The small town of Sao Vicente (population 3,439) is on the north coast of Madeira in the North Atlantic Ocean. The town has some amenities including schools, a large parish church, banks and local shops set around the plazas. The red tiled roofs and white washed houses make this a pretty town to choose for a self-catering holiday on Madeira.
Sao Vicente has some lovely sandy beaches which are a big attraction to the area along with the volcanic caves and lava tubes which are over 1000 metres long.
Some of the best beaches on Madeira are along the north coast and Sao Vicente is no exception. They offer ideal surfing conditions along with snorkeling, scuba diving, boat trips, sport fishing charters and whale and dolphin spotting.
Madeira has some fine local and international restaurants which serve mainly fish and seafood. Bread soup is a local delicacy along with "espada com banana", scabbard fish with baked banana. The Madeira wine makes a wonderful dessert wine to round off any meal.
Madeira is ideal for walking along the levadas which were aqueducts built centuries ago to carry water down to the agricultural areas on the drier south side of the island. They now provide around 600 miles of scenic paved trails with stunning scenery and waterfalls.
A little further along the coast from your Sao Vicente holiday villa is the small town of Santana, best known for its traditional A-framed houses, called "palheiros". These tiny houses are covered with thatched straw roofs and are mostly used for storage nowadays. There is also a cable car at Santana which takes visitors past a waterfall on the journey down the cliffs to the shore below.Funchal
The main city on Madeira is Funchal and it is located in a natural amphitheatre around the busy port. The compact city centre has plenty of shops and restaurants along with botanical gardens, historic churches and wine cellars for sampling the locally made fortified wine. The old flower market with its exotic blooms is a popular attraction, along with the Cathedral, the Santa Clara Convent and the Sao Lourenco Palace.Cabo Girao
One of the most popular places to visit from your Sao Vicente villa is the Cabo Girao cliffs. These are some of the world's highest ocean cliffs and offer dizzying views down to the sea 590m (1935 feet) below.
The island's location, close to the Gulf stream, gives Sao Vicente mild winters and sunny summers, making it a popular destination all year-round for visitors. Daily highs range from 20-25°C (68-77°F) making it ideal for holidays all year round. The area does get rain showers between the sunshine.
Madeira's only airport is Funchal International (FNC) Airport which is 30km (20 miles) from your Sao Vicente villa. The best way to reach Sao Vicente is by hiring a car and driving along the scenic mountain roads.