Doca do Cavacas natural pools is a stunning, small beach complex with naturally formed swimming pools that have direct access to the sea. Here’s a complete guide.
How To Get To Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools
Doca do Cavacas natural pools complex is located on the south west coast of Funchal, next to the Praia Formosa Beach.
Both the Horarios de Funchal No’2 bus and the Aerobus will take you directly to the pools from Funchal.
Also, there will be other buses you can jump on from the Estrada Monumental (main street) in Funchal.
If there is a group of you it might be worth sharing a taxi from Funchal as fares are said to be very reasonable.
It’s just under a 6km (4 mile) drive along the coast from the centre of Funchal. (Address – Rua da Ponta da Cruz 66, 9000-250 Funchal)
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
A little expensive, but guaranteed to take you to Doca Do Cavacas pools if you choose, the Madeira: 6-Hour Customized Experience is a private tour where you get to pick from the best destinations in Madeira!
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools Entrance Fee
Under 10 years: Free
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools Opening Times
Open every day from 10am to 7pm.
Best Time To Visit Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools + Tips
These natural pools would be best enjoyed on a beautiful sunny day, although it can get busy on these days.
There is not a loads of space at this complex, so I would get there early to grab a spot. Especially as they’re one of the most popular natural pools in Madeira.
August and September are the hottest months of the year in Madeira. Although Madeira has a sub-tropical climate that offers sunshine throughout the year.
To get to the pools you have to climb down quite a lot of steps, which might be difficult for some visitors, especially making the climb back up.
You can hire sun beds and parasols, which sell out quite quickly, and there is also room to put down towels on the concrete.
It is possible to take a picnic with you or take food in that has been purchased from outside the complex.
Don’t forget your snorkel!
What To Pack
What To Expect At Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools
Also known as Poças do Gomes, Doca Do Cavacas is a swimming complex with naturally created lava pools that have direct access to the sea.
These small, natural volcanic pools are the result of volcanic eruptions, which took place millions of years ago. Some areas of the rock have been modified to allow for walking and safe swimming.
The swimming areas are divided into 3 separate pools, with some parts being quite shallow and others pretty deep, so you need to take care.
However, the swimming area does benefit from lifeguard monitoring. There are also changing rooms and showers as well as bars and restaurants nearby.
Don’t forget these pools are filled by the tide, so there is plenty of sea life to swim with, including fishes, shellfish, urchins and seaweed. Great for snorkelling enthusiasts!
Platforms and steps have been added around the complex for visitors to be able to enjoy the different areas of this naturally created complex.
You are allowed to dive into the water from certain areas, but you need to check with the lifeguards that it is safe before doing this.
Furthermore, the views from Doca Do Cavacas Pools are stunning and provide some great photo opportunities with the changing light shimmering off the water.
This naturally formed swimming area is very beautiful and has a unique charm. I would definitely recommend spending some time here when in Madeira.
Doca Do Cavacas Restaurant
This very popular seafood restaurant, perched half way down a cliff, overlooks the Doca Do Cavacas natural pools and is highly recommended if visiting the pools.
Although we did not visit ourselves, this restaurant is very popular with locals and tourist who say that this family run restaurant with its beautifully fresh fish dishes, at reasonable prices, is an excellent spot to dine.
Situated at the water’s edge, overlooking the bay and the pools, there is also an outside terrace where you can take in the spectacular views whilst enjoying the delicious food.
Although there are quite a few steps down to reach this restaurant, it has not stopped people returning again and again to enjoy everything Doca Do Cavacas has to offer.
Where To Stay In Madeira
Luxury – The Vine Hotel
Recently awarded as Europe’s Leading Design Hotel, the luxurious Vine Hotel is located in Funchal.
It offers a fusion restaurant with stunning views, a Wine Therapy Spa, access to the fitness centre and a rooftop infinity pool.
Each room features an LCD TV with in-room movies, free WiFi and a laptop-size safe.
The roof terrace sports a heated infinity pool, massage facilities as well as a 20 yard hot tub, with views of Fort São João and the mountains.
Mid-Budget – Hotel Baia Azul
The newly renovated 4-star Hotel Baía Azul is ideally situated a 4-minute walk from Funchal’s beachfront.
It offers 3 swimming pools, 3 restaurants, a Spa and a sun deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the gardens.
The hotel has a total of 215 bedrooms with sea-inspired decor. All rooms come with an en suite bathroom, bath amenities and a hairdryer.
Not only that, but a flat-screen cable TV, a minibar, a kettle and a safe deposit box too.
Free WiFi access is provided in all rooms and common areas.
Budget – Funchal Apartments – City View
Funchal Apartments – City View is venue is set in Se district, around a 10 minute walk from Funchal center, and features a terrace with the cathedral view.
The property includes free WiFi, plus express check-in and check-out.
There is also a shared kitchen, ATM and currency exchange for guests.
All rooms include a wardrobe, a desk and a shared bathroom.
For more places to stay in Madeira, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.
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