São Vicente


São Vicente

São Vicente is a pleasant, small municipality on the north coast of Madeira, west of Santana and east of Porto Moniz. The centre has a uniform style with white-walled buildings and tiled roofs.

São Vicente centre

São Vicente Church

Even its modern buildings are sympathetically designed.

Municipal Building

Street with floral planters
São Vicente has a reputation for tidiness and if an apparent tourist lurks for any period of time in the main square at least one lady of a certain age will emerge with a broom, though it's not clear whether this is a mark of municipal pride or an implicit threat to potential litter louts.

São Vicente used to be home to a visitor attraction offering visits to volcanic caves. Although the caves are still there, the attraction closed down during the pandemic and is still to reopen.

It's possible to walk from São Vicente to Seixal along the old coastal road where you'll get some stunning views along the 6km hike.

Getting there

The tunnel network means that getting to São Vicente by car is not a problem and there's parking available on arrival.

Public transport is more of an ordeal, particuarly at weekends. Rodoeste buses to/from Funchal take between 1 hour (the commuter service in the morning and evening) to around two and a half hours and may require a change of bus in Ribeira Brava. Check their timetables for more information.

Tours of the north or west of the island may make a stop in São Vicente.