The Eastern Madeira coastal stretch contains the hub of Madeira's resorts - particularly the Canico area, as well as some important Madeira historic towns such as Machico (Madeira's second largest town) and site of the first settler landing in the 15th century.
The east coast of Madeira is particularly popular with German holidaymakers - the Germans began developing the area a while ago, so you can expect plenty of good resort facilities around Canico and the Garajau maritime natural park. Diving and scuba diving is popular in the crystal clear wateers of Garajau martitime national park.
Canico is ideally situated on the east coast of Madeira, close to both Madeira airport and Funchal. This Madeira resort has been developing at a pretty fast pace in recent years, but it retains a low key and luxury edge, with villas, bungalows, aparthotels and plenty of entertainment.
Development is focused on the coast, with the pretty inland village of Canico offering a different feel, with a historic church and stylish bars and restaurants.
The waters of the Garajau Natural Marine Park are a big pull for visitors looking to sample some scuba diving and diving on Madeira.
Inland Camacha is idyllically set just up from the Canico coast and the Palheiro Gardens. It's beautifully rural up here, and Camacha is surrounded by attractive woodland and cultivated hillside terraces. It's a good choice for walkers, but Camacha is also popular with daytrippers coming to buy and see made the wicker can baskets made up here, called barreleiros.
Camacha is also home to the famous Madeira folk sone and dance troup called Grupo Folclorico da Camacha.
Machico is another of Madeira's popular bases, both for its fascinating Portuguese history and as a good resort base with ample amenities.
Machico is Madeira's second largest town after Funchal and sits close to Madeira Airport just to east.
If you're not staying here in Machico you'll certainly want to visit. This pretty Madeira town is crammed with delightful cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. The town has a chic contemporary feel which combines well with Machico's choice of well preserved historic Madeira sights. The first Portugese discoverers to land on Madeira arrived not in Funchal, but here in Machico.
Santa Cruz is a most attractive East Madeira coast base. It is close to the airport, but this doesn't distract too much from the attractions here in Santa Cruz. Crammed with chic cafes, bars and a selection of restaurants, plus a cultural centre well worth a look, Santa Cruz make as nice quiet Madeira base.
Two big attractions in and around Santa Cruz include the Lido and Santa Cruz Aquapark which has five fun toboggan rides, several fast slides and two great pools, with bar and food outlets on-site. Golf is also nearby at both Palheiro Golf and Campo de Golf near Santo da Serra.