Where to Stay in Madeira: 9 Stunning Towns & Island Hotels

A scenic view of a coastal village at sunset with traditional houses, moored boats, and a pebbled beach, basked in warm golden light.

The homeland of Cristiano Ronaldo, delicious wine and stunning scenery, this archipelago is one of Portugal’s much-loved jewels and it has countless attractions! If you’re wondering where to stay in Madeira, you’re in the right place!

I live in Portugal and I visited Madeira not too long ago and learned so many tips on how to best explore this place! So read this post and learn about the 8 top towns to stay in Madeira for tourists! You’ll also find a list of the best hotels for each town, suited for all budgets and sorted by price. 

I handpicked all the accommodations in this post and only included the top-rated ones, so rest assured! You’re in good hands. 

In short, Funchal is the best place to stay in Madeira! This is the capital city where half of the population lives and it has countless attractions and amazing hotels! But if you’re not a fan of busy places, don’t worry. I have many other options for you, right below!

I recommend booking your hotels in Madeira in advance! This is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Portugal

Quick Picks for Your Stay

Here’s a short list of the best hotels in Funchal, which I made for those of you who don’t have time to read the whole post: 

Here is a map for where to stay in Madeira with the 7 best areas I will be talking about in this blog post so you can easily visualize them:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Madeira with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation
  1. Funchal: for first-timers
  2. Calheta: for sandy beaches
  3. Machico: the coolest town
  4. Santa Cruz: for families
  5. Ponta do Sol: for relaxation
  6. Sao Vicente: for nature lovers
  7. PORTO MONIZ: trendiest place
  8. Ribeira Brava: for local vibes
  9. CANICO: for budget

1. Funchal – where to stay in Madeira for the first time

A vibrant botanical garden with lush greenery, a pond with fountains, and visitors enjoying the serene setting near a historic building.

Welcome to Funchal, the capital city of Madeira, where you’ll have the time of your life!

Located on the South coast of the island, this town is perfect for first-time visitors, those who are looking for a place to sleep in Madeira just for a weekend, or those who don’t have a car!

By staying here, you will have access to the main attractions and since the main tour companies are also located in the area, you can easily arrange tours to explore the island without a hassle. 

For those wondering about the town’s unique name, Funchal (pronounced as “foon-shal”) means “fennel” in Portuguese – that’s what Portuguese people saw first when they arrived on the shores of the island!

I stayed in Funchal during my trip and l loved every minute of it! The town has a busy city vibe and it offers such a fab insight into Madeira’s culture, history and traditions! Plus, since it’s set on the south coast, the weather is much better here!

I took a free walking tour of the city center to get to know the town better (and I highly recommend it). You can also jump straight into visiting attractions like the CR7 Museum and learn more about Ronaldo’s life story. After that, explore Mercado Dos Lavradores in the Old Town where you’ll find so many delicious fruits and vegetables or head to Lido Promenade (map) to enjoy the views!

Madeira is known for its unique fruits and vegetables like passion fruits with a tomato taste, banana passion fruits and passion fruit with orange or melon flavor! 

You should also get on the famous cable car that takes you up to Monte, an area home to some gorgeous botanical gardens! This journey is so popular and you’ll get to admire some amazing views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Madeira: a sunlit upscale bedroom with ocean views, a luxurious bird's-eye view of a curved hotel with an extensive pool area, and a unique spa area with a nature-inspired design.

This luxury hotel offers an amazing infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, spacious rooms with panoramic views, free parking, a glamorous spa, on-site restaurants and bars. You can enjoy chilling on the sun terrace that offers breathtaking views while having some Portuguese wine. 

Other accommodation options in Funchal

A luxurious seaside property with a clear blue swimming pool, lush garden and sun loungers

This hotel offers amazing sea views, 2 swimming pools, a spa, spacious rooms, a bar, and an on-site restaurant

A spacious living area with rich red walls, elegant sofas, a dining area, and classical decor

Set in the Old Town this hotel features rooms with free Wi-FI, a restaurant, and a bar

A modern, minimalist bedroom loft with a large bed, sleek design, and a spiral staircase

This Airbnb has an epic design with modern amenities and set own and the beach

Things to do in Funchal

2. Calheta – where to stay for the beaches

An aerial view of a beachside town with a marina, protected swimming area, and a curving shoreline against a backdrop of hills

Calheta is located on the Southwest coast of the island and is 40 minutes drive from Funchal. 

Home to Calheta Beach, one of the best beaches in Madeira, which has the most amazing golden sand and turquoise waters. This town is definitely the perfect place for those who want to swim and try some water sports!

Snorkeling, canoeing, windsurfing, and paragliding are just some of the exciting things that you can try while visiting this small coastal town! 

Not only is the weather fabulous here, but you’ll also get to admire some iconic panoramic views of the high volcanic cliffs and lush gardens with their breathtaking waterfalls! This town is famous for its sunsets and there are a lot of hiking trails and levada walks that you can take around here!

NOTE: For anyone who doesn’t know, a levada is an old stone irrigation system put in place to help re-route the water which in turn allows the crops to thrive. 

There’s a really cool one, just a 10 min drive away from Calheta, which has lots of banana trees! It’s called the Banana Route (map), and it looks amazing! 

Did you know that in Madeira, sunrises and sunsets are always celebrated because they are so beautiful? 

While here, make sure you also visit the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Madeira and, of course, feast at some of the top restaurants in the area on some delicious Portuguese food. Restaurante Convento Das Vinhas (map) is a great one!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Madeira: a bright seaside room with expansive views, a sophisticated lounge with modern furnishings, and a serene pool by the coastal road.

This 5-star hotel located right on the Calheta Beach offers 3 swimming pools, a fantastic spa, free parking, 2 restaurants, and modern rooms with private balconies overlooking the sea. Guests can enjoy a cocktail on the sun terrace while watching the amazing sea views or relax in the hot tub after a massage in the luxurious spa and wellness center!

Other accommodation options in Calheta

A welcoming living room with a large, plush grey sofa adorned with vibrant coral pillows and a rustic coffee table

Chill by the rooftop pool of this great hotel that offers apartments with balconies and a garden view

A comfortable bedroom featuring a warm peach-colored bedspread, white and orange cushions, and a textured rust rug

Such a great place that boasts amazing views, a balcony, a kitchen and a dining area

A cozy outdoor hot tub on a balcony with panoramic views of the sea and landscape

This Airbnb has rooms with modern amenities, a large terrace with a hot tub overlooking the sea, and free parking

Things to do in Calheta

  • Ty some water sports at Calheta Beach
  • Marvel at contemporary artworks at ​​Galeria dos Prazeres
  • Hike around the beautiful trail PR20 Vereda do Jardim do Mar (map)
  • See ​​Capela de Nossa Senhora do Loreto
  • Go hiking at ​​Levada da Rocha Vermelha
  • Visit Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Madeira
  • Go for a stroll at the beautiful gardens, School Farm dos Prazeres

3. Machico – the coolest town to stay in Madeira

A bird's-eye view of a coastal town with a crescent-shaped beach, a marina, and a runway, surrounded by lush green terrain

You’ll never get enough of this town and its panoramic views!

Set on the East coast of the island (around a 30 min drive away from Funchal), this town has a bit of everything including easy access to public transportation! Great food (you really need to check out the delicious seafood restaurants here), exciting hiking trails, a sandy beach, historical churches and bars.

As I mentioned, the panoramic views that you get up from the cliffs are absolutely stunning! There are lots of hiking areas that you should check out like Levada do Caniçal (map) and Levada dos Maroços (map). Pack some food and make a whole day of adventures out of it!

For history lovers, there are more than enough churches, historic buildings, and museums that are waiting to be discovered. At night, you can have drinks in trendy bars and enjoy mouth-watering food in local restaurants. 

Definitely check out the Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo (map) while here and also the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição Church(map).

You see, there is a bit of everything for all tastes in this town! Which is why I’d also recommend Machico for families! It’s a pretty tranquil place and Praia de Machico (praia is beach in Portuguese) will definitely become your kid’s favorite spot!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three living spaces to stay in Madeira: a balcony overlooking the rugged coastline, a simple bedroom with wooden floors and natural light, and a spacious living room with a modern staircase.

Set just a stone’s throw away from Sao Roque Beach, this cozy home is perfect for a family or a group of friends! The accommodation offers all the amenities you need for your holiday, including free parking and a gorgeous terrace with sea views, plus it offers easy access to the beach!

Other accommodation options in Machico

A simple outdoor balcony with a wooden table and chairs set up with a laptop, a coffee cup, and a view

Enjoy your stay in this charming village in this place that has apartments with a balcony and a kitchen

A contemporary hotel lobby with striped sofas, sleek décor, and a well-lit reception area

A hotel that features spacious rooms with free Wi-Fi, private parking, and a restaurant

A stylish bedroom featuring a large bed with a Marilyn Monroe artwork and rustic wooden elements

This house has a modern design, a large terrace, a kitchen and easy access to the beach

Things to do in Machico

  • Enjoy beach time at the famous Praia de Machico
  • Go hiking at Levada dos Maroços
  • Discover the caves at Furnas do Cavalum
  • Visit the nearby Whale Museum at Canical
  • Explore the PR8 Vereda da Ponta de São Lourenço hiking area
  • See the Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo
  • Go diving at the Haliotis Dive Center Madeira
  • Admire the views at Miradouro do Pico do Facho (map)

4. Santa Cruz – best place to stay in Madeira for families

A coastal landscape with a pebble beach lined with palm trees, colorful houses, and terraced hills under a clear blue sky

Planning a family holiday to Madeira? Then definitely check out Santa Cruz!

This coastal village is set on the East coast of the island, around 20 km (12 miles) away from Funchal, and it’s home to the Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo Airport (also known as the Funchal Airport). 

Here, you’ll find amazing beaches, picturesque cobbled stone streets, fun attractions (that the kids will love) and, of course, lots of amazing hotels! Plus, just know that you’ll be super close to the airport, which is always a bonus for locations like this one, as you don’t have to spend a lot of time on the road. 

Spend your days exploring this charming town and its attractions! Aquaparque Madeira (map) is a great place to start your holiday shenanigans! The water park is a hot spot for all tourists traveling with their kids, as is the Go Kart Track, which everyone will love!

I know these are all fun places to visit, but don’t forget to take some moments to walk around the town streets and check out the local shops, restaurants and cafes!

Right near Praia das Palmeiras, a cute pebble beach where you can go and enjoy some swimming, you’ll find lots of restaurants! Restaurante Bom Jesus (map) is a great one if you want a quick meal before heading back to this gorgeous Madeira beach.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Madeira: an oceanfront room with comfortable bedding, a relaxing pool area surrounded by greenery, and a cozy library with extensive bookshelves.

This 5-star hotel, set just a stone’s throw from the beach, features 3 epic swimming pools, spacious rooms with sea views, a spa, and a fabulous fitness center. You can enjoy some yummy seafood at the on-site restaurant while admiring the Atlantic Ocean views and you can also take a tennis and golf course when you’re not out exploring this charming village.

Other accommodation options in Santa Cruz

A resort view showcasing a large swimming pool with sun loungers and parasols

This 4-star hotel features 2 swimming pools, a spa, free parking, and a spacious room with a balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

A neatly arranged hotel room with a king-sized bed, wooden furnishings, and a muted color palette

A budget hotel that offers an outdoor swimming room, a room with a private balcony, free Wi-Fi and a restaurant

A bright and airy apartment living area with a fully-equipped kitchen, comfortable sofas, and a beach-themed wall painting

Enjoy your stay in this charming village, in this cozy house that has a balcony and a backyard

Things to do in Santa Cruz

  • Be amazed by the beautiful Igreja de São Salvador Church (map)
  • Take a golf lesson at the Santo da Serra Golf Club
  • Have fun with go-karting at ​​Indoor Kart Madeira
  • Spend a fun day with the kids at Praia das Palmeiras
  • Go on a hiking trip to Pico do Areeiro
  • Visit the cool Aquaparque Madeira
  • Eat yummy pastries at Doce Satisfação (map)

5. Ponta do Sol – best place to stay in Madeira for couples

A coastal view from the water, displaying a vibrant town with multicolored buildings and rugged cliffs set against terraced green hills.

Dramatic cliffs, beautiful beaches and a romantic atmosphere that lingers on the streets!

Ponta de Sol, a town located on the West coast of Madeira, is a great place for couples that will stay forever in your hearts.

Set approximately a 25 min drive away from Funchal, this coastal village is pretty tranquil. And, just like all the other island towns, boasts some picturesque views from its numerous hiking trails (definitely a place outdoor lovers will enjoy exploring)!

In Porto do Sol, you will find pristine pebble beaches surrounded by lush green areas. Some really great ones are Lugar de Baixo (map), Praia da Ponta do Sol (map) and there’s also a gorgeous waterfall, Cascata do Mito (map), which you definitely need to check out!

But these are just some of Ponta do Sol’s highlights! As you advance your way up in the town, you’ll come across even more breathtaking places!

Be sure to check out the Cascalho Viewpoint (map) and the Levada do Moinho hiking area (map) which has lots of cool tunnels and some waterfalls! 

Luckily, Ponta de Sol is mostly sunny (as you could probably tell by the name), so you won’t have to worry about the weather ruining your outdoorsy adventures!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three accommodations to stay in Madeira: a room with traditional decor and a sea view, a vibrant living area with a contemporary style, and an aerial view of terracotta-roofed buildings nestled in lush vegetation.

You’ll get some iconic holiday pics while staying here! By far one of the best luxury hotels on the entire island that offers rooms with sea views, an outdoor pool where you can enjoy nightly swims under the moonlight, and easy access to a sandy beach! Start your day with a delicious (free) breakfast and then rent some bikes and go explore this charming town!

Other accommodation options in Ponta do Sol

A hotel room with modern décor, featuring a plush bed with ocean-themed bedding, a balcony overlooking the sea

The perfect hotel for beach lovers which offers rooms with a private terrace overlooking the sea and a pool

A cozy sitting area with modern wicker sofas complemented by grey cushions and yellow throw pillows

Here’s an affordable place for your stay in Madeira that boasts great views, a balcony and free parking

A sunbathing area with white loungers and a portable hot tub on a terrace, set against a hillside garden

This family-friendly house offers an amazing garden overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, large rooms, and a hot tub

Things to do in Ponta do Sol

  • Spend time swimming and chilling at Ponta do Sol Beach
  • Go hiking to see the gorgeous waterfall Mill Levada
  • Visit the Banana Museum of Madeira 
  • See the Church of Nossa Senhora da Luz
  • Check out the stunning views from Cascalho Viewpoint
  • Grab a bite at Pastelaria Pizzaria Sol Doce (map)
  • Take a day trip to hike at Madeira’s highest plateau, Paul da Serra

6. Sao Vicente – best to stay in Madeira for nature lovers

A picturesque village nestled in a lush valley, with traditional architecture, a prominent church tower, and terraced agriculture on the slopes

Madeira island is a paradise for all nature lovers and there’s no better place for it than Sao Vicente which is set on the north coast of the island, just a 35 min drive away from Funchal. 

This town boasts spectacular landscapes such as the Sao Vicente Caves, where you can take tours of the lava tube systems there and visit a 3D Museum! 

Needless to say, you’ll fall in love with the town’s peaceful atmosphere and its vibrant green colors, which you can admire in places like the Garden of Indigenous Plants (map) or even on the Sao Vicente Promenade!

So, if you are into outdoor activities and want to spend as much time as you can exploring the outdoors, then São Vicente is definitely for you. 

Once you step into this charming village, you will be amazed by the cute buildings nestled between lush green mountains. Wear your hiking boots and start discovering spectacular cliff views and historical churches!

Although there’s only a pebble beach here, Sao Vicente is a popular surfing spot, as the waves are incredible here! If you’re not a fan of pebble beaches head to Praia do Porto do Seixal (which is a 10 min drive away from Sao Vicente) and enjoy swimming in the turquoise water.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Madeira: a minimalist bedroom with a hardwood floor, a tranquil patio with a hammock surrounded by tropical flora, and a rooftop terrace with loungers and an ocean panorama.

Tucked away between Madeira’s lush gardens, this amazing accommodation is perfect for surfers and not only! Set in an 18th century country house, the hotel boasts stylish rooms with balconies, hammocks where you can nap during your island adventures and an airport shuttle!

Other accommodation options in Sao Vicente

An indoor swimming pool with tranquil blue water, wooden sun loungers, and large windows

This hotel features a swimming pool, family-friendly rooms and a beautiful garden

A charming bedroom with two single white beds set against a floral wallpaper backdrop

Set in a 18th-century home, this hotel has a lush garden, stylish rooms, mountain views and a pool

A cozy outdoor patio with colorful furniture and potted plants in front of a rustic orange house

This Airbnb can accommodate up to 4 guests and features a large garden, a spacious room, and free parking

Things to do in Sao Vicente

  • Visit the ​​gorgeous Sao Vicente Caves
  • See the São Vicente Chapel (map)
  • Enjoy beach time at Praia do Porto do Seixal up the coast
  • Try local wines at Quinta do Barbusano (map)
  • Go on a hiking trip to Pico Ruivo and watch the sunset
  • See impressive Capelinha de Nossa Senhora de Fátima (map)
  • Explore the Garden of Indigenous Plants 
  • Catch a sunrise at Bica da Cana (map)

7. Porto Moniz – trendiest place in Madeira

A picturesque aerial view of a coastal village in Madeira with a natural volcanic swimming pool at the seaside, surrounded by terraced fields and local architecture

Located a 1h drive away from Funchal, on the North Coast of Madeira, this town is famous for its natural pools and the small island right off the coast from Porto Moniz, which you can visit or just admire from afar!

Everyone comes to Porto Moniz to swim in the Piscinas Naturais do Aquário, some natural volcanic rock pools which are open all-year round! They look incredible and you’ll also find a bar there and changing rooms (perfect if you’re coming here just for a day trip to see the pools). 

The town is also home to countless hiking areas, including some that lead to the famous Laurisilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic attractions on the island!

Dating back to 20 million years old, the forest occupies 20% of the island especially in the Northern part. 

You can check out this website, which has all the big hiking trails that you can take from all corners of the island to explore the forest. There are a few on the North coast, including Levada do Moinho (map) which you can take and explore this mossy and fairy-like forest! 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Madeira: a stylish bedroom with unique headboard designs, a rooftop terrace with white loungers overlooking the sea, and a cozy living space adjacent to a sleek kitchen.

Relax after a day of exploring the island and having fun by the natural swimming pools, at the spa center of this fab hotel which has rooms with a balcony that overlooks the sea and mountains! The accommodation also offers 2 pools and an airport shuttle. 

Other accommodation options in Porto Moniz

The exterior of a modern hotel building, 'Hotel Euro Moniz,' showcasing clean architectural lines and balconies

A simple yet modern accommodation for your stay in Madeira that has an indoor pool and family rooms 

A modern living space with a sectional grey sofa, a round coffee table, and a dining area

This affordable place offers a small kitchen, mountain views and a balcony

A serene bedroom with a large bed covered in a luxurious dark velvet blanket

Such a great studio that has a small dining area, a flat-screen Tv and a kitchen 

Things to do in Porto Moniz

  • Swim all day long in the Piscinas Naturais do Aquário
  • Explore the beautiful Laurisilva Forest
  • Enjoy the views from Miradouro Ilheus da Ribeira da Janela (map)
  • Admire the sights while on the Teleférico das Achadas da Cruz
  • Grab a bite at Conchinha (map)

8. Ribeira Brava – best place to stay for the local vibe

A panoramic view of a coastal town with terraced hills, winding roads, and a deep blue sea stretching to the horizon under a clear sky

This charming coastal village, located 20 km (12 miles) west of Funchal is perfect for those who want to get a taste of the authentic side of Madeira!

The island is pretty touristy and it’s not easy to find these spots, which were sort of left untouched. 

However, you’ll still find some cute (and not so big) attractions that you should check out, like the Museum of Ethnography and Igreja Matriz da Ribeira Brava (map).

When you need a break from the inland activities, head to Praia Da Ribeira Brava (map), a beach that has brownish sand where you can relax and enjoy the sun and swimming! 

Once you’re famished, head up to the town and start checking out all the restaurants where you can eat some yummy Portuguese food! D. Luís restaurant (map) serves all sorts of yummy food. 

If you’re looking for more places to explore near this town, head to the Cabo Girão Skywalk (map), which is a 20 min drive away from Ribeira Brava. The attraction is famous for the amazing views that it offers and for its glass floor. 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Madeira: a spacious terrace with sunbeds and a stunning sea view, an elegant bedroom with plush bedding, and a light-filled living room with modern amenities.

How amazing is this villa? The views are absolutely incredible and all the rooms are so bright, spacious and modern! After a day of exploring Madeira Island, chill out by the outdoor fireplace and drink some Portuguese wine!

Other accommodation options in Ribeira Brava

A luxurious bedroom with a vibrant yellow wall and an intricately patterned red bedspread

A family-friendly hotel that offers guests an outdoor pool, rooms with ocean views, and a nice garden

An inviting outdoor pool area with white sun loungers and a red umbrella

This nice accommodation features an outdoor pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a garden terrace, and clean rooms

A studio apartment with a cowhide rug, bright yellow chairs, a white sofa, and a compact kitchenette

This Airbnb offers guests an outdoor pool, a large garden with an ocean view, and family-friendly rooms

Things to do in Ribeira Brava

  • See the Forte de São Bento (map)
  • Have a photo at the famous black sand beach, Praia Da Ribeira Brava
  • See the beautiful church Igreja Matriz da Ribeira Brava (map)
  • Have a sunset stroll at Farol da Ribeira Brava (map)
  • Visit the Museu Etnográfico da Madeira
  • Enjoy the views from Cabo Girão Skywalk (map)

9. Caniço – best place to stay for budget

The terracotta rooftops of Madeira's hillside houses, with their varied architecture nestled among greenery, against a deep blue sky

Looking for an affordable place to stay in Madeira? Then Caniço may be the right option for you!

What’s great about this area is that it’s super close to Funchal (around a 15 min bus drive away), the town’s capital city, so if you can’t afford to stay there but want to have easy access to the attractions, you can check out the accommodations in this town! 

The town is mostly residential but still has some cool attractions that you should check out before running to Funchal. 

Like the Quinta Splendida Botanical Garden (map), which has so many different plant species, the Jardins do Garajau (map, and of course there’s the Cristo Rei de Garajau statue (map), which resembles the famous statue in Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue.

Caniço has a couple of fab viewpoints from where you can admire the typical Madeira scenic views, like Miradouro da Falésia (map) and a cute little beach, Praia do Garajau, which you can reach by taking the Garajau Cable Car!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Madeira: a contemporary room with bright green accents and sea views, a hotel's cliffside exterior showing its integration with the natural landscape, and a living room with vibrant yellow furnishings and ocean views.

Wake-up to a stunning view of the sea and enjoy your coffee on the balcony of your balcony at this accommodation that offers an outdoor swimming pool and easy access to the beach!

Other accommodation options in

A quaint dining area with green-painted chairs and a wooden table, set on a tiled floor

Feel at home at this stylish place that has an outdoor pool, a garden and a terrace 

A minimalist bedroom with a large bed dressed in white bedding and striped pillows

A modern apartment near a pebble beach that has a kitchen and free parking

A lush garden setting with a large swimming pool, flanked by vibrantly colored flowers and trees

This great place offers access to a pool, a spa and a restaurant

Things to do in Caniço

  • Take the Garajau Cable Car to the beach
  • Enjoy the views from Miradouro da Falésia 
  • Snap a pic of the Cristo Rei de Garajau statue 
  • Relax on Praia do Garajau (map)
👑 Luxury price:€250
💵 Mid-range hotel:€160
🛏️ Budget:€100
📍 Best area:Funchal
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Savoy Palace
🧳 Mid-range hotel:Golden Residence
👛 Best budget hotel:Santa Maria Hostel

BONUS: Other great areas to stay in Madeira

A sweeping view over terraced fields and clusters of houses in Madeira, with a rugged mountain backdrop meeting the vast ocean

Since Madeira has so many gorgeous towns, and unfortunately, I can’t cover the entire island in this post, I decided to make a short bonus section with 3 more amazing areas and add a list of the top hotels in each!

These towns are just as fab as the ones above, and each carries a unique signature, so let’s check them out:

Porto Da Cruz

An idyllic coastal town in Madeira, with historical white buildings and red roofs, a church spire, and a natural pool, embraced by the Atlantic Ocean

Want a tranquil town where you can just relax away from the tourist crowds and spend your day reading books on a pebble beach or hiking and discovering Madeira’s lush forests? Then Porto Da Cruz is for you! 

This little town is a 40 min drive away from Funchal, and it boasts some gorgeous cliffside views in town and nearby! Make sure you check out the Guindaste do Faia viewpoint (map) while here!

  • Luxury: Villa Ricardo – Enjoy the Portuguese sun by the rooftop pool of this villa that offers sea views and free parking. 
  • Budget: Jaca Hostel Porto da Cruz – Simple but so stylish! This cozy accommodation is set near the beach and it offers free parking.
  • Budget: Hotel Costa Linda – Drink your morning coffee on the balcony of this hotel which has a restaurant and a bar. 

Porto Santo

A panoramic view of a sandy beach and pier in Madeira, with a small town against the backdrop of a striking mountain and clear blue skies

This is a small island part of the Madeira Archipelago that is famous for its long sandy beach and amazing scuba diving sites! You can take the place from Madeira to Porto Santo and spend a few days exploring its museums, enjoying the fab restaurants and even go hiking if you’ve got the time!

  • Luxury: Hotel Porto Santo & Spa – Set on a sandy beach, this hotel has a fab infinity swimming pool where you can catch some breathtaking sunsets and a spa center. 
  • Mid-range: Vilas Espírito Santo – Such a cool villa that’s super modern and has a terrace with garden views and a kitchen.
  • Budget: Areia Dourada – An affordable accommodation set near the beach that comes with a restaurant and free parking. 


Traditional thatched-roof houses with bright blue and red doors, framed by potted plants and set against a clear sky.

This little town is known for its traditional houses! Lots of tourists come here to see the Casas Típicas de Santana (map) and also to explore some parts of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Laurisilva Forest! If you’re coming with the kids, definitely check out the Theme Park of Madeira

  • Luxury: Casa da Olides – Such a lovely apartment that has a stylish design, a kitchen and dining area and a balcony.
  • Mid-range: Casas de Campo do Pomar – A fab hotel tucked away in Madeira’s unique fauna that offers family rooms and free parking. 
  • Budget: Casa do Til – Here’s a more affordable accommodation that comes with a restaurant and a bar.

FAQs about where to stay in Madeira

The vibrant scene of a cable car ride above the terracotta rooftops and streets of Madeira, providing a bird's-eye view of the island's urban charm

🗺️ Which is the best area to stay in Madeira?

Funchal is the best town to stay in Madeira as it has some amazing attractions, fun activities and fab hotels like Savoy Palace and Golden Residence Hotel.

🌝 What is the best month to go to Madeira?

If you want to enjoy beaches with hot weather, the best time to visit Madeira is between June and September. For those who would like to go hiking, I suggest you travel between April-June and September-November when the weather is cooler. 

⏳ How many days do you need in Madeira?

I recommend staying at least 4 days in Madeira. That way, you can explore more than just 1 town and do fun things like hiking and chilling on the beach. 

💰 Is Madeira expensive to visit?

Madeira is not an expensive island. Travel costs depend a lot on your preferences, but to give you an idea, it costs around €100 to spend a night in a budget hotel, €160 for a mid-range one and €250 for a luxury one. 

🚶‍♀️ What is the best place to stay in Madeira without a car?

Funchal is the best place to stay in Madeira without a car. In Funchal, you can reach the main attractions on foot and arrange tours if you want to discover the different parts of the island..

⛰️ Where to stay in Madeira for hiking?

Ponta do Sol is the best town to stay in for hiking. Some of the best hotels you can stay in this area are 1905 Zino’s Palace and Enotel Sunset Bay.

⛴️ How long is the ferry from Portugal to Madeira?

The ferry from Portugal to Funchal, Madeira operates all year round and takes about 2h and 30 min.

🚘 Do you need a car in Madeira?

If you stay in the main cities like Funchal you do not need a car, but if you want to travel along the Madeira coast, public buses are not very frequent so I suggest you rent a car and enjoy the scenic drives. 

🌞 What is the warmest part of Madeira?

The warmest part of Madeira is the southern coast, where temperatures are generally higher, even in colder periods like December, February and March.

🚶‍♀️ Where is best to stay in Madeira for walking?

If you want to walk around, Funchal is a great place as most of the attractions are within walking distance. 


A coastal townscape at twilight with the glowing lights of buildings, a church spire, and the long exposure smoothing the sea into a misty surface

What a place! I’ve enjoyed exploring this island, and I hope that this guide on where to stay in Madeira will help you plan your holiday there!

Just remember that Madeira Island gets many tourists, especially during the summertime (June to August), so I recommend booking your hotels here in advance!

If you’re still not sure which one to pick, check out my 2 favorite options below:

  • Savoy Palace – a fabulous hotel with 6 pools and gorgeous views 
  • Golden Residence – set near the largest pebble beach in Madeira, this hotel offers an amazing spa center

Enjoy your days of hiking and exploring banana plantations in Madeira! If you’ve got any questions, just drop them in the comment section below. I’d be happy to help out!

Have an amazing time in Madeira, 


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