São Vicente Caves

São Vicente Caves

São Vicente Caves
Location São Vicente, Madeira
Depth 40 m
Length 1000 m
Discovery 1885
Entrances 1
Difficulty Easy to Difficult
Hazards Varied

The São Vicente Caves (Grutas de São Vicente in Portuguese) are caves located in the parish and county of São Vicente, Madeira. Entrance is charged at €8 for adults.


These caves were formed around 890,000 years ago from a volcanic eruption in Paul da Serra that ran down to the sea. Thus, the outside, exposed to lower temperatures solidified rapidly while the inner liquid continued to run with many gases, forming a series of lava tubes, which today constitute the caves of São Vicente.

They were first discovered in 1885, by local people who informed James Yate Johnson an English naturalist in Madeira who explored the caves further.

The caves were opened to the public on 1 of October 1996, being one of the first caves of volcanic origins to be opened to the public in Portugal.[1]


Coordinates: 32°47′51″N 17°02′33″W / 32.7976°N 17.0424°W / 32.7976; -17.0424

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