Praia Formosa is the longest stretch of beach on Madeira - it's actually divided into 4 separate named areas. You won't find golden sand - it's a mixture of large pebbles and volcanic black sand - but it's still a popular spot for both sunbathing and swimming. At the height of the bathing season, a lifeguard will normally be present and there will be flags to indicate the area of supervised swimming.
Adjacent to the beach are a number of hotels and a promenade with bars and restaurants.
Praia Formosa forms part of the walking route between the Lido area of Funchal and Câmara de Lobos - assuming the cliff tunnel is in operation!
The promenade formerly ended abrutply, requiring a walk along the stony beach to reach the cliff tunnel, but has now been upgraded, though it now has a tall concrete wall on its landward side more clearly delineating the public realm from present and future private developments. In conjunction with plans for extensive new residential development, there will be a new public park and covered parking in the fullness of time.
It's possible to walk via the Passeio Público Marítimo when the tunnel (Túnel das Poças do Gomes) is open, otherwise the route is via the Estrada Monumental from which there are stairs.
Some of the formerly closed parking has reopened - on a paying basis - but there is increased congestion owing to the larger number of cars coming and going at peak times.
HF buses 1 and 24 stop closest to Rua da Praia Formosa and the 2 stops a little short, but next to (steep) steps. The Madeira Aerobus stops at a number of hotels in Praia Formosa.