The Seixal Natural Pools on Madeira Island are 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.
WHERE ARE THE SEIXAL NATURAL POOLS
The Seixal Natural Pools are on the stunning northern coast of Madeira Island in Portugal. It’s just 43km drive taking 45 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 Beach 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 Natural Pools so you can plan your journey to this epic location.
SEIXAL NATURAL POOLS ENTRANCE FEE/FACILITIES
As with many attractions on Madeira, the Seixal Natural Pools are free with no ticket price. I thought this was great considering there are some good facilities at the pools including toilets, changing rooms, small snack stand, and some pathways and stairs throughout the location to make accessing the pools possible.
MY EXPERIENCE AT SEIXAL NATURAL POOLS
The Seixal Natural Pools are on the northern coast but despite that, we thought it could be a great spot for sunrise. So, from our accommodation in Calheta, we set off at 6 am to reach the Seixal Natural Pools before sunrise. This meant that not only would we possibly enjoy a great sunrise at the pools but we would also probably be the only ones there as the rest of the tourists on Madeira enjoyed a sleep-in.
When we arrived at the Seixal Natural Pools, we parked up at the main road and walked down the steep driveway. We later found out you can drive all the way down to the pools but the steep walk down the hill was short so it hardly matters. We had arrived as planned before the sunrise and were the only people at the pools. It was a very calming place with a warm coastal wind setting the scene before the sun began to rise over the horizon.
The sunset was a glowing red burner as we looked down the coast all the way to Seixal Beach, Sao Vicente, and beyond. With the waves crashing into the rock formations, it’s a calm but powerful location to begin the day.
My favorite part of the Seixal Natural Pools is the rock archway. At the entrance to one of the main pools is a huge archway created by the volcanic rock. It’s incredible to think about the volcanic activity that creates places like Seixal Natural Pools and also the entire island of Madeira.
The archway was a great spot for photography. We had hoped for some colorful cloud reflections in the water but as the sun had risen a bit too far to the right of the arch, we instead had some soft blues in the sky reflecting in the water. It was nonetheless a stunning scene.
After exploring the main pools beneath the arch, I decided to head up on top of the arch to get a better view. Here I could really take in the town of Seixal and the cliffs in the background. It was an amazing vantage point but do take care if you head up onto the arch as the lava rock can be crumbly and a fall from the arch would be deadly. It was relatively safe in my opinion but those with a fear of heights should stay at the pool-level.
For swimming at the Seixal Natural Pools, you have a choice of many different main pools or even lots of smaller rock pools. On a calm day, the water is perfectly still and very safe but beware on a day with big waves and a strong ocean swell as these are natural pools and there can be a risk of getting caught in a dangerous situation if you are on the edges of the pools. The water temperature was a little bit cold but great on a sunny day to enjoy a refreshing dip in these volcanic rock pools.
Most of the pools are in one location but further down the coast near Seixal Beach, there are more natural pools and rock formations to explore like the one pictured below.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the Seixal Natural Pools on Madeira Island.