The Black Sands of Seixal, Madeira


After not discovering a sand beach at Prainhas, we headed west across the island of Madeira to Seixal to see what it was like.

Seixal village or town?

It is a really small town just before you get to Porto Moniz and I’m pretty sure there’s only one road that leads DOWN! It isn’t well signposted (No surprise for Madeira) but you can see it from the main road.

Divided by a river, the population of the town is a whopping 600 people! See what I mean when I said it was small.

The beach with its black sands
Seixal Beach

Seixal houses in the Steep valley

The beach sits at the bottom of a steep valley where houses and vines perch atop small ridges, many of which appear empty or abandoned. We visited in the winter of January so maybe some of these houses are summer residencies?

COlourful houses stacked into a valley
Seixal houses stacked

Abadoned houses high above black sand beach

Praia de Laje black sand beach

The beach is actually really nice but because we visited in winter AND when it was raining (no stay at home rainy days for us), the photos don’t do it the justice it deserves. I should imagine that in the summer it’s a great place to visit.

We decided to take Max the dog (our neighbour’s dog) and he had a great time running up and down the beach. There were quite a few other dogs in the vicinity and all were friendly.

The surf club next to the beach offers paddle board lessons in the summer and this calm beach would be perfect to learn on.

Praia de Laje beach
The black sand beach
Praia de Laje beach Seixal
The beach at Seixal.
Praia de Laje dockside
The harbour wall that protects the beach

There’s even some waterfalls there

There are two waterfalls visible from the beach.  The first is on the beach and you can walk underneath it. It’s located at the far end.

The more famous waterfall pours down the mountain face opposite the beach and you can see the Bridal Veil (Véu de noiva) flowing into the ocean. This can only be reached by paddleboards or boats.

Praia de Laje beach waterfalls
The bridal veil waterfall that tumbles into the ocean
The waterfall on the beach

Take a dip in the Natural swimming pools

On the other side of the harbour is a natural swimming pool.  Despite being winter it is a lush turquoise colour and in the summer months it must be fantastically azul.

The pools are protected by rocks which locals fish from and you can hear the Atlantic waves battering them! The pools are a haven of tranquility and calm in comparison to that sea lol.

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Cafe in the Harbour of Seixal

We stopped off at the cafe and ordered water, mixed salad and chips. The portions are very generous and the prices pretty low. The food was lovely and far outweighed our expectations.

The cafe owner was lovely and even brought the dog Max a bowl of water.

Stay in the dock house?

Talk about being in ‘the midst of it’, this little 19th century house situated bang in the middle of the dock is a residential house up for letting.

Once a warehouse for wine casks it could only be reached by a narrow and wooden bridge.

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Join Jacks flight club

See what else you can do on Madiera