North Coast Road


Road number 101 once struck fear into the heart of every Madeiran driver until it was retired to Room 101 by the modern VE2. The old route was the island's most dramatic and scenic road, the barely car-wide strip of tarmac clinging to the side of cliffs and splashed by waterfalls and waves. Some sections (one-way towards Porto Moniz) are still open.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madeira attractions

1. Seixal Beach

1.48 MILES

Seixal's black-sand beach can be accessed through an arch in the rock. It receives fewer visitors than beaches on the south coast, but check the weather…

2. Aquário da Madeira

2.96 MILES

Madeira's top aquarium hides away like a hermit crab in a renovated stone fortress. Inside, 12 tanks represent various ocean habitats around Madeira, the…

3. Centro Ciência Viva


This now-ageing centre covers a wide range of scientific topics in a hands-on way. The focus is on Madeira's Unesco-listed laurisilva forests, their…

4. Rabaçal

4.76 MILES

The waterfalls, springs and hiking trails at Rabaçal are an easy-going highlight of Madeira's outdoor world. You can spend all day cooling off in the…

5. Grutas e Centro do Vulcanismo

5.89 MILES

Top billing on Madeira's north coast goes to this two-for-one attraction just south of São Vicente. The first part of the experience is a guided tour of…

6. Bica da Cana

6.81 MILES

High above the central valley at the eastern end of the Paúl da Serra plateau is a place called Bica da Cana. Apart from serving as a picnic spot for…

7. Paúl do Mar


Perching precariously on a ledge under high cliffs, pretty Paúl do Mar is the surfing capital of the Atlantic and has even hosted a leg of the World…

8. Ponta do Pargo

7.63 MILES

Madeira's most westerly point is Ponta do Pargo (Red Snapper Point). From the village of the same name, a 2km trail heads out to a lighthouse from where…