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Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira – A Complete Guide

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

Adults: €2.60 per person.

Children Under 10: Free

Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
Heading in to Doca Do Cavacas from the main road.

Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools Opening Times

Monday – Sunday: 10am to 7pm.

Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
The team ready for some water.

Best Time To Visit Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools

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

Photography Camera


Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle


Lightweight Rain Jacket

Quick Dry Towel


Lifeproof Phone Case

Dry Bag

Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
Doca Do Cavacas from above.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
People enjoying the Madeiran sun.

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.

Make sure to add this to your .

Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
A fairly empty Doca Do Cavacas.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
Ready to get in and get swimming.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
Taking a dip in Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
Happy to be ‘basically’ in the ocean.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
The carved stairways lead down to the pools.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
Josh in his element.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
The large float you can swim to.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
The perfect place to relax.

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.

Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
The small restaurant at Doca Do Cavacas.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
Tourists enjoying their lunch by the pools.
Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira
The view from Doca Do Cavacas.

Where To Stay In Madeira


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.


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.


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

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

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Doca Do Cavacas Natural Pools In Madeira