The island of Porto Santo in contrast to its much larger neighbour Madeira boasts a 9km sandy beach.
In a previous article we featured The Azores today we would like to tell you about another Portuguese hidden gem the beautiful tiny island of Porto Santo, originally discovered by the Portuguese in 1418 is only some 12km long and only 6km wide.
First settled by farmers and fisherman who’s trades have now almost died out, apart from a little fishing, the island now relies on the increasing tourist trade for its income with almost all food and goods being imported.
Once the home of Christopher Columbus who’s house is now a museum in this honour the island is enjoying a rise in popularity. traditionally Porto Santo was a holiday spot for the wealthy Madeiran‘s today you are just as likely to bump into the odd celebrity or football star.
What to do on Porto Santo
Most people come to Porto Santo to enjoy the peace and quiet and its 9 km sandy beach which is located on the south coast of the island. The north is somewhat rockier and ideal for a rambler or a keen cyclist (bikes can be hired locally) to explore.
The island boasts a new 18 hole golf course over 6,434 metres, with a par of 72, which was designed by Severiano Ballesteros, it stretches all across the island from the cliffs in the North to the dunes of the South.
Other sporting activities available include diving, horse riding, canoeing, jet skies, water skiing and fishing including big game fishing which is a popular draw for many to the island.
Sightseeing and shopping is available if you should need a break from the beach and the sports, with a range of things to see and do and a few souvenirs to buy in the shops of the main town of Vila Baleira.
There is a range of bars and clubs on the island for those looking for a more lively end to the day, that can get quite busy especially at the weekend during the summer. There is also a fair selection of restaurants offering a range of cuisine from typical local dishes to international fine dining.
Accommodation on Porto Santo
The number of hotels has expanded in resent years and more are planned. There are a couple of quality establishments and also all inclusive at the 5 star Pestana Porto Santo Resort and Spa a large family hotel located right on the beach. If you looking for something a little more traditional then there is Hotel Quinta do Serrado or if your prefer self catering there is the Aparthotel Luamar.
How do you get to Porto Santo?
It is now possible to fly direct from London Gatwick to Porto Santo with Thomsom’s flights operate from May to October on a Monday. At other times you can get to the island via Madeira which is served by direct flights from many UK and European airports. You will then have to connect on either one of the two daily flights from Funchal or a ferry (portosantoline.pt) which takes two and a half hours and operates every day except Tuesday. If you opt for the ferry or your flights do not match in, you may have to overnight in Madeira or why not even make your visit a two centre holiday.
Where is Porto Santo?
Porto Santo is located in the Atlantic Ocean some 37 miles northeast of Madeira and 560 miles southwest of Lisbon, the nearest mainland is the coast of Morocco in North Africa.
Whats the Weather like in Porto Santo?
The Atlantic winds have a cooling effect on the climate year round and best time to visit Porto Santo is between May and October when day time highs start from 20c and hit 25c during July and August. The winter months are a little cooler and are somewhat wetter with an average temperature of 17c, which by Northern European standards is still very pleasant for those seeking a little winter warmth.
If you would like to know more about holidays to Porto Santo or would like a no obligation quote please feel free to contact us