Madeira doesn’t really have that many sandy beaches. Most of its beaches comprise of rocks and pebbles so when I heard that Prainhas was a sand beach, I jumped at the opportunity to go. It’s a small beach and we had it entirely to ourselves – admittedly in winter!
How To Get To Prainhas
Prainhas is really close to Sao Lourenco on the south-eastern tip of the island. During the winter months, the entrance to the road down is closed so you park on the road. You then have the choice to walk down the cliffs on the right hand side, or walk down the road which is straight in front of the small parking area.
Walking Down The Cliff
We didn’t realise it at the time but there is actually a tarmac path. Instead, from the car park,we chose to walk down the cliff face. It’s quite steep and requires some sturdy footwear. The path brings you out at the back of the cafe (closed in winter). Dogs are not allowed on the beach but as no-one else was there we took Max the dog on with us. Maz was our neighbour’s dog that we frequently borrowed.
There Is A Cafe
Closed during winter months (when we visited) the cafe complex at Prainhas comprises of two large areas for sunbathing, a cafe, some natural showers (no shampoos please) and seating areas.
The beach is not as sandy as the photos I had previously seen. This is because a) the tide was in and b) the boulders on the beach in winter are removed before the summer.
I was a bit disappointed by this beach as the sheer amount of rocks dotted everywhere made it very difficult to walk over. The waves in winter are quite strong not to mention very cold too! However we went exploring near the cliffs and found some interesting rock pools.
Can You Spot The Natural Arch
Directly right of the car park is what looks like a cliff face, however when you go down to explore you realise that there is a naturally protected, sea-fed rock pool which overlooks a natural archway.
A steep climb down over the rocks but it would be great in the summer.
Can You Get Down To The Rock Pools?
We managed to get down to the rock pools at the bottom of the cliff. It’s a steep walk down and definitely not pushchair friendly!
Walking Back Up
Walking back up to the car park is certainly a work out but worth it for the fresh air and exercise.