Sao Vicente Caves
Sao Vicente Caves
4
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
This Place is Temporarily Closed.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience Sao Vicente Caves and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,523 reviews
Excellent
445
Very good
598
Average
329
Poor
97
Terrible
54

EandG_13
Plymouth, UK6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
Currently the caves are closed however this company believes that rushing through a laughable journey to the centre the world tourist experience, with a guide that really couldn't care less, is enough to justify being considered open. This means if you are booked on a tour you have no option but to go along because technically the centre is open.
OK I except Funchal did suffer a 5.1 earthquake on Saturday. Minimal damage to was seen in the form of rock slides on a few high roads on the south side of the island on Sunday, but safety is important. However please warn people especially tour operators that you are closed.

So as you guess this is about the 3D movie and journey to the centre of the world experience rather than the caves. So for you get the idea think of a B rate 1970s SciFi production and you may be close (except here you can see the mirrors). Add several groups being herded into several small spaces, starting the show before all the guests are inplace, no time given to read the information and the worse 3D production I have ever seen and you will be closer.

Thanks for the enjoyable visit.
Written 11 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rimas
Vilnius, Lithuania18 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Couples
First of all: the caves are currently closed "for maintenance". This review is for the Center of Volcanism only.
Second: this is my impression from a visit with my wife and no kids. If you're planning a family visit, the experience might be different.
We visited the Center on a Friday. One of its staff ladies informed us that the caves were closed (which we already knew) and suggested that we can visit only the Center itself if we want for 5€ per person. IncIdentally, there was a guided tour coming up, so we quickly bought the tickets and went down the path to the center.
Let me tell you this: the "guided tour" was a letdown. All the guide did was press some buttons for some "effects" (such as an eruption demo, or a movie) to start and showed us the way from one attraction to the other. To us, a tour like that just seemed awkward. And the attractions like designed and made in the nineties.
1. The volcano eruption demo: ok, but no explanation of what is happening followed. There are informational posters on the first room, which probably explain all that, but I didn't have enough time to read them all, and my wife was unwilling to come back after the tour so I could finish reading them.
2. About Madeira movie: okay, but it felt pretty much like a VHS being played on an old TV. Also, reading the English subtitles and watching the film felt rather difficult sometimes.
3. The "earth core" room was okay, but again, not much explanation of why we're supposed to stare at it for a few minutes. Well, at least the mirrored mirrors was somewhat fun.
4. The 3D movie was... I don't know... Crap? One of the reasons: my glasses were apparently working the wrong way and I had to put them upside down for the 3D view to normalize. The film itself looked like an intermission in a nineties TV show for kids. It was supposed to explain earth's layers, but with the glasses working bad, and the film itself being so badly rendered, that purpose was lost, at least to me.

I don't mind having donated my 10€ to the Center, but that's all I consider my payment for the tour being: a donation.
Written 1 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rrrruuummm
Halifax, Canada3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I can not believe this many people found this interesting. This was just awful ! We wasted 1:30mins here ... and paid for it. You walk though a cave , as a group. Then exit and head into the worst interpretation/ exhibition centre , as a group - no time to read through because the rest of the group wants you to keep moving. The guide then starts the hokey volcano - just weird. Then she guides you to this glowing ball - to a fake (so bad) elevator. Then there’s the really really really bad 3D movie.
This was built 20 years ago. The exhibit / movie has to be updated
The whole structure, gardens, buildings ... are so well done. But a total fail on delivering one of the greatest stories this island has to tell
Written 29 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martina1971
Rotselaar, Belgium83 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Family
Thé caves are closed, so don't go there. It's a nice village.
On thé website it is not mentioned. It van je Nice In think. Thé lady at thé restaurant thought they would open in 2022
Written 14 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kyle_Heron
Edinburgh, UK14 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
This tour has two parts, the trip into the lava tubes (caves), and the information/3D experience afterwards. The trip into the caves is interesting, and not your normal caves due to them being a series of long lava tubes in a volcanic mountain, so worth the visit for something different. The exhibition afterwards is good with plentiful information, but there was not enough time to read much of it before being moved on to the 3D movies, which could do with being updated. They didn't take away from the fact that the caves are worth a visit in themselves though.
Written 19 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David D
Devon, UK25,784 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Couples
Wednesday 23rd June we were heading towards Sao Vicente on the north west coast of the Island. Along the way we saw a sign for the caves "Grutas" and we thought let's give it a go.

We followed the signs to the Grutas and parked up in the car park and walked towards the caves. We took the pathway under the road which led us to the entrance gate to the gardens where the caves are located.

We followed the signs for the ticket office and climbed up the numerous steps only to find at the top that it was all cordoned off and ticket office closed due to COVID. There were no signs at the bottom to say the caves were closed.

We should have realised that something was a foot as all the small souvenir and photo kiosks, in the gardens were shut. Having said that there were gardeners tending to the gardens.

It was possible to walk around the well maintained gardens.
Written 5 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sharifa K
5 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Friends
Beautiful garden around the Grotas. Unfortunately the caves are closed till the end of the year because of maintance. You can see the 3D movie and a little video about the Island, but we chose not to. If you are close by it is worth it to take a little walk around the garden
Written 10 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RachelL84
Oxford, UK112 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Couples
The route through the caves was great. Really well lit and easy to navigate. Take good shoes as some areas are slippery underfoot. The drips in the cave didn't bother us - it felt part of the experience.

Like other reviewers the second part of the tour was interesting because you're not really sure what's going on.... And it all feels a bit outdated. Don't let that put you off visiting as you're visiting lava caves and that part was great!
Written 29 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Light V
Porto Formoso, Portugal177 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Couples
The countryside was so pretty on the way there. The cave area itself is breathtaking too. Quite a big cave area that you walk through with water dripping in places so be aware not to get your camera wet. Also beware of drinking the cave water in the pools, I know it looks very enticing and clear but I drank it and achieved severe dizziness, sickness and eyes going round and round in my head in the evening when I returned. Maybe it was the epilepsy inducing video. Don't watch the video if there is a slight chance that you have epilepsy.
The guide let us go off and look at the sea and the waterfalls and the sign to Ponta Delgada, which was kind of her. The bus picked us up later.
It didn't cost too much I thought. We found out about the trip in Madeira story centre. May have been 22 euros, not sure. You get a trip there and back and to see waterfalls and other areas of beauty and free entry into caves etc.
Written 24 May 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

themanwhosaysitall
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018
We visited the caves early september. Unfortunately the visit was quite disappointing.

The parking lot is very small and even in the low season we already had to park down the hill. I can imagine that in the peak season parking can be terrible.

The good thing is that tours start pretty often and we were in luck and could get on a tour (you can only get in with a guide) right after we paid our tickets (adult entrance is 8 euro).

The guides speak English, but during the short tour in the caves itself do not really share too much shocking nor interesting information. The cave tour itself is OKish but relatively short (no more than 30 minutes, if that). There is a lot of lighting and even classical music playing which really gives a strange vibe that is not fitting. We have been on plenty of cave tours before around Europe but this was one on the bottom of the rating list.

The vulcanic center after the tour is ridicilous and it feels like they just want to throw you an extra 30 minutes because they feel bad they took your 8 euro’s. The movie about the birth of Madeira was probably Made in the 80s judging from the quality of the images.

The “trip” in the lift to the center of the earth was the most stupid thing I had seen in a while. The 3D movie (80s 3D) afterwards did not make sense at all and had no added value what so ever.

My suggestion: leave the caves and head up the surrounding mountain roads for truly astonishing views.

Written 11 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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