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West Side Madeira

São Vicente

It takes ten minutes from Seixal to São Vicente. The centre is pedestrianised, lined with flowers and cafés surrounding the baroque church dedicated to São Vicente (17th century).

  • Coordinates: 32.803095, -17.046462

The ceiling displays a painting of Saint Vincent – the patron saint of Lisbon – and the walls boast beautiful tiles. Facing the church is a square surrounded by palm trees.

  • Coordinates: 32.803710, -17.047077
On the coast emerges a line of restaurants and shops facing a rocky beach. Popular with surfers, the sea is generally dangerous for swimming. Nearby you can see the Nossa Senhora do Calhau Chapel.
  • Coordinates: 32.808679, -17.0478

Following the bridge eastwards, you are one minute away from the saltwater Calamar Pools, with stairs down to the sea. The pools get lively on summer weekends.

  • Coordinates: 32.811559, -17.044181

Climbing north from the main church of São Vicente, you will soon find on a hill the distinctive Capelinha de Nossa Senhora de Fátima (1953).

  • Coordinates: 32.796790, -17.037370

São Vicente Caves and Interpretation Centre

The São Vicente Caves are a series of poignant underground caves. The entrance is at the foot of a roadside car park.

They were created by volcanic gases during the last eruption of Madeira; the most extensive cave is nearly 1km long. Water trickles slowly through the porous rock and forms natural pools. The café and exhibition space help to occupy your time while you wait your turn to visit the caves.

  • Coordinates: 32.797572, -17.042076

The caves have been altered since a local stumbled upon them in 1855 – we now walk comfortably accompanied by ambient music.

The tour ends at the Interpretation Centre, where you are shown a video about Madeira‘s volcanic past. 

You are taken in a lift to the “centre of the earth”. From São Vicente, we have access to the VE4 road that crosses the interior of the island to the south coast – 40 minutes to Funchal.

What to visit nearby:

Funchal, Madeira

On Avenida Arriaga you will find the Monument to João Gonçalves Zarco, the discoverer of Madeira. João Gonçalves, knight of the Infante de Dom Henrique

East side of Madeira

Connected by the south coast road, opened in 2000, south east Madeira has two modern resorts in Garajau and Caniço de Baixo...

Porto Santo Island

The small island of Porto Santo, 11 km long and 6 km wide, is 75 km away from Madeira Island.