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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Santana

Santana, Portugal

Nestled in the north of Madeira is the traditional town of Santana. With captivating hiking trails on one side and the glinting allure of the Atlantic on the other, Santana is the best of both worlds where guests can indulge in refreshing afternoon dips or long, enchanting walks through untouched nature on their Santana holiday. Oozing with rustic charm, this town is a picturesque step back from the hustle and bustle of central Madeira and offers guests a peaceful taste of coastal life.

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Explore the Parque Tematico de Santana

Lying among the rolling greenery of Santana, perhaps unexpectedly, is the Parque Tematico de Santana. This unique theme park is aimed at children and younger guests, providing a fun and immersive snapshot into traditional Madeiran life. The park is overflowing with activity and even features four themed pavilions where visitors can discover the island, traditional garments such as the gorro de orelhas or even the Monte train replica. For the more adventurous guests, there is plenty to do from wall climbing to cable sliding and even bungee jumping! After all of that excitement there are two restaurants on site where guests can fill up before hitting the shops and heading out to discover more on their holidays in Santana.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Portuguese
  • GMT - None

Casas Tripcas de Santana

Arguably one of Santana's most beautiful spots can be found in the Casas Tripcas de Santana. Located in the centre of Santana, just by the city hall, this beautifully preserved area of cultural heritage is known for its quaint rustic homes, renowned for their colourful rustic styles. These triangular-shaped homes stand out with their thatched roofs and splashes of red, blue and white exteriors, hinting at a bright history. Surrounded by well-coifed greenery, the main Casas Tripcas de Santana even features a market selling local fares and souvenirs, allowing visitors to bring a piece of the Casas back home.

Dance all day at the 24 Horas Bailar

Every July, Santana hosts a one-of-a-kind event, the 24 Horas Bailar, which literally translates to '24 hours to dance'. This is a folklore festival, centred, of course, around dancing. The 24 hours are filled with laughter, music and a range of different dancing shows. Teams and groups are invited from around the world to perform here, each showcasing different styles and themes, dancing through the filled streets of Santana. Guests are invited to enjoy this spectacular feat under both the sun and stars.

Levada Walks

Holidays to Santana go beyond the municipality and there is much more of Madeira on offer close by. One of the best ways to discover the true beauty of the island is on one of the Levada walks, choosing which one however, can be a difficult task! These paths take visitors through the green serenity of the Madeiran wilds. These can wind through the woods, skirt by lagoons, lakes and spectacular waterfalls. The serene landscapes are a must-see, surrounding visitors with tranquil natural beauty. The Levada's range in length and difficulty, with some, such as the Lavada da Ribeira da Janela, winding 30km including nine tunnels, and river trekking – definitely not for the faint of heart but well worth those stunning views.

Sample local rum at the Engenhos do Norte

Located just 11km outside of Sunny Santana is where guests will find the Engenhos do Norte (North Hills Distillery). This free-to-visit attraction is in fact a steam-powered rum distillery. Guests are free to explore and discover this enchanting place which highlights the importance of sugar cane within the Madeiran region. Information is clearly displayed around the site, next to barrels of ageing rum and various stills, providing a wealth of knowledge into how the process is completed. Of course, no rum tour would be complete without a taste, and guests have plenty to choose from, as well as bottles to buy and take home.

Santana is a wonderful escape, perfectly placed among the spoils of Madeira which offers a true island getaway. Sea breezes and beachfront restaurants permeate the air with the alluring scent of traditional, fresh Madeiran fare. There's bustling nightlife, hidden clubs and casinos. You'll also be seduced by the setting: a sandy, peaceful backdrop from which to enjoy the stars as they melt into the Atlantic horizon, Santana has everything to make delightful holidays to Madeira.