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
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.