The west part of Madeira is less touristic than the area around Funchal. And it hides some nice surprises. The Natural Pools in Porto Moniz are definitely worth going west.
When your discovery of Madeira, and your search for Levada Walks, brings you to the west side of the island, you should take some time to discover the Lava Pools in Porto Moniz. And if weather permits, experience them yourself. Swimming in the breaking waves of the Atlantic ocean, while still in a pool…
Porto Moniz Lava Pools
We’ve been to Porto Monize a couple of times. It’s a rather small town (well, as if you’d find other ones here…). Follow the road that leads you eventually to the lower part of the city. You’ll see a very large restaurant “Orca”. The pools are behind that restaurant.
Several stairs lead you to one of the viewing platforms. Take a moment to see the power of the waves breaking into the rocks and walls that enclose the pools.
The platforms here are an ideal location to have a look at the brave swimming, and to reconsider if you like to go in yourself or not…
Swimming in the Natural Pools of Porto Moniz
These pools are, of course, salt water pools. Under the terraces, you’ll find all facilities you would expect in a pool. Showers, lockers, …
Once you’re ready to face the (admitted) colder than expected water, you walk out and become a sensation for the people with their camera on the platforms and in the restaurant above you.
Swim towards the wall to have the most spectacular feeling. The waves break over you. The bigger ones will drag you back in the pool.
When you’re in the pool, going on the walls where the waves break on, isn’t the best idea. The water will try to find its way back to the sea and you could find yourself on the wrtong side of the pool. But keeping that in mind, swimming in these pools isn’t that much different than swimming in another pool. The effect of the waves only goes for the first meters.
It’s actually a bizarre view when you are in your bathing suit and see the people anove you in jackets, scarfs and hats. It’s part of the attraction that the Porto Moniz Natural Pools offer you.
It was shocking, when searching the images for this article, how my photo style has evolved and improved over the past 10 years. The pictures on this page are images I took in 2007 and in 2008… But I tried to make them as presentable as possible. It’s another motivation to go back to this beautiful Island soon…
Koen Blanquart is a strategy consultant, journalist, and author.
Wanderlust is one of his driving factors, and he shares his travels here on Boarding Today. Koen is also the skipper of SV Bagabonda, a sailing vessel making a slow circumvention of the globe..
Koen recently published a book on how to manage a remote team: The Suitcase Office.