Visiting the Seixal Natural Pools are one of the best things to do on Madeira island. This collection of volcanic rock tidal pools are filled with clean and crystal clear sea water. In contrast to the more famous Porto Moniz Natural Pools, the Seixal Natural Pools are less visited. This makes it a perfect getaway from the crowds and in our opinion some of the best Madeira Natural Pools to experience. You might not think about it in the first place, but the Seixal Natural Pools are also a great spot to watch sunrise. For photography lovers there are some great spots as well to take beautiful pictures. Read in this blog post everything you need to know about the Seixal Natural Pools, how to get there, what to expect and our photography tips!
How to get to Seixal Natural Pools Madeira
The Seixal Natural Pools are located on the North western coast of Madeira. You can perfectly combine a visit to the Seixal Natural Pools with exploring the other attractions nearby such as Seixal Beach, Miradouro do Veu da Noiva viewpoint and Porto Moniz. From Funchal it takes about a 45 minutes drive over 45 kilometres to get to the Seixal Natural Pools.
I would recommend to rent a car in Madeira because you’re not as flexible with public transport on the island. Renting a motorbike isn’t a great option as the roads can be very steep and the weather can change quickly. It’s never the same climate along the coast and in the mountains. So always be prepared and put a jacket in the car.
Entrance fee and opening times Seixal Natural Pools
Just like many other nature tourist attractions in Madeira, the Seixal Natural Pools are free of charge. We could really appreciate that as with this you’re also not dependent on opening times. This made us decide to go here with sunrise, hoping for some nice reflections in the water and to have the location all for ourselves. There are enough parking spots along the road and a bit further down to the Natural Pools. Parking is also free of charge.
What to expect at the Seixal Natural Pools
Facilities at Seixal Natural Pools
There are different Natural Pools where you can take a dip and there is a concrete pathway in between to make accessing the pools easy and safe. Changing rooms and toilet facilities with showers ar on site and a kiosk which serves coffee and other small snacks can be found here as well. The Seixal Natural Pools are not manned by lifeguards, so make sure you’re a good swimmer if you get in. Especially on windy days when the sea is rough you have to be very careful with the waves which might crash over the pools.
Swimming at the Seixal Natural Pools
There are a few volcanic natural pools to explore here, from the main pools to the smaller ones. The water is pretty cold, especially in the morning! Also be careful when entering the natural pools as the ground and rocks are very slippery. You can better wear water shoes for extra grip.
On a calm day the water inside the pools is perfectly still creating a beautiful reflection of the clouds, if there are any in the sky. These are the safest circumstances for swimming as there won’t be any waves crashing over the pool. But be aware on windy days with bigger waves as a dangerous situation might occur when the waves crash over the edge of the natural pools. There have been incidents with tourists getting sucked into the sea by huge waves! Just use your common sense and you will be fine.
Sunrise at the Seixal Natural Pools
Maybe you won’t think about it in the first place, but the Seixal Natural Pools are a great place to watch the sunrise in Madeira. When walking to the end of the concrete pathway, you can sit on some of the lava rocks. Here you can watch the sun rising from the ocean and shining its first light on the beautiful and rugged coastline of north Madeira. It was actually one of our nicest sunrises on the island, especially because there was no one else around, just us, the ocean and the sun.
Photography tips at the Seixal Natural Pools
Photography lovers definitely need to bring their camera here! There are some epic spots to capture the lava rock pools from different perspectives. But also the sunrise as said before is a great photo opportunity here. And if you have a drone you will love it to fly it here. The coastline is epic to capture from above, and topdowns are also interesting to make of the lava rock pools. Below a collection of our favourite photography spots at the Seixal Natural Pools with some inside tips.
The natural archway of lava rocks at the main pool
We had in mind to create a picture here with the cloud reflections and arch of lava rocks. To capture the whole scene of the entrance of this Natural Pool and its arch, you definitely need to bring a wide angle lens. You can capture different angles, but our favourite one was right in front of the arch, showing the natural beauty of this phenomenon.
Sunrise on the lava rocks
If you follow the concrete path you will see the lava rocks facing towards the open ocean. The sun rises from the ocean, but the exact location of course depends on the season. This is a great place to sit down and take in the view. You will be most likely alone so it’s a very serene start of the day.
Stand on the top the arch for a beautiful view
Only do this when you have sturdy shoes and when you’re not afraid of heights. Walk up the arch for a better view on the coastline of Seixal and the lava rock formations. It’s your own risk of course, just make sure you walk carefully as the lava rocks can be crumbly or slippery. The perspective from the top is amazing though, and really worth the effort. If you have a drone you can take some epic drone shots here!
Top down drone pictures
If you have a drone it’s definitely worth it to fly around here. Some of the cool angles you can capture with your drone is a top down of the pools. It gives such a different and fun perspective of the lava rock pools!
Drone pictures of the coastline
Other great drone shots can be made from the coastline, the little town of Seixal and the impressive backdrop of the rugged mountains.
Other Madeira Natural Pools
Besides the Seixal Natural Pools, there are a few more lava rock pools to explore in Madeira.
- The famous Porto Moniz Natural Swimming Pools in Porto Moniz
- Poças do Gomes at the Doca do Cavacas beach complex in Funchal
- Cachalote Natural Pools in Porto Moniz
- Lido Galomar Bathing Complex in Canico which combines natural pools with regular pools
- Quinta do Lorde which is part of the Quinta do Lorde luxury resort offering their guests this ocean-fed infinity pool and two regular pools
Best Madeira island tours
If you want to explore the best of Madeira with a guide then here some great tours I recommend. During these tours you will pass by some of the best viewpoints which I share in this complete guide. All of these tours include transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes the entrance fees if applicable. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.
- Customized 6 hour Madeira tour. On this six-hour tour you can choose the different areas you want to visit on Madeira island. Pick the landmarks and iconic places to make your own itinerary with the help of your local guide/driver.
- West Madeira private tour. Starting in the fishing town of Câmara de Lobos you will drive via Cabo Girao, the highest cape in Europe, to the beautiful view of Serra d’Agua valley. From there you will head to São Vicente to explore the Laurisilva forest. Continuing north, you will visit Porto Moniz, known for its natural lava pools where you can swim. As last stop you will visit the famous rocks at Ribeira da Janela.
- East Madeira tour. Visit Pico do Arieiro viewpoint, make pictures at the Santana houses and the beautiful viewpoints at Porto da Cruz to finish the day at the impressive volcanic landscape of Ponta de São Lourenço.
- Canyoning adventure with transfer from Funchal. Get the thrill of canyoneering and explore Madeira’s untouched nature. follow a river as you walk, rappel, slide and jump through hidden waterfalls with streams that cross endemic forests. A super fun and adventurous day!
- Ponta de São Lourenço hike with pick up in Funchal. Explore the most eastern tail of Madeira island with its unique volcanic rock formations to understand how the island was created.
- Funchal 48-hour hop-on hop off bus tour. Explore the lush landscape of Madeira and the sights of Funchal at your own pace with a 2 or 5 day ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus.
- Tuk-Tuk tour to Monte Tropical Garden with Toboggan ride from Funchal. Explore Funchal Old Town with a Tuk Tuk before making your way to the mountains to the stunning Monte Tropical Garden. There you will explore over 70,000 square meters of exotic plants. At the end of the tour you will enjoy the thrilling ride down the hill with a Toboggan ride.
- Funchal Old Town walking tour. Learn about the history of Funchal and Madeira on a guided walk through the city’s medieval center. Visit the farmer’s market, the Campo Almirante Reis. The Fortress of St. James, and a number of other sites as your guide provides commentary.
- Dolphin & Whale watching Luxury Catamaran Cruise from Funchal. Enjoy the views of Funchal from a luxury catamaran. Look out for whales and dolphins in their natural habitat as your relax on board and explore the underwater world with a snorkel.
- Scuba diving Madeira. Explore the underwater world of Madeira island. A theory lesson and practice in swimming pool is included. This before you will dive about 12 meters for 45 meters in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Sunset tour from Funchal by Catamaran. Watch the sunset off the coast of Madeira on a 3-hour evening catamaran cruise from Funchal and spot dolphins (guaranteed, or you get a 2nd trip for free).
General travel must haves for Madeira
Have you thought about how to get around in Madeira? A car is the easiest way to drive around the island.
- Book your rental car here and compare the providers to get the best deal.
- Book your scooter or motorbike here to get around in Madeira. Most of the scooters you can drive with driving license (A1/A2/A) from 18 years old, or from 25 years old with a car (B) license. The motorbikes have a minimum age of 20 or 21 with A (moto) license.
Do you prefer a private driver for the day and the freedom to create your own itinerary?
Did you already book your accommodation?
- Check out this great tool to compare prices of hotels on different platforms from around the world and book your favorite hotel
Are you insured during your travels?
- Buy your travel insurance here. Safetywing not only includes coverage for travel delay, lost checked luggage, emergency response, natural disasters and personal liability. But also covers all your medical expenses for hospitalisation.
More Madeira travel inspiration
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and all our tips about the Seixal Natural Pools.
For more inspiration about Madeira and the things to do, head over to these blog post.