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

Porto Santo

Porto Santo Holidays

The tiny, idyllic island of Porto Santo is the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway in tranquil surroundings. You can enjoy the easy pace, stroll along miles of untouched golden beaches and practice your swing at the superb golf course.

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A tranquil island

Porto Santo is one of the group of small islands which make up the Madeira archipelago. It was first discovered in the 15th century by Portuguese sailors and remains a quiet island with a slightly wild, largely untouched landscape.

You'll find an easy-going feel here and warm, friendly locals, making holidays to Porto Santo a great choice whether you're travelling with the kids, friends or a partner. With everything you'll need within easy reach, all you'll have to do is relax and enjoy.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Portuguese
  • Approx 5,000
  • GMT - None

Quiet stretches of golden sand

The island has over nine kilometres of golden beaches, the majority of which are on the south coast. The calm water at the shoreline are perfect for lazy days spent sunbathing, swimming and paddling. The volcanic sands here are also renowned for their therapeutic qualities, adding to the restorative benefits of your visit.

The most popular beach on the island is the broad sandy stretch of Porto Santo beach. You can spend some quiet time here with a good book and your iPod, or take the kids for some relaxed family time splashing about in the water, sunbathing and perhaps having a picnic. There's also a good selection of watersports available if you feel like being more active.

If you're looking for a more secluded spot, there are even quieter areas to the north of the island. Or, you can head to Praia da Calheta on the west of the island – which is the place to go for spectacular sunset views.

Everything you’ll need within easy reach

Porto Santo holidays are all about rest and rejuvenation. It really is a tiny island – at less than 11 kilometres long and under six kilometres wide. You'll quickly become familiar with your surroundings, leaving you more time to just sit back, unwind and enjoy your holiday.

As well as relaxing, there's still plenty to see and do during your stay. You can explore the interior of the island, either on foot or on horseback. There are also nature treks and coastal trails which will give you the chance to get a closer look at the natural beauty of the landscape.

The island's only town

The only town on the island, in Vila Baleira there are restaurants where you'll find delicious fresh fish and seafood cuisine, as well as several bars around the O Penedo do Sono port area. There are also plenty of places to enjoy some shopping and browse for locally crafted goods and souvenirs.

The island's most famous former resident is Christopher Columbus, who lived here with his family prior to discovering America. A Christopher Columbus Museum is located in Vila Baleira housing artefacts, historical maps and paintings.

In September Vila Baleira hosts a lively three day Christopher Columbus Festival in his honour – so you can join the fun and spectacle if you're visiting at the time.

If you're not taking advantage of our great range of Porto Santo All Inclusive holidays, you'll be pleased to know that this is also a popular destination for day trip visitors at the weekends. This brings a friendly bustle to Porto Santo beach and adds vibrancy to the nightlife centred around the O Penedo do Sono port area.

Ideal location for golfing holidays

Porto Santo is the ideal base for golfing holidays, with Porto Santo Golf Club and Course a must-visit attraction. It has a newly constructed course, designed by golf champion Severiano Ballesteros. This is a dramatic expanse which stretches right across the island and includes rolling dunes and angular basalt cliffs.

The course has 18 holes over 6,434 metres, with a par of 72. It also features two distinct zones. One zone is the South Course which offers golfing in the American style with lakes scattered about and a long game where precision is required. The other zone is the North Course, which offers play along spectacular clifftops. There's also a driving range and a nine-hole pitch and putt course, ideal for practising precision shots.

Between games you can relax and socialise in the luxurious clubhouse and gaze at the views over the island and out to sea. The clubhouse has a wide range of facilities including a bar, restaurant, sauna, hot tub and shop for all your golfing needs.