Caniço is a city of two parts, with the old Caniço town overlooking the newer resort of Caniço de Baixo from its hilltop position. While the bustling resort of Caniço de Baixo, or Lower Caniço, buzzes with chic hotels and restaurants, Upper Caniço is a haven of history and culture. The whole town is conveniently located near the capital of Funchal and is surrounded by lush countryside perfect for walking.
One of Madeira’s most well-known sites is the Garajau Natural Marine Park. Protected for its incredible natural beauty, the clear water and amazing marine life make it an unmissable scuba spot for all dive enthusiasts. Those who are more comfortable on dry land can hit the nearby golf course, hire mountain bikes or go exploring the levada walks – routes following the irrigation channels that wind through the mountains collecting rainfall.
Madeira is not known for its sandy beaches; instead, Caniço has a stretch of pebbled beach called Reis Magos to the east of the town. If this doesn’t float your boat, you can choose to hang out at the Galomar Bathing Complex, a manmade lido with lifeguards, a saltwater pool and a bar. More aquatic fun can be found at the Aquaparque water park or on the sandy beaches of nearby island Porto Santo.
The old town of Upper Caniço is where you’ll find remnants of the town’s history, in the 18th-century church, old village square and atmospheric streets. The Quinta Splendida is one of the resort’s most popular hotels, located in the grounds of an old mansion with some beautiful botanical gardens that are open to both guests and the public. More sightseeing is only 15 minutes away in atmospheric Funchal.