Porto Santo is a Portuguese island that belongs to the archipelago of Madeira, which is located about 40 kilometers north-east from Porto Santo.
It is located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, west of Europe and Africa. The island itself is small, and it takes a little bit more than half an hour to go through the island. It is a popular tourist destination, especially because several hotels have been built on the island since the second half of the last century.
Porto Santo features a golf course with 18 holes, attracting numerous golf lovers. However, the main attractions of the island are its stunning long, sandy beaches, located on the southern coast of the island, where the weather is mild and temperate all year long.
Porto Santo is a small and dry island; besides its beautiful beach located on its southern coast, it doesn’t offer too many things to see.
However, those who wish to spend the day in a different way or are interested in cultural and historical attractions, will enjoy a visit to the house of Christopher Columbus and learn more about the great Portuguese discoveries and admire some historical relics like maps, navigation tools, portraits, and other works of art. The house is located in the center of Vila Baleira.
Christopher Columbus got married in Porto Santo and spent part of his life here.
Vila Baleira is also home to the Igreja Matriz, also known as the Mother Church, which was built in 1430 and sacked in 1556 by the French buccaneers. Today it is still possible to admire some paintings by Martin Conrad and Max Romer.
The Paços do Concelho, that is to say the City Hall of Porto Santo. The building dates back to the 16th century and since then it was used as a city hall and a prison.
If you want to see some natural beauty, you can’t miss the way down to Pico Castelo, where there is a panoramic terrace located 437 meters above sea level from where you can enjoy a great view over Vila Baleira and the rest of Porto Santo. It is also interesting to visit the Miradouro dos Flores, which is located in the western area of the island, not too far from the golf course.
The highest hill of Porto Santo is Pico da Facho, with its 516 meters of height. There is a circular walking path that offers an amazing view over the island. At the top of the hill there is a beautiful panoramic point, which can be reached on foot or by taxi.
There is only one beach in Porto Santo. The beach stretches for about 7 kilometers along the southern coast of the island.
The beach stretches from Ponta da Calhet to the southern tip of the island and ends with the Porto Santo Naval Club, about 7 kilometers towards north-east.
It is a magnificent island with fine and golden sand and the beautiful clean waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the beach is free, although some areas are equipped with sun umbrellas and beds, especially the areas near hotels, bars, and restaurants.
The northern and eastern coasts of Port Santo are basically inaccessible; high and rocky, there are no ways into the sea and they can’t even be visited by boat due to the strong currents flowing through this area of the Ocean.
We can’t really describe Porto Santo as the mecca for clubs and nightlife. It is a small and intimate destination suitable for couples or high end travellers. However, on summer time it can still be fun. Head to Vila Baleira, where there are some beach bars and clubs.
Among others, Tia Maria is one of the most active and popular nigh bars in Porto Santo, the perfect place where to spend a long summer night under the stars. About clubs, Challenger, located in the new area of O Penedo do Sono, often hosts international DJs.
Last but not least, in the center of Vila Baleira there is Taberna do Inferno, which attracts a clientele over 30s, offering some very good music.
It is also worth to mention that many tourists visiting Porto santo stay at hotels and residences, spending the night away among music, entertainment shows, and folk nights.
Vila Baleira is the largest town of Porto Santo. It is the main town around the area and it offers all the main services such as supermarkets, drugstores, shops, as well as a long sandy beach overlooking the city center.
The concrete pier enters the sea for a hundred meters, giving the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent view of the island’s profile. It is the perfect place for an evening stroll.
Hotels in Vila Baleira are mostly small structures, guesthouses, or boutique hotels. You will need to move a few kilometers to find big structures with swimming pool and other facilities.
Along the coastal line that connects Vila Baleira to Cabeco Da Ponta there are numerous hotels on the beach, often preferred by customers who wish to enjoy all the comforts and an all-inclusive experience.
Staying along the coast is the perfect solution for those who want to enjoy a calm and relaxing holiday overlooking a crystal clean oceanic beach view.
Camacha is the closest village to the airport. It is located inland, almost in the mountains. The closest coast to Camacha is the northern coast, which is high and rocky.
Staying in Camacha is the perfect solution for those who want to dive into Porto Santo’s nature, or for those who need to enjoy some rest upon arrival to the island or before flying back home.
Porto Santo airport is the main entrance gate to the island. It opened its doors in 1959 and began bigger and bigger thanks to the advent of tourism. The runway is 3-kilometer-long and in 1995 a new terminal was built.
In order to reach Porto Santo by airplane, Tap Portugal offers flights from Lisbon, while Binter Canarias connects Porto Santo to Madeira. These are the only flight connections operating all year long; however, there are several charter companies organizing flights to Porto Santo, especially on summer time.
Alternatively, it is possible to reach Porto Santo by boat from Madeira; ferries leave from Funchal and take about one hour to reach Vila Baleira. Return tickets are about 50 euro, according to the time of the year.
What's the weather at Porto Santo? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Porto Santo for the next few days.