If sun, sea and – most importantly – sand are top of your holiday agenda, book a holiday to Porto Santo. This tiny Portuguese island’s calling card is a 9-kilometre beach.
Porto Santo’s like a starlet teetering on the brink of worldwide fame. There’s a hum of excitement about the island at the moment, and you get the impression it’s a destination tipped for big things. Strangely enough, though, you’d be hard-pressed to find it on a map. Measuring up at just 11 kilometres by 6, it’s little more than a speck just north of Madeira.
Without doubt, the thing everyone’s talking about is the main beach. It starts near the capital, Vila Baleira, and runs all the way to Ponta da Calheta. So what you end up with is nine kilometres of soft, golden sand. And it doesn’t stand alone as the only beach – the island is ringed by hidden bays and secret coves, lots of which are set up for watersports, like diving and deep-sea fishing.
As for Vila Baleira, like everywhere else on the island, its pulse is set to slow. You’re looking at a huddle of whitewashed houses, a handful of standout sights, and some nice little pavement cafés. On weekends, an influx of visitors from Madeira – a ferry ride away – livens things up. Keep your eyes peeled for one Madeiran you might recognise – footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo. Porto Santo is his favourite holiday playground.
Super-sized sandsPorto Santo’s gigantic beach is its crowning glory – it’s wide, sandy and unravels for a massive 10 kilometres. And it’s not just a pretty face either. It’s got healing properties, too – apparently, it’s been scientifically proven that the sands here ease aches and pains, and even speed up the healing of broken bones. So don’t be surprised if you spot people burying themselves in the soft stuff.
Here’s a little taste of what’s on offer. For more excursion ideas, speak to your Holiday Advisor.
Fonte de Areia
Put a proper spring in your step with a visit to the small village of Fonte de Areia. Meaning ‘spring in the sand’, the locals believe the bubbly springs here have healing properties. Not that you need any excuse – this is all about max relaxation.
Take some time out from the shores and explore this petite capital’s other attractions. Tradition is the order of the day here, with shops selling embroidery and leatherwork and authentic family-run restaurants. This is also where Christopher Columbus met his wife - the governor's daughter – and his stone house is now a museum with paintings, maps and engravings.
Catching a ferry over to Madeira’s 15th-century capital is a cinch. You can get a proper shopping fix in its smart designer boutiques, check out the 16th-century cathedral or admire Bird of Paradise blooms at the flower market. There are plenty of colonial-style buildings and black basalt churches to snap, too.
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The prices above are automated and display the best price for the criteria shown. Prices can change at any time. The price you see when you click through from an offer will show the live availability and price. Online discount applies to the basic adult cost before supplements and only applies to brochured package holidays that are featured in either the First Choice or Skytours brochures. Online discount does not apply to cruises, flight only, flight+hotel bookings or accommodation only. Online discount is not applicable when there is a free child place.
Kids go free this summer. This offer is excluded from the First Choice Summer Sale Brochure. Free kids places are available in selected hotels and apartments only and are subject to availability, only 1 free child per room/apartment with 2 full paying adults, other children must pay the full brochure price.
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