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Where to Stay in Madeira-Best Part of the Island & Hotel Options

Embarking on a journey to the enchanting island of Madeira and wondering where to stay? Look no further. My comprehensive guide is here to unveil the best parts of the island to call your temporary home. In this guide, we’ll explore the most captivating areas of Madeira, each offering its unique charm and allure. From the bustling streets of Funchal to the serene coastal villages, there are options to suit every traveler’s needs. Whether you’re seeking luxury resorts, cozy guesthouses, or something in between, my where to stay in Madeira guide ensures you find the perfect spot to enhance your island experience, making your stay as memorable as the adventures that await.

Find a great hotel in Madeira on Expedia!

Madeira’s Best Towns and Parts of the Island to Stay

Where to Stay on Madeira Island

1. Funchal

where to stay in Madeira

Funchal, the vibrant capital of Madeira, stands out as a prime location for travelers seeking convenience and accessibility. Nestled in a stunning bay with a backdrop of rolling hills, Funchal is the island’s bustling heart. The city offers an array of experiences right at your doorstep. With its charming old town and lively markets to a plethora of restaurants, shops, and cultural sites, everything is within easy reach. The city’s well-connected transport system allows for effortless day trips to other parts of the island.

However, it’s important to note that staying in Funchal means you might miss out on the tranquil serenity that other parts of Madeira offer. This lively city atmosphere is perfect for those who prefer the dynamic pulse of urban life. If you are looking for tranquil, then Funchal might not be your best option for where to stay in Madeira.

2. Ponta Do Sol

Ponta Do Sol in Madeira

Ponta Do Sol, often referred to as the digital nomad village of Madeira, presents a unique allure for those embracing the remote work lifestyle. This charming coastal town, bathed in abundant sunshine, has become a haven for digital nomads and remote workers. With free coworking spaces and breathtaking views, Ponta Do Sol offers the perfect balance of work and leisure. The town also hosts a variety of digital nomad events.

Beyond its appeal to the remote work community, Ponta Do Sol retains its tranquil charm. With picturesque streets and stunning seaside vistas, it’s a small town. The blend of a supportive work environment and the serene, laid-back atmosphere of island life makes Ponta Do Sol an ideal destination for digital nomads seeking both productivity and relaxation in a beautiful setting.

3. Ribiera Brava

Ribiera Brava, nestled along the south coast, is an excellent choice for those seeking both convenience and scenic beauty. For my first month living in Madeira, I lived in an Airbnb in the hills above Ribiera Brava. It was a wonderful traditional home with modern amenities and a gorgeous view. If you’d like to stay here yourself, here is the link.

Whether it’s hiking in the lush mountains, exploring nearby cultural sites, or indulging in water sports, everything is just a short journey away. The town itself, with its charming streets and vibrant local life, provides a quintessential Madeiran experience. The beachfront adds a layer of allure, allowing visitors to enjoy sun-soaked days and picturesque sunsets over the ocean.

For travelers who want to be centrally located with easy access to the island’s myriad offerings, all while enjoying the benefits of a beachside town, Ribiera Brava strikes the perfect balance.

4. Sao Vicente

Sao Vicente in Best Places to Stay in Madeira

São Vicente, nestled in the heart of Madeira’s north coast, is an ideal spot for those looking to delve into the island’s rugged northern charm. For my second month in Madeira, I lived in a gorgeous chalet up in the mountains of São Vicente. To this day, it remains one of the most magical places I’ve ever stayed. I will leave the link here as it is on both Airbnb and Booking.com!

Book this stunning chalet in the mountains of Madeira on Booking.com!

The town itself, with its quaint streets and historical sites, exudes a peaceful atmosphere, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local way of life. From São Vicente, you have easy access to some of the island’s most stunning natural attractions, including volcanic caves, scenic hiking trails, and breathtaking viewpoints. Its position away from the more tourist-centric south provides a quieter, more laid-back experience, ideal for those seeking to explore the less-traveled paths and discover the hidden gems of Madeira’s northern coast.

5. Porto Moniz

Porto Moniz Madeira

Porto Moniz, located at the far northwestern tip of Madeira, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, epitomized by the famous natural lava pools that offer a unique swimming experience. These pools, carved out by the ocean and filled with crystal-clear seawater, are a highlight for visitors, providing a mesmerizing setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. Along with these natural wonders, Porto Moniz offers breathtaking views of the rugged seaside, with dramatic cliffs and the vast Atlantic creating a picturesque backdrop.

However, one should consider that Porto Moniz’s remote location, while part of its charm, does mean it is quite distant from the modern conveniences and urban buzz of Funchal. This distance can be a downside for those seeking frequent access to the city’s amenities and vibrant nightlife. Despite this, Porto Moniz is an ideal destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the serene, natural beauty of Madeira. Whether it’s exploring the unique pools, hiking along scenic coastal paths, or simply enjoying the tranquil surroundings, Porto Moniz offers a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and those seeking a quieter side of the island.

Tips for Deciding Where to Stay in Madeira

Deciding where to stay in Madeira is a crucial part of planning your trip.Your location can significantly impact your experience. Here are some essential tips to consider:

  1. Consider the Island’s Size: Madeira is larger than it appears. Choose a location that aligns with the activities and areas you want to explore.
  2. Access to Major Highways: Staying near major highways can be a game-changer for easier and faster travel across the island.
  3. Rental Car vs. No Rental Car: Evaluate the need for a rental car based on your chosen location. Some areas require a car for convenience, while others are well-served by public transport.
  4. Proximity to Attractions: Consider staying in a location that is close to the specific attractions or activities you’re interested in.
  5. Local Amenities: Check the availability of local amenities like restaurants, shops, and public transport in the area you’re considering.
  6. Budget Considerations: Keep your budget in mind. Some areas may be more cost-effective than others in terms of accommodation and dining options.
  7. Read Reviews: Look at reviews of accommodations and areas to get a sense of what other travelers have experienced.
  8. Consider Travel Time: Account for travel time to and from the airport or other arrival/departure points.
  9. Seasonal Factors: Research seasonal weather patterns and how they might affect different areas of the island.


As we wrap up our guide on where to stay in Madeira, remember that each area of this magnificent island offers its own unique flavor and charm. From luxurious resorts in bustling cities to tranquil retreats in picturesque villages, Madeira caters to every taste and preference. Choosing the right accommodation can significantly enhance your Madeiran adventure, immersing you in the island’s diverse beauty and culture. We hope this guide helps you find the perfect spot for your stay, ensuring your Madeira experience is as comfortable and memorable as the stunning scenery that surrounds you. Happy travels and enjoy your stay in the splendid island of Madeira!

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