A traditional taste of Madeira

The scenic municipality of Santana is found on the north coast of the Portuguese island of Madeira, and is probably most well known for its historic Casas Tipicas de Santana. These characterful, colourful triangular stone houses with steep thatched roofs date back to the 16th century, and were traditionally occupied by local farmers. They are still in use today, and examples can also be visited on Santana holidays in the local Madeira Theme Park.

The landscape is dominated by the lush green slopes of the Unesco World Heritage site of the Laurissilva Forest, which attracts hikers to its spectacular scenery and trails. As well as its picturesque architecture and breathtaking mountains, holidays to Santana are great for shopping and souvenirs. The area is also well known for its arts and crafts, including intricate Madeira embroidery, and for its rich agricultural production, which is best explored at one of the local farmers’ markets.

Your Santana questions, answered

The municipality of Santana lies to the north of Madeira, approximately 45 minutes from the island’s capital, Funchal. It hugs the coast, and boasts some of Madeira’s greenest spaces.

The Guindaste Viewpoint offers mesmerising views – the rocky coastal outcrop looks out to the Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day you can see the neighbouring island of Porto Santo.

Don’t miss Santana’s annual folklore festival, ‘24 Horas a Bailar’ which takes place each July. Expect brightly coloured costumes, traditional music and food, plus plenty of dancing.

Best things to do in Santana

Take a cable car

As well as providing access to the Rocha do Navio nature reserve, the Rocha do Navio cable car has panoramic views of Santana, from its picturesque houses to produce-filled fields and the Atlantic Ocean.

Soak up Madeiran culture

The Madeira Theme Park is a great way to learn more about the history, traditions and culture of this area – and Madeira as a whole.

Go for a walk

Santana boasts a whole host of scenic walks and hiking trails, including the Levada da Silveira, which passes fields, luscious green forests and lots of local flora and fauna.