Porto Moniz, situated on the North Western tip of Madeira, is a lovely town to visit. It is known for its natural volcanic ocean pools (Piscinas Naturais), which in the summer is very popular with both locals and tourists. Porto Moniz has the safest harbour on the north coast of the island and a heliport for tourists and for emergencies.
Porto Moniz was originally named Ponta do Tristão after the headland and only renamed in 1577 to its current name. Because of its sheltered harbor from the Ilheu Mole the village was once a major whaling center in the nineteenth century. The town had a great tourist impact in the late twentieth century and is now a thriving wine growing and fishing region.
In the center you will find the historic Fort of João Batista, which was built in 1730 as protection against pirate raids and has now been restored and transformed into the Madeira Aquarium with more than 70 typical species.
Along the promenade you will find a wide choice of cafes, restaurants, shops and also the Living Science Centre; a place to visit, for young and old, where you will find a mix of scientific and cultural exhibitions. Moreover, those who like to camp can do so on a camping site nearby.
When leaving the area do not forget to visit the Miradouro da Santa (lookout point) for a spectacular view of Porto Moniz.
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