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Sao Vicente Caves & Volcanism Centre
Sao Vicente Caves & Volcanism Centre

Sao Vicente Caves & Volcanism Centre

Grutas de S Vicente, Sao Vicente, Madeira

The Basics

The Sao Vicente Caves are a top Madeira attraction, and admission includes a guided tour of the pathways and pools, plus entry to the Volcanism Centre and above-ground gardens. Visit independently or explore the caves on a group or private tour of Madeira and its coasts by car, coach, or 4WD. The caves feature on most multi-day island sightseeing excursions. Tours typically incorporate round-trip transit and stops at destinations including Porto Moniz’ sea pools and Cabo Girao.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The caves aren’t wheelchair-friendly, but the Volcanism Centre and gardens are.

  • On-site facilities include restrooms, a cafe, and shop.

  • Wear closed-toe shoes and a waterproof jacket—the tunnels are leaky and often cold.

  • The Volcanism Centre displays include flashing lights and strobe effects.

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How to Get There

The easiest way to visit the Sao Vicente caves is on a tour that includes return transportation. Alternatively, public buses run to Sao Vicente from Funchal. To drive, follow the VE4 highway north from Funchal before taking the Estr. Dom Joao V—signposted to Sao Vicente via ER 104—to the caves, for about a 20-mile (32-kilometer) drive. Parking is available, although the lot is a 5-minute walk to the caves’ entrance via a tunnel.

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When to Get There

The caves sit just south of Sao Vicente and are open daily all year—excluding Christmas Day. The caves get busy in high season, and lines can form for the scheduled guided tours. To avoid crowds, visit in the mornings on weekdays or near closing time.

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Attractions at the Caves

After exploring the caves, ride a replica elevator into the Volcanism Centre’s 3D simulation of the earth’s core. Next, watch a 3D movie illustrating the earth’s layers and how the caves were formed. Finally, head outside to stroll the fern-filled gardens, a marked contrast to the underground caves and a great place for a look at Sao Vicente.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Sao Vicente Caves & Volcanism Centre?
A:
Attractions near Sao Vicente Caves & Volcanism Centre:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Madeira?
A:
As well as visiting the Sao Vicente Caves & Volcanism Centre, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: