Grutas de São Vicente

Caves of São Vicente - São Vicente's Caverns

Useful Information

water filled passage. © Knut Brenndörfer.
Location: Near São Vincente, north coast, Madeira. From the capital Funchal follow the coast westwards to Ribeira Brava, then north across the Encumeada pass to Soa Vincente, the cave is a fewkm up the valley near the road (signposted).
Open: All year daily 9-19.
Fee: Adults EUR 8. [2005]
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=17 °C.
Guided tours: L=700 m, D=20 min.
Bibliography: Helga Hartmann (1997): Die "Grutas de São Vincente" - eine Schauhöhle auf Madeira. Höhlenkundliche Mitteilungen, 53. Jg (1997), Heft 9, pp.178-179 (in German) Knut Brenndörfer (2005): Höhlen auf Madeira, in: HFGOK-Mitteilungen, Jahrgang 24, Heft 3, September 2005, S.73-76
Address: Grutas de São Vicente, Sítio do Pé do Passo, 9240-039 São Vicente, Madeira, Tel: +351-291-842404.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
typical cave passage with lave stream at the floor and melting forms at the ceiling. © Knut Brenndörfer.


1855 first explorations by James Yate Johnson, an englishman, who thought the lave tubes could be connected with the plateau Pául da Serra.
1992 start of development as a show cave.
1996 opened to the public.


The Grutas de São Vicente consists of a number of parallel lava tubes, leading from the plateau Pául da Serra to the sea. This tubes are connected by several artificial tunnels.

The cave shows typical features of a lava tube, different forms of lava including some lava dripstones. It is interesting from a geological point of view, but not very spectacular from the tourist point of view, still its a nice intermezzo on a visit to the impressive north coast.

Grutas de São Vicente Gallery