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Where to stay on Madeira for beach, restaurants, activities?

Miami, Florida
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Where to stay on Madeira for beach, restaurants, activities?

Hi,You all were so helpful when I recently posted a question about Madeira vs. Azores. So I am back with another question. I have pretty much decided to take the family to Madeira this summer (July or early August). But I am not sure where to stay. We'd like easy access to a nice beach (swimming and water sports). Some would like to play golf a couple of days. We want to eat out for dinner, so nearby restaurants are a plus. (We could take bus/shuttle if need be). I know that Funchal has more activity/things "happening"--but I get the impression that the beaches there are not so good. Maybe stay near Funchal and take public transportation to/from beach during the day on days we'd like to go to the beach? (We won't want to be at the beach every day, but probably 2 beach days.) Or stay in beach area and go back and forth to Funchal by public transportation? Any specific hotels you can recommend??..... I'd appreciate any advice!

Glasgow, United...
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1. Re: Where to stay on Madeira for beach, restaurants, activities?

There are no beaches really in Funchal a lovely sandy beach in Calheta and also at Machio both imported. Buses run fairly often from Machio as for Calheta not so sure dont think that often.As for hotels in Calheta the Calheta Beach Hotel on the beach gets a good name cant speak for Machio.Many good hotels in Funchal too many really to list but a couple spring to mind The Porto Mare Complex very good for children lots for them to do near many nice restaurants nearby also The Cliff Bay if your children are young if teenagers would probably prefer The Porto Mare .Porto Mare is a fine complex with good hotels in it but the Cliff Bay the better hotel because of its five star status and also wonderful staff.Pestana group has some nice hotels as well just look at some of the reviews.Anyway have a great time if you decide to go.

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2. Re: Where to stay on Madeira for beach, restaurants, activities?

Although Machico and Calheta do have relatively imported sand beaches there are far better beaches elsewhere in Europe. The best sea bathing experience on the island is the rock pools at Porto Moniz.

Madeira, Portugal
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for Funchal, Madeira, Madeira Islands
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3. Re: Where to stay on Madeira for beach, restaurants, activities?

If you are planning for next summer there is every likelihood that the new beaches where the new harbor is being constructed in Funchal, will be ready, so you can base yourself anywhere in that area, the Lido area has some excellent hotels and restaurants Melia Madeira, Porto Mare, Pestana Promenade, are but a few hotels which are popular and have nice walks nearby., also shops

You can also take the ferry to nearby Porto Santo Island which has 7 km of beautiful beach, goes daily from Funchal


Edited: 30 December 2013, 10:42
Madeira, Portugal
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4. Re: Where to stay on Madeira for beach, restaurants, activities?


if you want long white sand beaches you have chosen the wrong island! You should stay in Porto Santo the second largest Madeiran Island. Madeira was created by volcanoes and has small black sand beaches. Best one and safe is Prainha not in the City. It's on the Sao Lourenco penisular. Problem with beaches and sand fullstop is the sand clouds the water and reduces the visibility to see the marine biodiversity and its colder underneath you than stones in shallow transparent water heated by the Summer Sun.

Our recommendation for one of the best locations for:




scuba diving



all in one zone! in 'the Marine Reserve Garajau', quieter and cleaner than the City Waterfront!..is

the Galo Resort Hotel, Canico


You do not have to be a resident at the Hotel ....you choose what you want to do in their complex and they will tell you which company to contact to do the activity you want to do.

The golf courses are Santo da Serra Golf course in the Machico zone and Palheiro 1okms east of Funchal

Have a great active stay in Madeira!

5. Re: Where to stay on Madeira for beach, restaurants, activities?

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