Holidaymakers looking for an idyllic island retreat won’t be disappointed by the beautiful island of Porto Santo. Located 23 miles to the north east of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean, this Portuguese territory has plenty of interesting things for tourists to do. Here visitors will find numerous different places to stay including self catering accommodation, villas and apartments.
Porto Santo is a great spot for families and sunbathers with a long sandy beach stretching over nine kilometres from Vila Baleira to Ponta de Calheta. The sands here are said to have healing qualities. The island is quite flat so there are not too many peaks to climb for hikers, although there are many pleasant walks to be found. The best way to get around this small island is to hire a bike as it is only 11 kilometres long and 7 kilometres wide.
The sea is warm enough to swim in for much of the year and game fishing is very popular in the clear waters here. Watersports are offered here too including canoeing, rowing, sailing, jet-ski, water skiing, windsurfing and kite surfing. An 18-hole golf course designed by Severiano Ballesteros stretches across the island and there is also a driving range and a nine-hole pitch and putt.
There are a few restaurant, bars and cafes on the island serving specialities such as meat on the spit, grilled chicken and octopus rice. The island has plenty of lively places for the evenings with Penedo do Sono offering restaurants, bars and clubs open until late. Shops are limited but there are a couple of supermarkets for self catering holidaymakers to stock up on food and drink.
There are a small number of places to visit on the island should visitors need a break from sunbathing or sporting activities. Attractions here include Quinta das Palmeiras, which features exotic plants and birds. Meanwhile Casa Museu Cristovao and Cardina Museum are other interesting places for that rare rainy day.
A ferry takes passengers to Funchal in Madeira and back each day. There are many shops and markets in Funchal as well as restaurants. A cable car takes visitors to the top of the mountain where there are some beautiful gardens to wander around, not to mention spectacular views.
As with much of Europe the hottest time of year on Porto Santo is July and August with an average temperature of approximately 23 to 24 degrees centigrade. During this period there are about eight hours of sunshine per day. Porto Santo experiences very little temperature fluctuation during the year. Rainfall on the island is much less than on neighbouring Madeira.
There are direct flights to the island of Porto Santo from Funchal, Lisbon and London-Gatwick. Alternatively visitors can take a flight to Funchal, the Madeira capital, which has flights to and from more cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Manchester, Munich and Paris as well as several other cities. A ferry carries passengers once a day from Funchal to Porto Santo.