lies 37 km (23 miles) to the Northeast of Madeira. On a clear day the
islands can see each other in the horizon. A 9km (6 mile) stretch of natural
sandy beach is the main attraction, but the sleepy village and tranquil
lifestyle is also the reason why visitors who discover Porto Santo keep
Santo was officially discovered back in 1418 by João Gonçalves
Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, who were exploring the coast of
Guinea for Prince Henry the navigator when a violent storm blew them off
course. They were swept onto the sandy shores of an island which they
named in gratitude Porto Santo (safe port).
Bartolomeu Perestrelo, an astute Italian joined them on their second journey,
stayed at Porto Santo and became Governor of the island. Christopher Columbus
came to Porto Santo in 1478 probably to see Perestrelo, also from Genoa.
Columbus met his daughter Filipa Moniz and the two were married in 1479,
but Filipa died soon after while giving birth to their son.
Santos climate is stable and dry without much change in the seasons.
So sunbathing and swimming is possible year round in pleasant temperatures.
water is limpid and clear, and natural marine landscape and wildlife remain
Porto Santos beach is renown for the therapeutic properties of its
sand, there is a special resort on the island that applies this sand in
its treatments. If its peace of mind and relaxation you require the blue
waters and calm inhabitants of Porto Santo are sure to give you just that.
Play time! Water sports naturally feature high on the islands activities.
Diving, swimming, sailing, jet ski, canoeing, water-ski, fishing and a
whole range of other features are explored to the limits in these crystal
A forest reserve has been created in Porto Santo to fight earth erosion,
with millions of trees planted. Already a large cloak of green can be
see spreading across Pico do Facho, Gandaia, Sítios dos Morenos
and Serra de Dentro.
Walking is a special treat and rare natural pleasure here. Silence and
rough landscape surround walkers as they meet cows and goats grazing on
the hill with a view to the sea. You can also take unexpected riding walks
along the hills.
Aeroplane - there are regular flights available from Madeira and
directly from Lisbon TAP (Air Portugal)
Lisbon - Porto Santo: 1h 20min
Madeira - Porto Santo: 15min
Porto Santo Airport: T. + 351 291 980120
Helicopter - you can charter flights from Funchal and back
Ferry Boat - daily rides from Madeira to Porto Santo and back.
Journey takes aprox. 2h30min
Where to stay
aren´t (luckily) many beds on the island. However you can stay in
resorts overlooking the sea, some even on the beach. Hotels
are best booked in advance to make sure you get the best price and perfect
Santos restaurants are famous for their relaxed attitude to life.
Most have local delicious specialities like meat on the spit, grilled
chicken and octopus rice.