About Porto Santo

Not many islands can lay claim to inspiring the discovery of new continents, but little Porto Santo can! Once home to Christopher Columbus, who married the governor of the island's daughter, it was a few pieces of handcrafted cane, washed up along the island's coastline, which are said to have sparked Columbus's curiosity.

Displaying workmanship unlike any he had seen before, he left the island for his well-documented adventures. With far less rainfall than its leafy neighbour of Madeira, life on Porto Santo centres around its glorious beach, which stretches invitingly along the length of its southern coast.


Shore excursions in Porto Santo

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Island Drive and Columbus Museum

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Soak up superb scenery, sample Porto Santo wine and visit the Columbus Museum on this wonderful tour.

Your tour begins with a scenic drive around the island, pausing at the Portela viewpoint to capture a panoramic view of the entire island and the old traditional windmills.

Continue through the island passing the areas of Serra de Fora, Serra de Dentro and Pedregal, which were all once rich agricultural areas. Enjoy a photo stop at Pico do Castelo dating back to the 15th century, this viewpoint once boasted a fort that was used as a place of refuge by the local inhabitants during attacks from pirates.

Re-board your coach and journey to a local restaurant at Campo de Cima, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample some Porto Santo wine.

Afterwards your journey takes you south to Calheta, where a brief stop will be made at this small natural port. If the weather is clear it is possible to see the whole of Madeira from here.

Upon your return to Porto Santo town, you’ll visit the Christopher Columbus Museum. This small museum is believed to have once been the home of Christopher Columbus during his marriage to Filipa Moniz, the daughter of the first governor of Porto Santo. It is thought however that Columbus left the island long before he set out on his voyages of discovery. You’ll have free time to explore the museum independently, during which you can see diagrams of the great explorers journeys, copies of 15th and 16th century maps and other artefacts from that time.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 45 minutes of walking, as well as a few steps.

Jeep Safari

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Capture the beauty of Porto Santo by 4x4 jeep and discover some of the islands hidden treasures.

Embark on a fun-filled journey by 4x4 jeep, taking you off road and through some of the best scenery on the island. During your tour, you’ll stop at some of the islands finest viewpoints, offering wonderful photo opportunities.

A highlight of your tour will be a visit to the small botanical garden, Quinta Das Palmeira, a lush, green oasis boasting a variety of tropical flora and regional fauna.

You’ll also enjoy a stop at a rural restaurant, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample a glass of Porto Santo wine.

A wonderful way to experience the island!

Essential information

This excursion will operate by 4x4 jeep and on foot. It is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions which may be affected by the bumpy ride. Pregnant women and children under 8 may not participate. It is advisable to take a light jacket with you as the temperature can be cool. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Leisurely Porto Santo

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Experience the beauty of the island of Porto Santo during a leisurely drive, followed by refreshments.

Sit back and relax onboard your coach as a scenic drive introduces you to the island of Porto Santo. Enjoy a photo stop at the Portela viewpoint, which offers a wonderful, panoramic view of the island, complete with its traditional windmills.

You scenic drive of the island continues before reaching Pico do Castelo. At 437 metres high this steep-sided volcano-shaped mountain was once a refuge for the islanders during pirate attacks. Today it is a popular spot for visitors due to the magnificent views of the island and the town below.

From here, you’ll head south to the small natural port of Calheta. Ensure to have your camera ready as you pause for photos, as on a clear day it’s possible to see the whole of Madeira from this viewpoint.

Round off your tour at a local restaurant situated by the beach. Indulge in refreshments of coffee, tea and cake whilst marvelling at the wonderful views.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. It requires minimal walking, however there are a few steps to negotiate.

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