A quiet, cosy, pedestrian, eco-friendly place with a 9 km white sand beach is right here in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean.
With a subtropical climate, mild temperatures throughout the year and plenty of sunshine, Porto Santo is a hidden treasure within the Portuguese archipelago, making it an ideal escape from the winter blues,
A Rich History and Unique Location
Nestled among the Atlantic waves, Porto Santo was discovered in the 15th century by Portuguese explorers and holds a unique place in history as the childhood home of Christopher Columbus. The island's Christopher Columbus House Museum provides an insight into its historical connections, featuring captivating exhibits dedicated to Columbus and his time on Porto Santo.
What to do and see in Porto Santo
The island is a quiet and relaxing place for lazy days. However, when you need the blood pump to work a little harder, here are a few ideas on what to do and see when there:
Explore the island by bike
One of the best ways to discover Porto Santo is by renting a bike and cycling around the island. You can follow the coastal road that runs along the beach, or venture into the interior, where you will find scenic trails, volcanic peaks, and hidden coves.
Go out on a hike.
Hiking enthusiasts can explore the island's rugged terrain, with trails such as Pico do Facho and Ponta da Calheta offering breathtaking views.
Play golf at Porto Santo Golf
If you are a golf enthusiast, you will love playing at Porto Santo Golf, a 27-hole course designed by Spanish champion Severiano Ballesteros. The course offers spectacular views of the ocean and the mountains and challenges players of all levels with its varied terrain and obstacles. You can also enjoy the facilities of the clubhouse, which include a restaurant, a bar, a pro shop, and a spa.
The island's southern coast boasts a pristine 9-kilometer stretch of golden sandy beach, a true paradise for beach lovers. Here, you can bask in the sun, take leisurely walks, and even discover unique treasures during a beachcombing adventure.
Thrill-seekers can indulge in windsurfing and kitesurfing on Praia do Cabeço, taking advantage of consistent trade winds.
Dive into the underwater world.
Porto Santo is a paradise for divers, as it boasts a rich marine life and several shipwrecks that can be explored. You can join one of the diving centres on the island, such as Porto Santo Sub or Rhea Dive Center, and choose from different dive sites, depending on your experience and preferences.
How to get to Porto Santo
The ferry trip takes about 2.5 hours one-way and is operated by Porto Santo Line. The ferry departs from Funchal in Madeira once or twice a day, depending on the season. You can also bring your car or bike on board for an extra fee.
There are daily flights from Funchal in Madeira or Lisbon in mainland Portugal. You can also fly directly from some European cities during peak season.
Good to know
The currency used on Porto Santo is the euro (EUR).
The official language spoken on Porto Santo is Portuguese, but most people also speak English.
The time zone on Porto Santo is Western European Time (WET), which is UTC/GMT +0 hours.
The electric plugs used on Porto Santo are type C and F, with two round pins. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz.
The emergency number on Porto Santo is 112, which can be used for police, fire, or medical assistance.
The tap water on Porto Santo is safe to drink, but bottled water is also widely available.