Praia Formosa

Top choice in Funchal

Anyone who says Madeira has no beaches should hop on bus 1 or 43 to the boulders and browny-black sand of this wild strand in Funchal's western suburbs. Cafe-bars, a car park and other facilities are all here and the salt-white Atlantic surf crashing onto dark volcanic sand is a sight you'll long remember.

An interesting way to reach the beach is to take bus 2 to Ponta da Cruz, then head down the cliffs to the Doca do Cavacas seafood restaurant from where a tunnel heads to the far eastern end. This route is always closed when seas are high.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Funchal attractions

1. Complexo Balnear Ponta Gorda

0.55 MILES

This down-to-earth swimming and sunbathing area is located at Ponta Gorda, just west of Funchal. The pools, cafe bar, table tennis area and concrete …

2. Jardim Panorâmico

0.58 MILES

Up a set of steps from the seafront, the terraced Jardim Panorâmico is a sun-catching spot ideal for a lazy afternoon with a book. It's also a superb halt…

3. Igreja de São Martinho

0.86 MILES

High above west Funchal rises the highly visable, whitewashed spire of the Igreja de São Martinho, a big early-20th-century creation. The interior is…

4. Jardim de São Martinho

0.87 MILES

Just below Igreja de São Martinho, you'll discover the lovely Jardim de São Martinho, a south-facing, artificially created set of gardens with thousands…

5. Cemitério de São Martinho


One of Funchal's largest cemeteries and well off the tourist path, making it all the more fascinating to visit. Funchal's wealthy were once laid to rest…

6. Henriques & Henriques

1.97 MILES

Widely regarded by those in the know as the island's best wine producer, Henriques & Henriques only uses grapes from its own vineyards in Quinta Grande…

7. Parque de Santa Catarina

2.08 MILES

This large sloping park contains a well-equipped children's playground, a cafe and Madeira's first chapel. It's a lovely picnic spot amid exotic greenery.

8. Museu CR7

2.09 MILES

If after a few days in Funchal, the fact has escaped your attention, now you know: the world's greatest footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo was born and grew up…