It was discovered by the Portuguese in 1418 and is in the Atlantic Ocean, just 1h30 from Lisbon. This is made up of the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, wild and deserted islands. Because it is a place close to the continent, it becomes a perfect destination to find the balance of mind and body frequently. The sympathy, the landscape of exuberant natural beauty and the mild climate presented as the main attractions of this island invite tourists all year round.
Tradition and customs also deserve special attention and can be found in museums, churches, markets (Mercado dos Lavradores) and even in their regional products. In Funchal you can visit the Botanical Garden, art galleries, shopping, or enjoy a walk through the squares and streets, or simply get lost in time on a terrace café with views over the ocean. The Madeira Archipelago offers us a true miscellany of diverse boat tours and “Levadas” walking tours capable of falling in love. Do not miss a visit to Porto Santo island!
Porto Santo Island is a secret paradise to discover!
Take the ferry boat “Lobo Marinho” at the Harbour of Funchal and go experience the power of nature in Portugal.
The island was discovered by the Portuguese and it’s a reference port for Portuguese caravels history. It was abandoned until 1446, then granted to Bartolomeo Perestrelo. The House of Colombo Museum has areas dedicated to Christopher Columbus.
Time goes slowly in Porto Santo so take this chance to relax. Curative treatments are provided with beach sand and the Porto Santo Hotel host tourists from the Northern Europe such as Norway and Sweden and more. Porto Santo is ideal for nature and nature sports lovers: hiking, cycling and birth watching also, to mention just a few. Its quietness and peacefulness invite one to relax and experience peace of mind. Zimbralinho beach and Porto Salema are well-kept secrets. Be safe, take a tour with a local. These two beaches offer romance. Diving and Sailing in Porto Santo, as well as many other nautical sports, are possible to take at very reasonable prices. Being so close to the coral reefs in a protected area it’s a privilege.
In Pico do Castelo, almost at the top, one will find a status of António Schiappa de Azevedo, who propelled Porto Santos’s reforestation and whose project was based on diversification of species and on the recovery of the island’s vegetable life.
Gastronomy and Restaurants in Porto Santo Island:
There are plenty and extraordinary. Golf restaurant is for some locals the best. It is a perfect symbiosis of a good food and calm green. Lambeca since 1961: Porto Santo’s ice – creams have been sold on the island since 1961. Initially, this home-made ice-cream came in 5 flavours. Today they are internationally known for its quality and tradition. Ponta da Calheta is a unique place. Fresh grilled fish and the seafood “feijoada ” are the house specialty.
Due to its proximity to the sea, there are excellent seafood dishes, fresh fish, grilled limpets, tuna steaks and Espada à Madeira Style are just some examples of local delicacies. Another irrefutable dish is the “Espetada” of beef with a roasted spit, accompanied by fried corn and the typical Bolo do Caco bread with garlic butter. Very popular are homemade couscous, wheat soup, homemade bread crumbled with sweet potatoes and garlic vine. The most typical sweet of this island is the traditional honey cake and the most famous drink is the Poncha (alcoholic cocktail). Delights that really must be sampled and solely on the island of Madeira and Porto Santo. “Casa da Avó” restaurant is a minute walk from Porto Santo Hotel and the owners are extraordinarily friendly. The oven-roasted octopus flavoured with herbs, grandmother style, and grilled sirloin steak with green pepper or shrimp sauce. Lovely!
At the beach eat a Berliner.
Vilabaleira Hotel with its Thalassa Spa or Porto Santo Hotel with sand beach treatments.
Be inspired and venture out to discover the special graces and places of Porto Santo Island
Suggestions for Visits in Porto Santo for one day only
Some sites are related to geology, botany and trails so this quiet island is an eco-family friendly traveller destination, and for a solo traveller very safe. To me, Madeira Archipelago and particularly Porto Santo remains one of the best destinations worldwide amongst others in Portugal. Ponta da Calheta for bird watching, the Hills of Pico Branco and Pico do Castelo, Ilhéu de Baixo protected marine area, Quinta das Palmeiras Botanical Garden, Golf Course is a must-see and downtown Vila Baleira.
The island has few hotels, make sure to book in advance. Easy to travel from Lisbon with TAP Airways or from Funchal by Ferry Boat “Lobo Marinho“. Iberia is now operating a flight from Funchal. From England also, direct flights available. In January “Lobo Marinho” is off for maintenance. Due to his climate, the island is a good destination all year round. July and August there are more tours and bars open at the beach for night parties. Take the best of this incredible, clean and safe island.