Thought that Madeira was just one island? Madeira is a group of islands and one of them will delight those in love with kilometric sandy beaches: Porto Santo.

Originally the main island of Madeira is volcanic and did not have any beach. So recently, two small artificial beaches have been built on the main island to allow residents and visitors to get to the sea. Locals and tourists go on cruise to Porto Santo and enjoy the “kilometric” beach.

Porto Santo is also known for the therapeutic properties of its sand (we recommend the hotel “Hotel & Spa Porto Santo”) and its famous golf course, ranked among the finest in the world.

Porto Santo is a surprising, charming and captivating island, a small paradise lost in the ocean with only 5,000 inhabitants. A large part of that small island is even deserted and if you have the opportunity to visit it, you will see the house of the last implacable person who lives in the only house in the East of the island, Ingrid, a German lady in love with peace and tranquillity.

One single day in Porto Santo and you will enjoy the beach, golf, but also many sport activities. The most beautiful moment in the journey is certainly the discovery of the island of Porto Santo upon your Ferry arrival and the discovery of the main island of Madeira on your way back. Those moments will put you in the skin of the great explorers who successively discovered those beautiful islands.

Want to get to Porto Santo? One solution: the boat! It is not very fast (2 hours), the departure is at dawn (08:00 am). And the fastest solution is the with a plane.

Ways to Get to Porto Santo

Porto Santo 1-Day Cruise and Tour from Funchal:

Depart Funchal and cruise to Porto Santo, the northernmost and easternmost of the islands in the Madeira archipelago. Cross by ferry to the harbor in Porto Santo, where a vehicle will be waiting to take you on a 2.5-hour guided tour of the island.

Travel by comfortable minibus or bus, depending on the size of your group and visit many scenic viewpoints for breathtaking views of the south bay and mountains of the north coast. See landmarks such as Calheta, the gardens and zoo of the Quinta das Palmeiras, the summit of Pico do Castelo, the rustic Casa da Serra and the Miradouro da Portela lookout.

Experience the everyday life of the island and its people before returning to the harbor at Porto Santo for the ferry crossing back to Madeira Island.

Porto Santo Day Trip by Plane:

It’s a quick 25-minute flight from Funchal before you’ll be off discovering the island of Porto Santo. An introductory bus tour will be first, where you’ll skirt below the jagged peaks of the north and edge through areas dotted with windmills that were once used for agriculture. During the journey, you’ll head to viewpoints with all-encompassing panoramas of Porto Santo’s distinctive landscape, especially the idyllic beaches of the south.

Lunch will then be served at a beachside restaurant before you’re dropped off in the main town of Vila Baleira. Visit Christopher Columbus’s House or take yourself off to the fine sandy beach for a swim during some free time. Afterwards, you’ll be picked up in time to catch your flight back to Funchal.

Partial Source text: EuropeanBestDestinations