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 Surfing Championships. Its narrow lanes are a joy to explore, with their pretty cottages and flower pots. Rodoeste buses 80, 142 and a couple of obscure services make the run here from Funchal.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madeira attractions

1. Mudas Museu

3.96 MILES

Housed in an almost Minecraft-like building high above Calheta, this contemporary arts space has a gallery, shop, cafe, auditorium and workshop area. The…

2. Ponta do Pargo

4.05 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…

3. Engenhos da Calheta


Calheta's old sugar refinery building starts as a half-hearted 'museum' and ends as a shop where you can buy the bolo de mel (molasses cake), molasses,…

4. Praia da Calheta

4.35 MILES

Two well-protected artificial beaches (created with sand from western Sahara) face each other off on Calheta's seafront, one of the sunniest places on the…

5. Rabaçal


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…

6. Madalena do Mar

6.95 MILES

Wedged into the mouth of an impossibly deep creek, tiny Madalena do Mar has a long stony beach and a quiet, undisturbed atmosphere that feels a long way…

7. 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…

8. Centro Ciência Viva

8.16 MILES

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…