Looking for a lovely family holiday? Explore the best children's beaches in Madeira, the island known as the "pearl of the Atlantic", with a pleasant climate most months of the year. There is no shortage of invigorating places to enjoy, and summer is an excellent time to visit this charming place with the kids. However, not all beaches are suitable for the younger ones, since there are many that do not have the pleasant sand but rather pebbles, typical of this area. Don't worry because there are quite interesting exceptions. Follow the route proposed by All About Portugal and you will see that it is well worth it. It is advised that you rent a car and leave to discover the charms of the island, instead of being stranded in Funchal. Be sure to also go to the nearby island of Porto Santo, also encompassed in the Madeira archipelago, which is undoubtedly one of the ideal spots for children, since it offers a large stretch of fine golden sandy beach. You can go by boat or plane.
The kids will love this charming beach and its calm waters, with often warm temperatures - since this is one of the hottest areas on the island. Located in the centre of the village of Calheta, near the marina, it was the first artificial beach to be created in Madeira, with yellow sand brought from Morocco and Figueira da Foz. It is about 100 metres long, a solarium with more than seven thousand square metres, and it has two breakwaters, with few waves or currents. There is a rental service for sun loungers and parasols, but there are also changing rooms, bathrooms, a first aid station and parking. If hunger tightens, there are several bars and restaurants nearby, some in which the speciality is fresh fish. Arguably one of the best beaches for children in Madeira, it is also sought after by canoeing and windsurfing enthusiasts. While the younger ones play in the sand, parents can always enjoy the magnificent surrounding scenery.
This is another beach of imported yellow sand, much sought after by those who spend family holidays in Madeira with children. Also known as Praia da Banda D'Além, it is located in the central area of the city of Machico, next to the pleasant bay, inviting to many dives and games with the kids. It is approximately 70 metres long and has changing rooms, sanitary facilities, and parking, having surveillance throughout the bathing season. Along the promenade, that extends over the entire sea front of the city, there are several restaurants and bars with terrace, in addition to structures of fun and leisure. The Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport is about four kilometres from this beach, one of the best and most frequented beaches for children in Madeira.
Prainha Beach, Machico
Although rare, there are natural sandy beaches on the island of Madeira. This is the case of Prainha, located also in the municipality of Machico, which offers a spectacular landscape, near Ponta de São Lourenço. Get ready to transport your children's shovels, balls, and other toys, as access to this beach is not the most immediate, as it is necessary to walk a small trail and down a few steps. However, you will see that the effort will be rewarded as soon as you reach this small beach of natural and dark sand, coming from the basaltic formation. Situated in a unique bay surrounded by geological formations, it has a sandy beach that is not very extensive and when the tide begins to rise it gets even shorter. To make up for it, there is a sunbathing area where you can relax and soak up the sun. There are showers, bathrooms, changing rooms and a support bar with terrace. Prainha is one of the "geosites" (geological points of interest) of the municipality of Machico, because it is considered a space of natural and landscape value.
Seixal Beach, Porto Moniz
At the opposite end of the island, on the north coast, in the municipality of Porto Moniz, is another natural sandy beach with a stunning and relaxing landscape for the elders to enjoy, and nooks for the younger ones to explore. The setting is painted with the green of the mountains and the Laurissilva Forest, a world heritage site, that blends with the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy this place of great natural beauty as a family and don’t miss the opportunity to take some pictures, memorializing your passage through Madeira with the kids. This beach sits next to the Naval Club of the parish of Seixal, which allows access to a support bar and showers. The water is fresh and clear, and the sand is dark, on a beach that is also sought-after by water sports practitioners. There is a road nearby and good accesses to the beach, which is always an added value when looking for beaches for children in Madeira.
Natural Pools of Porto Moniz
Another "spot" that, although not a beach, delights kids and grown-ups alike. It is located in the same municipality of the Seixal beach and is one of the ideal places for children who can find themselves in Madeira. Seawater enters these natural pools formed by volcanic lava, and kids can choose between the children's pool, the playground or explore the rock formations. The water quality is great, with average temperatures of 20 degrees, in a complex that has lifeguards and good support structures such as bar, changing rooms and a first aid station. The two metres deep, 3,800 square metres wide swimming area provides a perfect swimming experience, where sea water is in permanent replacement, and where you can also find a spacious sunbathing area. Admission is paid (1,50€) but children up to and including three years old do not pay. The facility is open all year round, but the summer heat makes it one of the most sought-after attractions in Madeira during the season. The surrounding landscape is also worthy of being admired.
Fontinha Beach, Porto Santo
Explored the best beaches for children in Madeira, it is time to go and discover Porto Santo, known as the "Golden Island", given the stretch of sand it presents, having been considered one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal – Beaches. Porto Santo boasts a sandy area of about nine kilometres that is divided by several beaches. One of the most frequented is Fontinha, 700 metres long, starting at Cais Velho and ending near the Torre Praia hotel. The kids will love to play in its fine sand, which has recognized therapeutic properties that help relieve the pains of rheumatism and contribute to the recovery of bone fractures. Sea temperature is another treat for kids (but not only) who love to bathe with an average water temperature of 24 degrees. This beach is great for a family holiday, with bathrooms, changing rooms, lockers, a dining area, a first aid station and parking. Located in the main urban core of the island, it is usually distinguished with Blue Flag, which is "only" another guarantee of the quality of the Fontinha Beach.
Penedo Beach, Porto Santo
If you don't like a lot of hustle and bustle and are looking for a quiet place for children to play at will, Penedo Beach is an excellent option. Due to being in the extreme southeast of the island, far from the city centre of Vila Baleira and the commercial area, here tranquillity abounds. At Porto de Abrigo you will find bathrooms, a restaurant area, a first aid station, a lifeguard, and a car park. Some consider it one of the most beautiful beaches of Porto Santo, full of natural beauty and an extensive sandy beach, with waters in shades of bright blue. Here too, sand has therapeutic properties and sea water usually has mild temperatures that will delight whoever goes for a dip.
Cabeço da Ponta Beach, Porto Santo
With a peculiar name, this beach is four kilometres from Vila Baleira, in an area where there are several hotel units, being very frequented by tourists. The scenery is spectacular, and the kids will love to play in the mild water and the wide golden sand. Like the Fontinha beach, it meets the criteria required for the award of the Blue Flag and, during the bathing season, it has a lifeguard, lifeboat and first aid station. For more information about Porto Santo see this article.