Where to stay in Madeira

When planning a trip to the island of Madeira it is very important to know what are the best areas to stay.

Madeira is a beautiful island still not very touristy and perfect for lovers of nature and breathtaking landscapes. This is not the classic seaside holiday island, given the few beaches, but it is a place to be discovered, with its hidden corners, its rocky coasts and the many trekking routes.

In this guide we will see which is the best area where to sleep in Madeira, and some valid alternatives for every need, even for those who are more interested in beaches.

Where to stay in Madeira

First of all, let's say that the places in the south are generally the most popular and offer the most services and where the climate is better, while the north offers more in terms of nature and landscapes.

Having said that, the recommended location for those visiting the island for the first time is the capital Funchal.

Eventually, if you have more days available, you might consider staying a few days in Funchal and a few days in the north.


Funchal is the most important tourist center of the whole island, the perfect base from which to discover Madeira. The island is not big for this reason most of the tourists choose to stay overnight in Funchal and visit the other places with day trips.

Funchal is also ideal for those looking for a bit of evening life, there are various pubs and bars to have a drink, as well as of course very good restaurants, and it is always pleasant to walk both during the day and at night.

The city offers everything for tourism, is well served by public transport and is a good choice even for those without a car. It is also here that most of the tourist agencies are located to organize any tours.

In particular, a good solution is to stay in a location not far from the Lido area and the Old Town.

Alternative to Funchal

As alternatives to Funchal in the south of the island there are: Santa Cruz or Machico, both on the sea, nice especially in summer when there is always a bit of movement but less chaos than in the capital.

In Machico, among other things, there is one of the few beaches on the island, even if it is artificial and with sand imported from Morocco.

Other Areas: North side

The north coast of the island of Madeira is the perfect place for lovers of walking and trekking, thanks to the various routes with various levels of difficulty. Among the recommended locations is Porto Moniz, a small town famous for its natural swimming pools, with the ocean waves crashing on the rocks.

Another option is Sao Vicente, a charming town on the north coast.

Other Areas: South

If you are looking for a quiet, calm and isolated place away from tourists, the south coast of the island is the alternative for you. One of the best places in the area is Calheta, where the second sandy beach of the island is located, always imported.

Another pretty town in the south is Ponta do Sol, with its pebble beach where, thanks to a protected artificial lagoon, it is possible to swim.

Bear in mind that if you choose to stay on the south coast of Madeira it is important to have a rental car

Porto Santo

Finally, if you want long sandy beaches and a relaxing stay, the only alternative is to spend a few days in Porto Santo, an island in the archipelago that can be reached in about 2 hours from Madeira.

Obviously, calculate that the island will be very crowded in August.

Where to Stay in Madeira: Final Considerations

In this guide we have seen what are the various options where to sleep in Madeira. Surely Funchal remains the best and most strategic choice to discover the island for the first time. But other areas may also be the right choice depending on what you are looking for.

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