Seixal Beach on Madeira Island is a stunning stretch of black sand with an incredible mountain backdrop featuring ridges and waterfalls overlooking the beach! I visited this beach multiple times during my stay on the island and discovered it was one of the best sunrise spots on Madeira. It also has soft black sand, which makes it a popular choice for beachgoers compared to the many stone beaches throughout the island.
MY 3 FAVORITE TOURS IN MADEIRA
- Dolphin & Whale Watching: Take a cruise from Funchal to spot Dolphins, Whales and see amazing views of Madeira’s coastline!
- Hike Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo: Hike the most epic trail on the island with a qualified guide!
- Level 1 Canyoning Adventure: Rappel down waterfalls in this high-adrenaline experience.
WHERE IS SEIXAL BEACH
Seixal Beach is on the stunning northern coast of Madeira Island in Portugal. It’s just a 41km drive taking 40 minutes from Funchal, which is the main town of the island. I suggest visiting the nearby regions of Porto Moniz, Miradouro do Veu da Noiva viewpoint, and Seixal Natural Pools while you are in the area. We combined all of those locations for a day trip. The map below shows you the location of Seixal Beach so you can plan your journey to this epic location. It is also known as Praia do Porto do Seixal, which is basically the same spot on Google Maps. There are a number of other beaches in Seixal like Laje Beach, but this is the main beach known as Seixal Beach.
SEIXAL BEACH PARKING, ENTRANCE FEES & FACILITIES
Seixal Beach has no entry fee like many of the beaches and attractions on Madeira Island. It’s a popular spot with locals and tourists a like with a very friendly atmosphere. There is parking right at the beach but it is very limited so on a moderately busy day you can expect to wait for a park or look elsewhere for parking. There are showers, toilets, and a cafe next to the beach for convenience so you can change and wash off after enjoying Seixal Beach.
MY EXPERIENCE AT SEIXAL BEACH
There are many beaches on Madeira with rocky shores or with pebbles instead of sand. However, Seixal Beach has beautiful, soft, and fine black sand covering its shores. This is one of the reasons it is so popular as it is comfortable and safe for swimming and surfing.
TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY IN MADEIRA
I first visited Seixal Beach during the middle of the day on a weekend and I already thought it was an incredible beach. It had those ‘Hawaii vibes’ with the massive, lush mountains as the backdrop and black sand. However, it wasn’t until I visited for a sunrise that I named it one of the most epic beaches in the world!
Seixal Beach is right up on the western end of the north coast and it’s truly a majestic site. What makes this beach so incredible is the mountain backdrop. The lush green cliffs tower over the beach as the highway wraps around the edges of the cliff. Waterfalls pour down in the crevasses of the ridge adding to this surreal scene that has to be seen to be believed. I remember sitting on the edge of the pier looking up at the mountains in disbelief at the scale of the scene.
SUNRISE AT SEIXAL BEACH
After visiting Seixal Beach during the middle of the day, we decided it would be a great spot for sunrise. Sitting on the shoreline at Seixal Beach, you look directly towards the east along the north coast. That means the sun will rise, shooting straight onto the beach and the green mountains on the coast.
We arrived twenty minutes before sunrise and were the only people at the beach. Blue hour was simply peaceful and you really got a sense of just how black the sand is without any glare from the sun.
I headed on down the beach to explore the far end near the rocks and found a couple of small caves. I sat inside one of the caves as the sun began to rise in the distance. What a way to start the morning.
The sun began to shoot through the clouds, with rays piercing through and shining directly on the lush sea cliffs. It was a perfect sunrise, a magical scene, and one I’ll never forget. These are some of my favorite photos from the sunrise at Seixal Beach.
SEIXAL BEACH PIER JUMP
My favorite part of the beach was up on the man-made pier, where you can jump into the water for 3 meters high. The pier is usually blocked off but fishermen and kids who want to jump off just seem to bypass the blockade. It’s not a bad backdrop for a backflip.
On the beach itself, there is lots of room for sunbathing and hanging around with friends and family while in the water it is common to see surf lessons with waves continually rolling into the beach.
SEIXAL NATURAL POOLS
Around the backside of the beach are a huge natural pool and a restaurant. Here you can enjoy a saltwater swim but within the protected walls of the natural, tidal swimming pool. It is similar to the Seixal Natural Pools only minutes up the coast to the west where we enjoyed sunrise before visiting Seixal Beach
The Seixal Natural Pools on Madeira Island is an incredible collection of volcanic, lava-rock tidal pools, perfect for swimming and exploring. With giant rock arches, giant caves, and lots of rock pools to discover, this free attraction is one of the top things to do on the island.
SEIXAL BEACH HISTORY
Seixal Beach, which is found on the eastern coast of Madeira, has a lengthy history that dates back to the island’s earliest settlers. The beach was probably used for shellfish gathering and fishing by the Guanche people, who were Madeira’s first settlers. The area around the beach was tranquil and peaceful, with lush vegetation and clear waters.
As the village underwent significant expansion in the 19th century, Seixal Beach developed into a center of activity. The Seixal port was enlarged, and the village developed into a thriving commercial hub that drew traders from all over the world. The beach was a well-liked destination during this time, where locals would congregate to swim, sunbathe, and have picnics with their families. The beach served as a base for the Allies and was essential to the war effort during World War II. Seixal Beach is now a well-liked vacation spot that draws tourists from all over the world who come to take advantage of its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking scenery. The beach has undergone a number of updates and improvements over the years, but it continues to be a serene location surrounded by the stunning Madeira natural landscapes.
I hope you enjoyed this guide about Seixal Beach, one of the best sandy beaches at Madeira.
WONDERING ABOUT WHERE TO STAY ON MADEIRA?
Throughout my six months on Madeira Island, I stayed in multiple accommodations. My favorite regions to stay in were Funchal and Canico de Baixo. I’ve created several guides to help you find the right region for you and a great hotel or apartment.
- The ultimate guide: WHERE TO STAY ON MADEIRA: WHICH REGION IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
- If you want luxury: BEST 5-STAR LUXURY HOTELS ON MADEIRA ISLAND
- To feel at home: TOP 10 BOUTIQUE HOTELS ON MADEIRA ISLAND
- If you want to base in Funchal: WHERE TO STAY IN FUNCHAL: 15 TOP-RATED HOTELS
HAVE YOU READ MY OTHER MADEIRA BLOGS?
I spent six months exploring Madeira and the nearby island of Porto Santo. These are some of my most popular guides about the region that you may be interested in.
- My favorite hikes: 65 AWESOME HIKES ON MADEIRA
- My favorite levada walks: 25 BEAUTIFUL LEVADA WALKS ON MADEIRA
- The best waterfalls on the island: 25 EPIC WATERFALLS ON MADEIRA
- Guide to the best Accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON MADEIRA
- Hardest hike: THE MADEIRA ISLAND ULTRA TRAIL IN 4 DAYS (115KM)
- Longest hike: CAMINHO REAL 23: MADEIRA’S ROYAL PATH (180KM)