Nestling at the bottom of steep terraced hillsides, Porto Moniz is a very attractive small town overlooking the deep blue clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The soil is very fertile and terraces above the town are lined with heather to provide shelter from the northerly winds.
Porto Moniz was a major whaling centre until the late 1980s, with ships sailing from the small harbour at the east end of the town.
Now the main employment and income is from tourism, with the main attraction being the natural sea water bathing pools. These were formed when volcanic lava flowed into the sea and hardened. The pools are constantly replenished with sea water. The pools at the western end of the town have been developed into a tourist complex with changing rooms, sun loungers, lifeguard and a cafe. There is a small charge to use these. Those at the eastern end at the start of the village, are undeveloped and are free.
The Madeira Aquarium is in the restored São João Baptista Fort near the harbour. Across the road in a large modern building is the Living Science Centre.
The sea front is lined with tourist shops, cafes and restaurants. It is a popular lunchtime call for tours of Western Madeira. Make sure you have a sun hat and plenty of sun block!
All my pictures of Madeira are “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/madeira/index.html