Porto Moniz Natural Pools, Madeira Porto Moniz Natural Pools, Madeira

Porto Moniz Natural Pools, Madeira

In the northwest corner of Madeira lies the quaint village of Porto Moniz, nestled in a deep valley between dramatic cliffs. Here, discover an unexpected natural phenomenon: the dazzling Porto Moniz natural pools! These pools, formed among volcanic black rock, are filled with serene turquoise water for people to swim in. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of adventure on this incredible Portuguese island. Find out everything you need to know with this complete guide.

Porto Moniz Natural Pools

Although Porto Moniz is a lovely town to visit, the real jewel in the crown is its shimmering natural ocean pools that draw visitors from all over the island. They’re a must-visit on your Madeira itinerary

drone view porto moniz natural pools madeira

There are two Porto Moniz natural pools that you can choose from, within walking distance of each other. The first is free and more natural, and the second you have to pay, but it has more amenities. Both are equally beautiful in different ways and surrounded by mammoth black lava rock formations, perfectly matching the rest of Madeira’s dramatic natural scenery.

porto moniz volcanic pools

The Story of the Natural Pools in Madeira

So, how did these pools come to be here? Millions of years ago, volcanic eruptions under the sea brought boiling lava to the surface, forming the dramatic mountains and valleys of Madeira that we know today.

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Porto Moniz Natural Pools, Madeira

The eruptions and erosion in Madeira also created deep basins among the lava rock on the edges of the island. As the tide goes in and out, it leaves behind crystal clear water to swim in; it’s one of the best things to do in Madeira

porto moniz natural pools

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools 

The Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools are the area’s main—and most popular—pools. It’s the perfect place to come on a sunny day and relax; you can also hire a sunlounger for a little more luxury!

swimming in porto moniz natural pools madeira

The atmosphere is lovely, with a mix of locals and tourists enjoying the turquoise pools while looking out across the expansive ocean and rock formations.

Note: As you face the sea, look to the left, and you’ll see the Porto Moniz natural swimming pools. You can find the exact location on our Google Maps.

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These lava rock pools look more artificial, as they’ve been restored to be easily accessible for visitors. For example, there are stairs to get in, platforms to lay your towel, and even a diving board. They’re also a much safer option for swimming than in the ocean, which can have big waves and strong tides due to its position in the Atlantic. 

madeira porto moniz natural pools from the top

Important note: When the sea is very rough, the pools are closed for safety reasons (the waves can splash into the pools). However, don’t worry because there’s another excellent option! Because of the diverse weather across the island, the pools at Funchal (on the opposite side of the island) might be open. This is because the wind direction is often different.

funchal natural pools madeira
Doca do Cavacas Natural Pools in Funchal

Snorkeling at Porto Moniz Natural Pools

Make sure to bring a snorkel with you to Porto Moniz! Because these natural pools in Madeira are tidal, you’ll find plenty of sea life in the pools, such as colorful fish, jellyfish, and crabs. It’s a great way to see the diversity of marine creatures on the island from the safety of the pools.

Tip: On a calm day, if you’re a confident swimmer, you can also stray outside the pools to explore the lava rock caverns.

fish in natural pools madeira

Porto Moniz Natural Pools Information

Before you arrive, here is some good information to know about the pools:

  • Amenities: Changing rooms, lockers, and bathrooms are on-site.
  • Safety: There is also a lifeguard for additional safety, steps down into the pools (they can be slippy), and varying depths of water, so you can choose whether to paddle or swim.
  • Added extras: You also have the option to hire a sunlounger and parasol.
  • Food and Drink: There’s a cafe to get basic snacks and refreshing drinks. Here is the location.
  • Packing list: Swimming costume, towel, reef-safe sunscreen, snorkel.
  • Opening hours: The Madeira natural pools are open daily! Winter hours are 9 AM-5 PM, and summer hours are extended from 9 AM-7 PM.
day trip natural pools madeira

Piscinas Naturais do Aquário 

For a more wild and natural option on your Madeira itinerary, head to the Piscinas Naturais do Aquário. This incredible natural swimming pool in Porto Moniz is free to visit and open 24/7! 

Located on the eastern end of the bay (as you’re facing the sea, turn to the right), discover these incredible pools nestled among towering black rock formations—it’s spectacular!

Piscinas Naturais do Aquário natural pools porto moniz madeira

The view from here is beautiful; as you swim and snorkel, look out onto the rocky island of Ilheu Mole with its majestic lighthouse perched on top. 

natural pools porto moniz madeira drone view

Note: There is no lifeguard, amenities, or steps to access these Porto Moniz natural pools, so always exercise caution when choosing when to swim. Avoid swimming if the ocean is rough and the waves are crashing into the pools. It is also a good idea to bring sea shoes for these pools to make getting into the water easier.

Piscinas Naturais do Aquário madeira

Hotels in Porto Moniz

If you’re visiting Porto Moniz natural swimming pools during the summer, consider staying for a few nights in one of the many beautiful hotels in the area. For something extraordinary, choose one of the hotels or apartments on the seafront with stunning ocean views. 

porto moniz madeira drone view

How to Visit Porto Moniz Natural Pools

By Car

If you’re driving, visiting Porto Moniz natural pools is super easy from Funchal. It’s just 50-60 minutes by car.

Once you arrive, there’s plenty of parking around the pools (both paid and free). Most car parks accept both cash and cards. 

madeira porto moniz natural pools by car

By Bus

You can also visit the Porto Moniz natural swimming pools by bus from Funchal. However, it’s a long ride! The number 80 Rodoeste service costs 6 EUR and takes between 2.5 and 3 hours.

bus to porto moniz madeira

Book a Tour to Porto Moniz Natural Pools

Another great way to reach Porto Moniz natural pools is on an organized tour. Tours leave from various places around the island and usually include multiple stops, including Porto Moniz (with time to swim). 

Tours & Tickets 🥾View all
sunrise seixal beach madeira

Best Restaurants in Porto Moniz

While in Porto Moniz, try some of Madeira’s incredible delicacies, whether it’s the sweet Poncha Rum or the strange but delicious Espada (a type of fish often topped with banana). Some of the best restaurants in Porto Moniz are:

  • Snack-Bar Ilhéu Mole
  • Bolo do Caco
  • Conchinha
  • Sea View Restaurante
Find all locations in our Google MapsFind in our Google Maps

Best Time to Visit

Maderia has a subtropical climate, which means consistently good weather year-round! That means many beautifully sunny days, perfect for a dip at the Porto Moniz natural pools. However, please bear in mind that the water will be very cold in the winter. Consider bringing a wetsuit if you’d like to enjoy swimming comfortably at this time.


Note: We visited in April, and the water was still just a little too cold for us! However, it was still a welcome refresher, especially after a day of hiking. 

porto moniz natural pools madeira

If you want to enjoy the pools at their most tranquil, visit during the week. It’s still a great day out at the weekends, but you’ll be sharing the water with many more people. You’ll also need to arrive early to secure a parking space.

Important note: When the sea is rough, the pools may be closed for safety reasons. This is usually down to the direction of the wind on this side of the island. However, don’t worry because there’s another excellent option! On the other side of Madeira, you’ll find natural pools at Funchal, which are likely to be open.

21/06/2024 https://www.saltinourhair.com/madeira/porto-moniz-natural-pools/
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