Search This Blog

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Porto Moniz, Madeira

Porto Moniz
GPS:   N  -32.86795   W  -17.170521

After leaving Paul do Mar, we continued on to our final destination for the day, Porto Moniz.  Porto Moniz is the rugged coastline on the northwestern portion of the island, home to the natural swimming pools, the National Museum, and Madeira's aquarium.  Skip the hotel pool, grab a towel and head to the natural swimming pools of Porto Moniz. 

No Car? No Problem! 
 Book a full day tour HERE
to see Porto Moniz and the Natural Pools
that includes pickup at your hotel!

Porto Moniz sign from the Pedra Mole Viewpoint 

We arrived here late in the day, after taking the long route from Paul do Mar (ER 210 to ER 110) through the laurel forest.  This will also give you an amazing viewpoint of Porto Moniz below you as you make your way back down to the coast (make sure you stop at this view point, the Pedra Mole Viewpoint off ER101).

Pedra Mole Viewpoint 
View of Porto Moniz from the Pedra Mole Viewpoint 
Natural Pools in Porto Moniz 

West Group of Natural Pools

The natural pools of Porto Moniz were formed by volcanic lava, and are filled naturally with seawater. There are two separate pool complexes, the "West Group" the more built area with restrooms and separate pools for kids and disabled, and the "East Group" that are more natural looking and without the more detailed facilities of the west group. There are hours and fees for the West Group of pools (The Summer: 9am - 7pm; Winter: 10am - 5.30pm 0.50€ for locals to 1.50 € to general public, 1.00 € for students and seniors).

West group of Natural Pools

This area of the island is straight out of a fairy tale.  Crystal clear pools of calm fresh seawater bordering the stark contrast of the rough Atlantic.  Nature's version of an infinity pool if you will.  Being a windy evening in January, we were not about to take a dip into these beautiful natural pools.  But we did spend some time walking around the various pools daydreaming about how lovely the place must be in the summer.  

East Group of Natural Pools

There is plenty to do on this part of the island besides swim.  You can also visit the museum, aquarium, tourist shops, and many many restaurants, bars and cafes.  There are several hotels in the area as well as every amenity you might need to spend a summer weekend in Porto Moniz. 
East Group of Natural Pools
This area was also a major whaling center in the ninteenth century because the harbor is sheltered by Ilheu Mole.   Just like the Portuguese Azorean complex, culture changed on the island from whale hunting, to whale watching and preservation.  Thankfully, there is plenty of money to be made in eco tourism, protecting the cetaceans of the Atlantic. Check back in later in the week to hear all about the whaling industry on Madiera.

East Group of Natural Pools
When it is time to head back to Funchal, the fastest way is not the way you back from the east coastline.  The fastest way will be to follow the coastline west towards Sao Vicent, and then take ER104 south through the mountainous middle of the island, through many of Madeira's tunnels.  This will put you right at the other end of the coast, at Ribeira Brava, where you can take the Rapida west back towards Funchal. 

Shoreline of Porto Moniz 

Shoreline of Porto Moniz 

Shoreline of Porto Moniz 
Other attractions in the area

Santana A Frame Houses

Aquario da Madeira:  Madeira's top aquarium
10 am- 6 pm. Adult 7 euros Child 4 euros

Centro Ciencia Viva:  Madeira branch of a National Museum
10 am - 6pm.  Adult 3.50 euros Child 2.50 euros

Parque Tematico da Madeira:  Madeira themed park 
10 am to 7 pm.  Adult 10 euros Child 8 euros

No comments :

Post a Comment

Let's Chat!