Porto Santo

Welcome to Porto Santo, a beautiful island located just off the coast of Portugal. Known for its stunning beaches, clear blue waters, and laidback vibe, this island is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a relaxed tropical getaway. Here is our Lonely Planet-style visitor guide to Porto Santo:

Getting There:
The easiest way to get to Porto Santo is by flying from Lisbon or Madeira. Flights run daily and take approximately 2 hours. Alternatively, you can also take a ferry from Funchal, which takes around 2 ½ hours.

Things to Do:
1. Explore the Beautiful Beaches: Porto Santo is known for its 9 km golden sand beach, one of the most beautiful in Europe. The water is crystal clear, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You can also rent loungers and umbrellas.

2. Visit the Casa-Museu Cristóvão Colombo: Discover the story behind Christopher Columbus who lived on the island and married a local woman. The museum displays maps, interactive exhibits and Columbus’ personal letters, his lifetime achievements, and the island's history.

3. Go Hiking: There are many walking and hiking trails on the island. One of the most popular is the Pico do Castelo trail, which takes you to the highest point on the island and offers breathtaking views of the surroundings.

4. Rent a Bike: The island is small enough for you to easily explore by bike. There is a range of bike rental options available throughout the town.

5. Taste the Local Delicacies: Porto Santo is known for its fresh seafood, especially limpets, a local shellfish delicacy. Other local specialties include the bolo do caco (a type of bread) and the regional wine.

Where to Stay:
The island has a range of accommodations to suit all budgets. One of the most popular hotels is the Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & Spa, which is located right on the beach and offers excellent amenities. Alternatively, you can choose one of the many charming guesthouses or self-catering options on the island.

Getting Around:
The island is small, which makes getting around relatively easy. You can rent bikes, scooters or cars to explore the island at your own pace. Alternatively, local buses run regularly throughout the island.

Porto Santo is a Portuguese gem, offering visitors a pleasant, laidback atmosphere, excellent beaches, and some fascinating history. With its excellent accommodations, food, and activities, it’s no wonder this island is considered one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets.

The following resorts are available in Porto Santo: