Porto Moniz - The natural swimming pools of Madeira
Porto Moniz is situated by the sea, in the northwest of Madeira. Together with the villages Ribeira do Janela and Achadas da Cruz it makes the Municipio Communal of Porto Moniz.
The village is known above all for its natural swimming pools and the rough coast line with lava rocks.
Like a ridge of rock they reside offshore, creating some kind of barrier reef for Porto Moniz. At high tides the sea water rises above parts of the rocks, thereby filling the swimming pools that attract a lot of visitors among locals of Madeira. Ability to swim is guaranteed in summer, but in winter the current can be too dangerous.
Porto Moniz got a true face lift in 2005 and became one of the nicer places in Madeira.
Starting at the swimming pools, a nice promenade has been created along the shore towards the small harbour. Terraces serving drinks and snacks were added, and flowers are colouring the streets.
The old fortress of Sao Joao Batista, in front of Hotel Moniz Sol, has been renovated and contains the Aquarium of Porto Moniz where you can meet all kinds of fish that live in the sea surrounding Madeira.
Porto Moniz has some fine restaurants and good hotels such as Hotel Moniz Sol and Hotel Euromoniz.
A couple of nights in Porto Moniz are on my list of recommendations for a pleasant holiday at Madeira.
Tips for a round trip :
If you're staying in Funchal, then you should allow a full day for your trip to Porto Moniz.
I recommend to take the highway towards Santana. From there you can drive on the old coast road towards Sao Vicente and further towards Porto Moniz. This road is one of the touristic attractions on the island.
To complete the tour, you can pass Achadas da Cruz to admire Paul da serra, the highest and largest plateau of Madeira. The road will take you further towards Encumeada and Serra de Aqua. Further towards Ribeira Brava you can take the highway back to Funchal.
Hotel recommendation :
Hotel Moniz Sol
You can make an online booking of these fine hotels in Porto Moniz.
Click here for hotel rates, information and reservation.
Restaurant suggestion :
Restaurante O Salgeiro
click for photos of Porto Moniz