Prainha beach is one of the few (natural!) sandy beaches in Madeira. Most of the other beaches in Madeira have rocks or pebbles on them, so lying down is not always that comfortable without a sun bed. But Prainha beach offers the perfect ingredients for a lovely day at the beach. Located in the eastern tail of the island, lots of local people come to this beach to enjoy their sunny weekends or holidays. Prainha beach may not be the biggest beach as its only a little bay, but that also gives an intimate feel to the beach. Surrounded on both sides with interesting rock formations and dunes, there is a lot of geological interest to be found around Prainha beach. Read in this blog post everything you need to know about Prainha beach, how to get there, what to expect and more!
How to get to Prainha beach
Prainha beach is located in Caniçal in the most eastern tail of Madeira, the area of Ponta de São Lourenço. The best way to get around in Madeira in general is with a rental car. You can easily park above Prainha beach from where you have stairs leading down to the beach.
But if you are dependent on public transport you can get to Prainha beach with bus 113.
From the parking lot you will see a path going down to the beach. But is also highly recommended to check out the dunes and walk to the viewpoints above the beach. From there you will have wonderful views on the Prainha bay and the interesting rock formations around. Can you spot all the caves in the rocks?
Best time to go to Prainha beach
It is always a good idea to go to the beach, but Prainha beach is known to be most crowded during the weekends and summer holidays when locals come to the beaches to relax. In terms of sunlight you can expect sunshine almost all day long at Prainha as its facing south.
What to expect at Prainha beach
Prainha beach is a cozy little bay with soft brownish black volcanic sand in the area of Ponta de São Lourenço. The beach is surrounded by the Piedade Dunes which contains limestone fossils of geomorphologic interest. Very beautiful to watch these interesting textures on these rocks and cliffs! The landscape around Prainha beach is in big contrast to the landscapes on the rest of the island. In the area of Ponta de São Lourenço the shades of green are replaced by desert like views of orange, red and brown tones in the landscape. It actually did remind us a bit to our trip through Morocco and the Sahara desert!
Prainha beach itself has a beach bar where you can order drinks and food when they’re open of course. There are also sun beds for rent, but the soft black sand of Prainha beach is comfortable enough to lie on for a day. The Prainha beach bar also has changing rooms, parasols and deck chairs.
Both sides of the beach are surrounded by the Piedade Dunes with their incredible textures and lots of caves and other holes to spot. Definitely check out these dunes when you make your way up or down Prainha beach!
Prainha beach viewpoint on the Piedade Dunes
From the Piedade Dunes you will have a beautiful view on Prainha beach and from the other side towards Funchal. These dunes are fun to explore as they lead you all to different natural viewpoints and new spots to explore. There are also a few picknick spots on these dunes, so if you don’t want to go down all the way to the beach, you can also have a break here to eat lunch or recharge after exploring.
Other things to do near Prainha beach
After a few hours of relaxing on Prainha beach, or just exploring the area for a little time, you might be up for some activities again! Head a bit further to the starting point of the Ponta de São Lourenço hike to explore the eastern tail a bit further, or go to the Ponta do Rosto viewpoint. The different landscapes and views that this part of Madeira has to offer are just amazing and so different of the rest of Madeira!
More Madeira travel inspiration
I hope you enjoyed this full guide about Prainha beach in Madeira. For more Madeira travel inspiration and the must visit destinations, head over to our other blog posts about Madeira island.