Santa Cruz, Madeira, not to be confused with Santa Cruz, Tenerife, is arguably the most attractive area of Madeira Island. Located on the East Coast, Santa Cruz has some beautiful scenery to investigate, as well as charming towns filled with historical buildings, exquisite restaurants and plenty of sporting activities from mountain biking to scuba diving. Although, in order to try any of these, you have to leave the beach first!
The Santa Cruz area is a wonderfully unspoilt rural area, with the main towns and villages all spread along the coastline. The countryside is perfect for walking and biking holidays, with Santa Cruz holiday rentals particularly popular with visitors on a Santa Cruz mountain biking break. There are plenty of places from which you can rent a bike in Santa Cruz and eastern Madeira, so there is no need to go through the hassle of taking your own bike to Santa Cruz on the flight.
Aside from Santa Cruz mountain biking holidays, the region has really come into the tourist spot light due to the fantastic scuba diving possibilities. The staggeringly clear seas which surround the island provide divers with unrivalled visibility, especially in the Garajau Maritime Natural Park off the coast of Canico.
There is plenty of culture to enjoy to. The towns of Machico and Santa Cruz are awash with historic buildings and cultural attractions, fine local restaurants and a range of great shopping streets. The Portuguese culture is still very strong in eastern Madeira, although there is a definite hint of a Madeiran influence everywhere you look.
The regions namesake, the city of Santa Cruz is a delightfully charismatic cultural base providing an excellent place to stroll, visit one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants which call Santa Cruz home. The Santa Cruz Aquapark is a huge attraction for family holidays to Santa Cruz, and the chic beachfront promenade and seafront Lido provide plenty of entertainment if you can be tempted from the pebble beach which lines the coast.
Canico is the main beach resort in eastern Madeira, yet remains a luxurious, uncrowded haven of fine living. There are many stylish bars and restaurants in Canico, and if you are looking to take Santa Cruz accommodation to take advantage of the magnificent scuba diving, Canico is the perfect answer as it is close to the finest dive sites in Madeira as well as being filled with top quality PADI registered dive centres.
Any resident of Santa Cruz will tell you that the region has one of the best climates in the world, never getting too hot and never cold. With average temperatures of 24°C for the year, temperatures in Santa Cruz remain between 33°C and 17°C, and conditions are very rarely outside of this range. Santa Cruz is one of very few resorts that are truly a year round destination.
Madeira’s International Airport (FNC) lies just outside Santa Cruz, which makes a holiday rental villa in Santa Cruz very close indeed. easyJet, First Choice Airways, ThomsonFly and Thomas Cook Airlines all provide cheap flights to Santa Cruz from across the UK.