The civil parish of the reserve


The civil parish of Caniço stands out for being a tourism destination by excellence, at Caniço de Baixo. The number of beds has increased so much that today this parish constitutes the second largest hotel offering on the Madeira group of islands, after Funchal.


To add to this growth, the parish has had a strong increase in terms of housing construction, and it has nearly become a dormitory for those who work in the capital.

Caniço owes its name to a plant, made of long thin canes called “Caniços”, which used to abundantly grow there at the time the island was discovered.

The civil parish of Caniço is located close to Funchal.

Washed by the sea, Caniço is one of the most beautiful parishes on Madeira Island. Known for its mild temperatures, Caniço is sough by many people both during the summer and the winter.

Caniço is valued as a place of entertainment, as well as of relaxation.

The partial Natural Reserve of Garajau, Portugal’s only exclusive sea reserve, created in 1986, is integrated in Caniço. Due to the biologic diversity and extraordinary clearness of the water, it offers unique conditions for diving, enabling you to contact with mantas and large harmless fish.

Together with Funchal and Machico, Caniço constituted one of the first settlements on the Island. From this settlement, people soon started cultivating the land.


Amongst the first settlers, one would like to point out Álvaro de Ornelas, the Genovese, Lucas Salvago, João Gavião, Gaspar de Rêgo, Vasco Martins, Afonso de Viena, some of whom were of noble origin.

The parish has about 18 thousand inhabitants.

From Caniço's main economic activities, one would like to point out onion plantation. In former times, Caniço was the parish where more onion was cultivated on Madeira Island.

Besides the above mentioned hotel industry, there are also countless quality restaurants. Trade is also an important activity in Caniço, with its large shopping centre – Caniço Shopping – as well as other medium sized supermarkets and all sorts of shops.


In terms of climate, during the winter the average temperature in Caniço is of 17 ºC (63 ºF) and in the summer, 23 ºC (73 º F).


In terms of humidity, in the highest part of Caniço the levels are somewhat high.




How to Get There

You can get to the parish of Caniço by taking the Estrada Regional (regional road), both from Funchal or from Santa Cruz.

From Funchal, take the freeway in the direction of Aeroporto (Funchal-Aeroporto), and then turn off at the Caniço junction.

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