Where to stay in Madeira
Explore the Best Accommodation Options in Madeira. A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Perfect Place to Stay in Madeira.
Madeira is one of the most beautiful island destinations in the world. A decent sized island with plenty to explore, you'll want to know where to stay in Madeira, so you can truly make the most out of your trip here. Madeira island has so many wonderful places to see and explore, and it's often nicknamed The Pearl of the Atlantic Ocean. And for good reason, as Madeira has a semi-tropical climate with lush gardens, volcanic cliffs and pebble beaches, making it the ideal destination for visitors who love raw natural beauty.
Madeira island is the perfect place for couples, hikers and nature enthusiasts, but also for foodie travellers and beach bums. You'll find so much good food in Madeira, so many incredible hikes by the famous Levada and the most picturesque fishing villages. Madeira island is an authentic place you'll want to experience. Now that you bought the tickets and are ready to pack your bags, let's help you find where to stay in Madeira.
Table of ContentsOpen
Where To Stay In Madeira
|❤️ Best Area for first-timers:||Funchal|
|? Best luxury 5* hotel:||Reid's Palace|
|? Best mid-range hotel:||Sé Boutique Hotel|
|?️ Best budget hotel:||Golden Residence Hotel|
Madeira island is a volcanic, green and rugged paradise, perfect for a holiday right in the middle of the ocean. There are many great places to stay in Madeira, each of them offering you something unique, perfect for your travel and holiday style. Madeira island has a range of accommodation options, including luxury hotels but also mid-range and budget options.
The best way to experience Madeira is to position yourself in one location and rent a car. Driving in Madeira is a lot of fun and allows you more flexibility to see other attractions on the island. You can get around Madeira by using the public transport, but you might have difficulties reaching the most off the beaten path attractions. If you decide to stay in Madeira without a car, the best place for you is Funchal, the capital city.
? We used Europcar to book a car for our Madeira trip. Click to reserve your car rental here.
? Travel with peace of mind! Get comprehensive coverage via Insure My Trip, and enjoy worry-free adventures wherever you go!
Madeira is a year round destinations, and you can visit it any month of the year. It's the island of eternal spring, making the island look so green, lush, and wonderful.
The best part of Madeira to stay is the south of the island in either Funchal or Caniço because you'll find most hotel offers and easy access to the airport, attractions, and restaurants. Continue reading about each important region to find where to stay in Madeira for your taste and requirements.
Stay in Funchal for the vibrant city
Funchal is the main city on Madeira island, and one you're going to love. Packed with restaurants, good vibes and great attractions, Funchal is a colourful and joyful city nestled in the south of the island.
You'll want to stay in Funchal to have quick access to the old town, a true maze of narrow streets full of street art, cool bars and epic restaurants focused on serving the freshest, local food.
There are plenty of things to do in Funchal, and you'll love your stay here. Take the cable car from Funchal to Monte and head to Monte Palace Tropical Garden, offering the most stunning views of the city and the ocean. Marvel at the exotic trees, flowers, and ponds and admire the tropical shrubs from around the world. Walk through the Asian garden with pagodas, traditional wooden bridges and a koi pond.
For hydrangea lovers, visit the beautiful Botanical gardens also located on Monte. It's the perfect place to admire some fantastic sea views from atop. Walk back to Funchal or take a fun and adventurous toboggan ride in a wicker sled.
Back in Funchal, head to a traditional Madeiran restaurant to try the local ginjinhas, a strong cherry liqueur served in an edible chocolate cup, followed by a slice of honey cake.
Funchal is great for the busy city vibe and full of local shops and local restaurants, the ideal location to explore the entire island from.
While Funchal offers breathtaking views of the ocean and has an incredible range of hotels to cater for all budgets, it lacks some raw beauty many hikers might come to Madeira for. There are plenty of walking opportunities straight from the city centre, and even a hike to the Madeira botanical garden requires a fair effort.
Funchal is the perfect place to stay in Madeira for the all-rounder traveller who wants to enjoy the local life in the city and is happy to rent a car to take day trips to the most popular hiking trails.
Where to stay in Funchal
With plenty of hotels and apartments, you won't have trouble finding accommodation in Funchal. There are options for a wide range of budgets. Starting with 5-star hotels like the Royal Savoy through mid-range hotels to budget apartments.
- Luxury: Hotel Quinta Jardins do Lago
- Luxury: Hotel Savoy Palace - The Leading Hotels of the World - Savoy Signature
- Mid-range: Holiday home House near CR7 Museum
Stay in Caniço for best price hotels & location
Caniço is an ideal base in Madeira. Just 10 minutes drive from the capital Funchal but with quicker access to the main motorway, Caniço is the ideal option for visitors who want luxury hotels for affordable prices.
Caniço is a coastal, charming town. Head to the Quinta Splendida Botanical Garden, home to hundreds of different plant species. For a magnificent vista points, visit the Cristo Rei viewpoint.
Descent to the high volcanic cliffs to the cliff bay thanks to the Garajau Cable Car or take your car to Plaza Cristo Rej on the steep winding path that barely fits one car.
Caniço has its diving centre that will take you to the clear waters of the Garajau Parcial Nature Reserve.
Where to stay in Caniço
There are several hotels and guest houses in Caniço, ideal for your stay in Madeira. Located on the southwest coast, Caniço has rapid access to the airport, and to the main hiking trails located in the north of the island. Caniço is a great location for visitors who want to save on accommodation and don't mind relying on their rental.
- Mid-range: Hotel Four Views Oasis
- Apartment: Infinito Azul
- Apartment: Reis Magos View
Stay in Santana for hiking trails & quiet
If you're wondering where to stay in Madeira for the best hiking trails, then Santana is your place. Santana is located on the west coast of Madeira.
Start your trip at the Casa da Cultura de Santana, then head to the Casas típicas de Santana, a cultural site with traditional thatched-roof A-frame houses turned into shops. This is the best place for souvenirs too.
From Santana, you'll find plenty of trails, including the Levada da Silveira that'll take you straight to the Parque Florestal das Queimadas.
Continue on the PR9 Levada do Caldeirão Verde, a stunning place with hidden waterfalls and lush greenery all around you. Caldeirão Verde is a nature reserve that offers a variety of trails ranging from easy to longer and more arduous.
From Santana, head to Ilha and start the hike to Vereda da Ilha or to the mighty Pico Ruivo. Pico Ruivo is accessible by foot only and is Madeira Island's highest mountain that offers sweeping coastal views.
Santana's downfall is that it doesn't have a vibrant centre full of restaurants and that vibrant Madeiran life for an evening with local food and drinks. Santana is a great place to stay for a quiet time on the island, with fewer amenities around. Stay here for the trails, but we'll also recommend that you have a rental car to your disposal, just so you can access other parts of the island as well.
Where to stay in Santana
There are only a handful of accommodation options in and around Santana. Most of the accommodations are apartments, some with gorgeous views to the open ocean.
If you decide to stay in Santana, we recommend renting a car. It will help you get to the property easier as most of them are far up in the hills.
- Luxury: Hotel Quinta Do Furao
- B&B: Santana in Nature
- Lodge: Casa do Ribeiro Frio
Stay in Porto Moniz for the natural swimming pools
Porto Moniz is an exceptional place in Madeira, known for its natural swimming pools formed by volcanic rocks. Piscinas Naturais Velhas are volcanic rock pools ideal for swimming, open year round.
Porto Moniz is located on the northwest coast, and it takes just one hour to reach from Funchal. A well-known point of attraction near Porto Moniz is the Miradouro da Santinha, a fantastic scenic point where you'll definitely need your camera. The path to Miradouro da Santinha is a winding road up the hill lined with eucalyptus trees and hydrangea blooms.
Porto Moniz is a resort town, which attracts tourists primarily for its natural swimming pools. However, for those who wish to spend a little longer staying here, there's plenty more to see and do.
Visit the caves of São Vicente, the Aquario da Madeira, the small town of Seixal with its Praia da Laje and Seixal Natural Pools.
For walking enthusiasts, Porto Moniz is a fantstic place to stay. Take the popular Ribeira da Janela trail, an over 12 km walk that will challenge you at times with steep chasm and sheer drops.
Take the Levada dos Cedros, Levada dos muinhos or the Levada do Moinhos all of which are just a short driving distance from Porto Moniz. For scenic vistas, take the Miradouro do Teleférico das Achadas da Cruz.
Porto Moniz is a good place to stay in Madeira for a couple of nights for quicker access to hikes and the natural swimming pools. Close to your accommodation you'll find several family-friendly restaurants, some overlooking the ocean, ideal for dinner with a nice sunset.
Where to stay in Porto Moniz
Similarly to Santana, Porto Moniz is also a small town with limited accommodation options. In the last few years, more hotels and inns opened here as tourism picked up.
If you are looking for an apartment, pick one perched on the hillside for breathtaking views of the ocean and rough waters.
Prices in Porto Moniz are lower than in Funchal, but you have to book far in advance, as the few rooms book up quickly.
- Luxury: Hotel Aqua Natura Bay
- Luxury: Hotel Aqua Natura Madeira
- Apartment: Casa da Grota
Stay in Calheta for resorts & Levada trails
For visitors who enjoy a mixture of beautiful sandy beaches with resort life, then Calheta is the place to stay in Madeira. Calheta means small cove, and it's the perfect location in Madeira for those long lazy days in the sunshine.
On Calheta you'll find all-inclusive resorts and many accommodation options to pick from. There are numerous restaurants nearby too, making it ideal for a comfortable holiday mixed with some day trips on the hiking trails or to other nearby towns.
You'll want to start by visiting the Praia da Calheta, then head to the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Madeira (Mudas), to find Portuguese contemporary art in a stunning modern building with sea views.
There are three nearby Levada trails you can access within an hour walk or just 10 minutes drive from Calheta. They include the Levada Calheta-Prazeres, Caminho Lombo da Atouguia and Levada da Rocha Vermelha.
A stunning destination near Calheta is the Jardim Do Mar, known for its amazing sea views you'll want to photograph. Nature lovers should visit Rabaçal and its observation deck and hunt for the many waterfalls surrounded by lush vegetation.
Where to stay in Calheta
Calheta is a popular destination for beach lovers, and you'll be able to find the perfect beachfront hotel here. To access the rest of the island, you'll want to rent a car, but it's great knowing that you're not longer than 10 minutes drive from the nearest Levada hike. Funchal is only 40 minutes drive away.
- Luxury: Resort Saccharum
- Luxury: Hotel Calheta Beach - All-inclusive - Savoy Signature
- Apartment: Madeira Inn Casa da Paz
Ponta do Sol
Stay in Ponta do Sol for the South coast & sunshine
Ponta do Sol is located in the south coast of Madeira island and as its name suggests, it's the "tip of the sun". This is the place to stay in Madeira if you love sunshine and nature. Ponta do Sol gets more sunshine than any other location in Madeira, so naturally, you'll want to stay here if you're after long days on the beach.
Sunny Ponta do Sol features a pebble beach, but many hotels here will offer indoor and outdoor pools. While you might not have the tropical golden sand beach, you'll be able to enjoy your time on a lounger on a pebble beach fringed by palm trees.
When you get tired of the sun, seek shade in Madeira's highest plateau, Paul do Serra, which reaches 1630 m and offers spectacular views. There are plenty of walking trails here, including the Trail start to Caminho do Pinaculo e Folhadal, Levada da Serra d'Agua, Chao dos Louros Hiking Trail and Caminho do Pinaculo e Folhadal.
Along the way stop at the many scenic points too including the Miradouro da Bica da Cana, Miradouro do Espigão, Nova and Moinho Waterfall.
Where to stay in Ponta do Sol
You'll find plenty of accommodation option including luxury hotels and self-catering accommodations as well. Again, it's a good idea to book your room early, especially during peak season. Renting a car is also recommended, so you don't have to climb the hills every time to get to your accommodation.
- Luxury: Hotel 1905 Zino's Palace
- Luxury: Hotel Enotel Sunset Bay
- House: Holiday Top view
Câmara De Lobos
Stay in Câmara De Lobos for best budget accommodation
Câmara De Lobos is believed to be the original landing point for the Portuguese João Gonçalves Zarco, who is credited with the discovery of the Madeira Islands.
Câmara De Lobos is the second-largest settlement by population in Madeira, just east of Funchal and west from Ribeira Brava. Much like Caniço, you'll want to stay in Câmara De Lobos if you wish to get cheaper accommodation and don't mind relying on your car to access the best points of attraction.
Visit the Cape Girão, an elevated waterfront viewing platform with a glass skywalk. This is an important point of attraction which gets many visitors every day. Nature enthusiasts should add the Levada do Norte to the trail itinerary.
Right next door, find Quinta Grande, and visit the Fajã dos Padres, a quaint Madeiran location known for its adventure, gastronomy, and beach. The sunsets are set to be incredible here.
Don't be surprised to find banana plantations, local mango and other tropical fruit grown here, together with delicious Madeiran wine.
For another stunning vista point, drive to Miradouro da Boca dos Namorados, an observation deck with sweeping views, right in the heart of the mountains.
Where to stay in Câmara De Lobos
Being just a few minutes drive away from Funchal, Câmara De Lobos become popular with budget travellers. Most places are privately rented apartments with beautiful views. Unfortunately, each year is harder and harder to find a good deal in Câmara De Lobos as the number of visitors increase, so does the price.
- Luxury: Hotel Pestana Churchill Bay
- Apartment: Villas Quinta da Lapa by AnaLodges
- Mid-range: Helen´s House
Stay in Sao Vicente for best hiking trails
Sao Vicente is located on the north coast of Madeira, famed for its many lava caves. Yet again, this is a fantastic place to stay in Madeira if you're interested in its lush greenery and want a quieter location than the capital city.
Visit the Indigenous Garden, a superb garden with many exotic plants. There is no entry fee to visit these gardens, and it's located right in the city center next to the Kostel Sv. Vincenta church.
For hiking options, take the Miradouro dos Cardais de Cima, a beautiful short trail that will reveal gorgeous tips of the mountains.
Nearby you have two incredible scenic points: Ribeira do Inferno and Cascata Água d'Alto. Ribeira do Inferno offers a quiet place with beautiful views, away from the crowds. It will feel as if you've discovered the Jurassic of Madeira. Raw, untouched and simply stunning. Cascata Água d'Alto is a waterfall which makes for a quick spot for a great photo.
From Sao Vicente, you cannot miss a trip to Ponta Delgada. It's also located on the north coast of the island and is known for its Miradouro Ponta Delgada, a scenic point from where you can see red rooftops at the base of the Madeiran lush cliffs. The view extends over the cliff bay and towards the vast expanse of the ocean.
Where to stay in Sao Vicente
Plenty of options to pick from here in Sao Vicente as long as you are looking for an apartment. Most properties are nestled in the hills, away from the ocean. A car is very much recommended.
For the best trails, stay closer to the Dom João V street. For restaurants and shooping you will have to drive to the town centre at the beach. The Supermercado is about 10 mins drive away.
- Luxury: Guest house Solar da Bica
- Luxury: Holiday home Luxury Villas
- Mid-range: Guest house Casa Da Piedade
Ponta Do Pargo
Stay in Ponta Do Pargo for dramatic views & cliffs
One of the best places to stay in Madeira is definitely Ponta do Pargo. It's perhaps the point on the island with the most dramatic views and nature trails. Being so raw and unspoilt, also means less accommodation options in the area.
Booking accommodation in advance here is a must, but well worth it. Less developed than other parts, Ponta Do Pargo attracts tourists for its Farol da Ponta do Pargo, a historical landmark lighthouse perched on top of the most dramatic cliff you could possibly imagine. It's one of the most incredible views of Madeira's untouched coastline.
See the Miradouro da Garganta Funda and hike on the Levada do Cabo. Driving in this area will take you on winding, narrow roads, lined with trees and hydrangeas.
Ponta Do Pargo is located on the west coast and while it may not be as vibrant as other locations, you'll have quick access to both the south coast and the north coast. From here you can reach Funchal within an hour.
Stay in Ponta Do Pargo is you want Madeira's raw beauty and expect dramatic views, dramatic trails and quiet evenings.
Where to stay in Ponta Do Pargo
Like most of the smaller towns in Madeira, Ponta Do Pargo offers very limited options in terms of accommodation. The apartments are privately rented, and they book up early.
There are about 4 restaurants in the area, so for dining it's recommended to drive to the nearby Pazers. It's only a 10 mins drive on the recently completed motorway way.
Ponta Do Pargo has two convenient stores where you can buy the basics like fresh veg, fruit, and meats. For larger shopping, you have to drive to Funchal.
- Cottage: Chalets Madeira Sunset
- Studio: Herdade do Pedregal
- Suite: Homestay Jasmine
Stay in Machico for city vibes & coast
Located on the East Coast, Machico is the third most populous area on Madeira. Close to the capital city and to the airport, Machico is a brilliant place to stay in Madeira for visitors who want to experience a bit of everything.
There are many walking trails here as well, including the Levada dos Maroços and Vereda do Larano. Visit the Parque Ribeira Primeira a unique place to catch fish and get it prepared.
Miradouro da Portela is a quiet and peaceful scenic point with views across the valley down all the way to the ocean. Miradouro do Cabo de Larano is a scenic route that combines lovely coastal scenery as well as views of the lush green cliffs. It's an easy-medium trail along the coast with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.
For beach lovers, head over to the Praia de Machico to relax on the sandy beach. Prainha do Caniçal is the more unusual with its natural black sand beach. Want more natural beach beauty? Don't miss the black sand at Sao Roque Beach.
Where to stay in Machico
There are plenty of apartments and hotels scatted all around Machico, as well as great restaurants and bars for an evening out with your friends and family.
Most accommodations are closer to the beach. Prices are a little lower than in Funchal. By car, Funchal city centre is 30 mins away on the motorway. By bus, it takes over an hour.
- Mid-range: Hotel White Waters Hotel
- For groups: Apartment V.I.P. Baia
Prepare for your trip with these helpful articles.
- An essential guide to Madeira
- Best things to do in Madeira
- Guide to driving in Madeira
- The Real Madeira Food Guide
I hope you found this article about where to stay in Medeira useful.
If you have any questions or wish to add something to the guide, please leave a comment in the comments section below.
What area is best to stay in Madeira?
The best area to stay in Madeira is Funchal, especially for first-time visitors. Caniço is a little more affordable than Funchal, but you also have less accommodation options to pick from. Machico is the 3rd option, you will need a car to get to Funchal and other parts of the island.
Do you need a car in Madeira?
No, you don't need a car in Madeaira, but it's recommended that you rent one. It will make your life easier if you want to visit the remote locations. Just to give you an idea: Machico to Funchal is over an hour by bus, but it only takes 30 mins by car. Funchal to Sao Vicente is about 45 mins by car, but take hours to get to by bus.
When is the best time to visit Madeira?
Madeira is called "The Land of Eternal Spring", which means, temperatures are consistent thought the year. The best time to visit is in August and September, when the temperatures climb to 18-19C during the day and 12-13 during the night. May to July is best for hiking, but prepare for rainy days. The shoulder season is October when prices drop, but daytime temperatures stay around 16-17C.
What do you think?
Did you like this article? Do you have any questions or suggestions?
Leave a comment below.
Nice article! I just drove down to that beach today and was thinking good thing it was the end of the day so met no oncoming cars. But there is another way down, a cable car ride (teleferico) for 3€ round trip. Will use that next time.
Dear Cory & G,
I love your beautiful and informative website! Thank you so much for sharing your travels.
I have a specific request which you may be able to address or perhaps not. My wife and I have a small organic farm east of Homer Alaska which we manage from March to October each year. We are interested in staying on Madeira for several months in the winter, say between November to February and wonder if you might input to the following questions.
1) Is there a winter season on the island when the lodging expenses would be lower?
2) Do you know if there are any agricultural work-trade opportunities; say helping out on a farm or vineyard?
3)What is the maximum allowed period a visitor can stay on the island.
4) We would like to correspond with someone from the US that lives there. Would you know how to contact someone like that?
Thanks you so much and happy travels! Wayne
Thank you for your message and kind words.
1. There is no winter season per se. The average temperatures are around 20 degrees year round. However, summers are a little warmer and busier. So winter time is def cheaper for lodging.
2. I'm afraid I have no idea. I know there aren't many employment opportunities besides tourism from what I heard from a local but that was several years ago. It may be different in agricultural work-travel but I wouldn't want to speculate.
3. This depends on your passport. I assume you are US passport holders (as you are from Alaska). You are allowed 90 days in Madeira, then you need to get a visa I shall assume. For more info you should check passports and visas for Portugal.
4. We only ever visited for 2 weeks in Madeira. We only met 2 locals who showed us around the island but never met any expats.
We hope you find Madeira beautiful and you manage to move there without an issue. It's a beautiful island. Sorry we couldn't be of more help on this occasion.