For those in the know, this tiny beach east of Caniçal is the best outside Funchal. A romantically secluded suntrap, this wild arc of black sand is backed by cliffs under which there's a basic cafe. At high tide the water comes right up to the rocks leaving no sand – get there early and you'll have the place to yourself (for a while at least). There's parking on the clifftop and Caniçal buses stop here on request.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madeira attractions

1. Museu da Baleia

1.52 MILES

Once a minor exhibition housed in small seafront building, Caniçal's Whale Museum was moved to a large multi-million-euro, ultra-modern complex in 2012,…

2. Pico do Facho

2.83 MILES

When you get bored of lying on Machico beach, the climb up to Pico do Facho that rises above the town to the north is a great way to spend an afternoon…

3. Praia de Machico

3.19 MILES

Madeira's best artificial beach is this gently sloping suntrap created with golden sand shipped in from Morocco and protected by two artificial breaks…

4. Capela dos Milagres

3.27 MILES

Machico has three churches but the most famous is the pretty little Miracles Chapel on the north side of the river. It was famously washed away in a flood…

5. Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo

3.36 MILES

The triangular, ochre fortress on the Machico seafront dates from 1706 and was built to protect the town from pirates. There's not much to see here save…

8. Porta da Cruz

6.93 MILES

The furthest point heading eastwards you can reach on the north coast before mammoth cliffs persuade the road to head inland, Porta da Cruz is a…