The town of Machico is located very close to Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport. It is located in the south east of Madeira Island and can be reached from the city of Funchal by taking the VE1. It takes about 20 minutes to reach both cities. The main town is of course Machico (12,000 inhabitants) and the following freguesia:
- Agua de Pena, next to Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport
- Porto Da Cruz, on the north coast of Madeira Island
- Caniçal, at the eastern end, very close to the peninsula.
- Santo António da Serra, located just west of Machico.
A little history about Machico
The city of Machico is the first capital of Madeira Island and extends in a small basin from south to north. It was built by the Portuguese João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419, including the famous Chapel of Miracles. In 1707, the Fort of Our Lady of Good Help was built to protect against pirates. The fort now houses the town's tourist office.
For many years, the Madeirans had a warning system that allowed the inhabitants to get to the fort before the pirates arrived. They would light a fire from the pico Facho as soon as they saw the ships coming. The inhabitants then had time to flee. Today, the Festa dos Fachos de Machico takes place every summer: a spectacle not to be missed!
What to do in Machico?
Visiting the town
Apart from the small Chapel of Miracles (also worth seeing is the Chapel of São Roque) and the Fort of Our Lady, you can spend some time in the small history museum "Solar do Ribeirinho", which offers events and exhibitions on local history. You can always stroll through the town and stop at one of the many bars or restaurants.
Machico and its surroundings
Machico is wedged between two large hills that offer panoramic views of the municipality and the ocean. Either to the east with the Pico do Facho or to the west with the Miradouro da Queimada.
As for nature activities, there are a few nearby hikes, with the Levada do Caniçal, north of the city, the Levada do Castelejo or the Levada dos Maroços. However, it is advisable to go further on the island to discover beautiful landscapes. Porto da Cruz is only 15 minutes away, and of course we can only advise you to go and discover the peninsula of São Lourenço.
The artificial beach of Machico
Thanks to its proximity to Funchal, Machico is an easily accessible destination for holidaymakers. The weather is particularly pleasant, and one can have a very good stay and enjoy the artificial beach da Banda Além (or the pebble beach S. Roque). The artificial beach (made of golden sand imported from Morocco) is protected by a small dike which helps to reduce the violence of the waves, thus making it easier for young and old to swim.
And to sleep?
From small hotels to large resorts, renting a flat or a house: accommodation in Machico is quite easy. Spending a few days in the city can be an interesting alternative if you want to rest without venturing into the countryside or the mountains of the island: restaurants and shops are really numerous and are just waiting for you!