picture is not as dreamy... but it gives you an idea.
And from the pools, you have great views of the lush northern cliffs.
Looking west on the picture below, you can see the seastacks of Ribeira da Janela.
There are facilities down by the pool:
- Snack bar
- Toilets, just a little bit higher
- No lifeguard
The town / village
Seixal is a small and peaceful town.
It is part of the Porto Moniz municipality.
Its population is around 700 inhabitants.
Below is a view from the distance.
The town is on a small headland and niched at the bottom of very lush steep mountains.
The surroundings are so green!
Where you are parked for the pools, I recommend going for a walk on the seafront promenade.
It offers splendid views of the North Coast.
Pebble beach - Praia da Jamaica
At the West End of the Seixal, you can find another beach.
It is often referred to as Praia da Jamaica, because of the palm trees along the road.
However, I don't think the palm trees are fans of the location...
This beach is mostly black pebbles.
Things to do near Seixal
Seixal is a great location to explore the North-West part of Madeira.
Below are a few suggestions on attractions nearby.
You can find all my favorite locations in my Travel guide eBook (learn more).
Miradouro Veu da Noiva (Bridal Veil falls)
This viewpoint is also a classic, one of the most famous on the island (see my list).
It is easy to stop on your way to Seixal and Porto Moniz.
You can enjoy views of the cliffs dropping into the sea, but here you have the surprise of seeing a waterfall dropping as well.
Sao Vicente & Caves
East of Seixal, you have the Sao Vicente valley with its volcanic caves, and historical mines.
It is also a very scenic area (but where is it not scenic in Madeira???).
Ribeira da Janela
Ribeira da Janela is a quick stop between Seixal and Porto Moniz. It is often overlooked by tourists, so it remains kind of a hidden gem.
This beach is not for sunbathing because of the very large pebble.
But it is home to several seastacks. Plus, there is a staircase leading to a cut in the cliffs and to a viewpoint over them!
West of Seixal, Porto Moniz is where the most famous natural pools are.
There are 2 sets. I prefer the free and more natural ones.
But Porto Moniz, it is also a fort, a small aquarium, vineyards...
And if you head inland, you can discover the magical Fanal Forest with its ancient laurel trees.
You can have fun exploring the area and re-imagining the shapes of the trees.
It is known to be even more fascinating when the clouds surround it. But don't get lost!
Want to see more of the best Madeira offers?
- 42 Madeira travel tips to plan an unforgettable trip - read article
- 35 best things to do in Madeira - read article
- The best landscapes in Madeira in 40 pictures - read article
- The 7 cables cars in Madeira and their amazing views - read article
- 10 best hikes & levada walks in Madeira - reach article
- Tips to rent a car and drive around Madeira - read article
- 7 best Madeira boat tours & trips - read article
- Best time to visit Madeira - read article
- 18 best Madeira Tours - read article
Planning a trip to Madeira?
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