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Porto Santo, the lovely golden Island of Madeira

Porto Santo is a beautiful island which is situated at the north eastern part of Madeira Island. The small exotic island of Porto Santo lies approximately 27 miles northeast of the Madeira Island coast. This island has a very unique geography because of the artistic combination of slopes and plains. The north east part is decorated by mountains, slopes, rocky cliffs and towering edges. The Pico de Facho with its 500 meters is the highest peak of the island. On the other hand, the south western part is adorned by graceful plains which run continuously to the white sand shores. Porto Santo has a beautiful 5 miles long sandy beach in the southwest ("Praia Dourada"). Porto Santo is also called "the golden island" because of this. The largest city (capital) is Vila Baleira.

Aside from the wondrous geography of this place, tourists are lured to visit Porto Santo because of the pleasant climate which goes on all year round. There are a lot of opportunities to bask under the sun and just enjoy the gentle breeze as it kisses the skin. On an average, the highest recorded temperature is about 25 °C on months of August and September. The lowest is about 13.1 °C which can be experienced during January to March. This temperate climate in Porto Santo is perfect for outdoor exploration and activities. If you like a quite holiday you better avoid Porto Santo in August (at least the beach area) as the youth of Madeira come to the island to party!

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windmolen porto santo

Beaches of Porto Santo

Holidays in Porto Santo is not complete without enjoying the blissful water and the serene shores. Within Europe, this is considered as one of the more tranquil beaches because it has maintained a peaceful atmosphere and the cleanliness is well-maintained.  

The sparkling, cool water of the sea is decorated by the shores which spread up to 9 kilometers. Both tourists and locals just could not refuse not to rest their wary minds on the shores because of the soft, white sand. The shore is also where some hotels, resorts, restaurants and café can be found.       

Vila Baleira

Vila Baleira is the urbane part of Porto Santo Madeira. This is where most locals find their permanent residence and it is also preferred by tourists who would like to explore more places in this island. Yes, this spot is also where a lot of commercial establishments can be found like restaurants and shops. During Friday and Saturday nights, this place transforms into an enthralling hotspot for partying.

Vila Baleira has also made a significant mark in history. This is known to be the hometown of Christopher Columbus. Hence, the museum which is dedicated to him stands in this location too.


People who travel to Porto Santo often find themselves not having enough time to do everything that they want. Indeed, a day or two might not be sufficient because there are so many exciting things to do here.

Of course, enjoying the majestic beach should be on top of the list. Aside from dipping into the water, playing with the splashing waves and embracing the warm sunshine, the shores also present plenty of dining spots.

Also for a golf vacantion you should come to Porto Santo. The island has the largest golf course of Madeira called "Porto Santo Golfe". The course was designed by Spanish golf champion Ballosteros. The golf complex has both an 18 hole and a 9 hole course (pitch & putt). In 2009, the Madeira Islands Open, which is a part of the European tour, was held here.

Travelling to Porto Santo

Getting to this island does not have to be so inconvenient. There is an international airport here called the Porto Santo Airport (PXO) which has regular flights to Madeira Airport. Usually, Porto Santo Airport handles domestic flights to nearby cities like Oporto, Faro, Lisbon and Ponta Delgada. There are few occasions though when direct international flights from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, England and Belgium are accommodated.    

Porto Santo is ideal for a lovely beach- or daytrip from Madeira. Porto Santo is easily reached by ferry from the port of Funchal (approximately 2 hours away) or by plane from Funchal airport (approximately 20 minute flight).
What to do in Porto Santo:

• Largo do Pelourinho in Cidade do Porto Santo is the town hall: A beautiful 16th century town hall
• Museum Casa-Museu Chistovão Colombo: on (exploration of) Columbus.
• Igreja Nossa Senhora da Piedade: 17th century church
• further at Porto Santo you can bike, snorkel, dive, surf, do horseback riding and golf.. or just relax and enjoy the fine climate…

Porto Santo tourist office
Centro de Artesanato
Av. Dr. Manuel Gregório Pestana Júnior
9400-171 Porto Santo
Phone: (+351) 291 985 189

Informative video about Porto Santo from the Travel Channel:


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