Natural Lava Pools in Madeira, Portugal

Natural Lava Pools in Madeira, Portugal

Madeira is home to many natural pools, but the ones of Porto Moniz are arguably the best and the most famous ones. The Porto Moniz natural swimming pools are located near other must-stop visits in Madeira, including the Maderia Aquarium and the Ciência Viva Centre. 

Each year thousands of travelers visit Madeira and especially Porto Moniz to enjoy the wonderful landscape and natural beauty and relax at the fascinating beach complex.

Aerial view of Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools, Madeira, Portugal

Best time to visit natural lava pools

The water temperature of the Porto Muniz lava pools is, on average, between 68-69.8F (20-21C) throughout the whole year. This means it can be pleasant to sit, lounge, or swim in the volcanic pools year-round, depending on your tolerance levels. 

Winter: Come winter, the water temperature may drop a bit. The cooler pools combined with the cold air may not be pleasant for some. On the other hand, winter is the low season, which means there will be fewer crowds. If you are visiting the pools in winter, you will find the best times to visit are the central hours of the day.

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools, Madeira, Portugal

Summer: The best time to visit the natural lava pools in Porto Moniz in terms of air temperature is in summer, especially in August. Madeira is a popular summer destination, so the lava pools can get really crowded. If you want to escape the crowds in summer, make sure to arrive early or as soon as they open at 9 am, as the place gets busy from 11 am.

To get the most out of your stay, it’s best to plan in advance and avoid visiting the lava pools on the weekends and local holidays. 

Natural Lava Pools in Madeira, Portugal

How to get to Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools?

The small coastal town of Porto Moniz lies in the northwestern part of Madeira island, west of Santana and Machico and northwest of Funchal. The distance between Madeira’s capital and Porto Moniz is only 30.44 mi (49 km). There are a few ways to get to the volcanic natural pools, including car and public transport. 

By car: The easiest and fastest way to get to the natural pools in Porto Moniz is by car. Renting a car is one of the options which allows you to see the rest of the island in your own time and schedule. It will take you around 50 minutes to get from Funchal to the pools. 

Once there, you can park at any of the parking spots outside the lava pools. The blue lines indicate that it’s paid parking, but for your convenience, there are machines nearby that take coins and cards. A day’s parking is $5.

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools, Madeira, Portugal

By bus: Getting to Porto Muniz by bus can be a long and exhausting journey. The bus “Carreira n° 80, “ operated by bus company Rodoeste, leaves from Funchal every day at 10 am. It takes around 3h 15 min to get to Porto Muniz as the bus makes many stops. 

The time to get to the pools on the weekends is an hour shorter, as the bus makes fewer stops then. Return time is at 4 pm, and again, it takes around 3.20 minutes or 2hr and 20 minutes on the weekends to arrive back in Funchal. 

The best part about taking the bus to the pools is the price, only $7, and the fact that the bus drops you off at the very entrance of the natural lava pools in Porto Moniz. 

Entrance fee and working hours

The natural swimming pools of Porto Moniz are open every day throughout the year. Opening hours in summer are between 9 am and 7 pm, and 9 am to 5 pm in the winter months. 

One of the best things about the Porto Moniz lava pools is the affordable entrance fee: 

  • Free entry – Children aged 3 and under
  • Free entry – Visitors with a disability card with a degree equal to or greater than 60%
  • Single entry of $3 – Visitors over 3 years old
  • Single entry $0.50 – Visitors with a Municipality Card with the SX, RJ or RB, PM, and AC series
  • Single entry $1.50 – Visitors with a Student’s Card or Senior’s Card

Additional costs in the beach complex would be for the use of a beach umbrella, a sun lounger, a locker, or a mat starting from $5 to $10.

Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools, Madeira, Portugal

Are the Lava pools warm?

The natural lava pools in Porto Muniz are formed by volcanic lava over the course of thousands of years. Since the pools are naturally filled in with crystal clear ocean water, the temperature of the pools would be similar to the ones of the ocean. 

If you are looking for a pool to warm you up, this may not be it. The average water temperature of the natural lava pools in Porto Moniz is between 68-69.8F (20 to 21C). In other words, it’s cold but tolerable for some people. You’d be surprised to see the number of swimmers in the pools year-round. 

While it may not be the best idea to lounge in the lava pools in winter, they can be refreshing and cooling during the hot summer months.

View of Madeira and Natural Lava Pools in Portugal

Aqua Natura Madeira

For those looking for hot springs in Madeira, the Aqua Natura Madeira Hotel is an excellent idea. Located just above the natural lava pools, the 4-star hotel has a warm jacuzzi and a sauna on site. You can get a massage on your balcony overlooking the natural pools.  

The hotel itself has a total of 25 rooms, all of which offer stunning views of the pools and the Atlantic Ocean. Even dining is made more enjoyable with a panoramic restaurant. 

Its close location to the Madeira Aquarium allows guests to participate in daily tours and maritime activities like diving among sharks, rays and morays in one of the tanks.  

Madeira is all about stunning landscapes, charming towns, and natural pools carved out of lava rocks. Tourists who visit the island have a lot of must-visit stops, including its famous natural lava pools. 

Aqua Natura Madeira
Photo by Aqua Natura Madeira