Santana
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Santana History & Heritage

From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

1. From Funchal: Full-Day Madeira Peaks Tour by Open 4x4

Begin this full-day 4x4 tour with a pick-up at your hotel in Funchal and travel deep into the southeast of Madeira. You’ll come to Machico town and the line that divides the north and south of the island. Take in breathtaking views of the Eagles Rock from Portela. Drive down, stopping in Porto da Cruz, which is the next must-see point. Visit a sugar cane factory, continue to the Faial coastline and then up to see the typical houses of Santana. These small straw-thatched triangular houses are emblematic of Madeira and intricate in their construction. Head down into the valley and through the forest to Riveiro Frio at an elevation of 1818 meters, the third-highest peak on the Island.

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Madeira: Private Half-Day Guided Gardens Tour

2. Madeira: Private Half-Day Guided Gardens Tour

Embark on a half-day tour dedicated to the Madeira's gardens, one of the island's greatest treasures. Visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden and be impressed by its beauty and diverse culture. See traces of Portugal's history since the reign of its first king, D. Afonso Henriques. Wander through the Monte Palace, which occupies an area of 70.000 square meters and houses an exotic collection of plants from different regions in the world. Watch swans and ducks floating on the lake as well as peacocks and chickens walking freely in the main areas of the property. Visit the museum inside the palace that houses a unique collection of minerals and gems.  The tour ends in the Botanical Garden, founded in 1960 by a Madeiran Botanist. Find more than 2500 species of plants from different parts in the world, all brought together in the “Garden of the Atlantic.”

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Madeira: Private North Island Tour

3. Madeira: Private North Island Tour

Begin your tour by heading north along the old roads and admire the breathtaking scenic views of the sea along the way as you travel through north east Madeira. You will arrive at Santana next, home of the island’s famous thatched houses that have existed here for many years, having become synonymous with Madeira. Continue the tour onto Faial and stop by a local viewpoint to marvel at the majestic landscape of the valley, then head to Porto da Cruz and learn about the emblematic sugarcane mills here that are still in operation today. Visit a stunning viewpoint in Ponta de São Lourenço next and see the separation between the north and south of the island. The final stop of the tour takes you to Pico do Facho to relax in front of the incredible views across the bay of Machico, the first city of Madeira.

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Madeira: Private Half-Day North East Island Tour

4. Madeira: Private Half-Day North East Island Tour

Following a pickup from your accommodation in either Funchal, Canico, Machico or Santa Cruz, head to the first stop of the day, Faial. From this local viewpoint, marvel at the majestic landscape of the valley with its green hills and blue oceans. You will also see the rock of Penha de Águia. Continue the tour rising 900 meters above sea level to visit Das Queimadas Park in Santana, home of the island’s famous thatched houses that have existed here for many years, having become synonymous with Madeira. You will then head further north along the old roads and admire the breathtaking scenic views along the way as you travel through Vigia and Cabanas.

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From Funchal or Caniço: North Madeira 4x4 Adventure Tour

5. From Funchal or Caniço: North Madeira 4x4 Adventure Tour

Embark on an unforgettable 4x4 tour to the north side of Madeira and see for yourself why some consider it to be the best part of the island. Take off from Funchal or Caniço and visit villages, a local rum company, typical houses, and more. Start your journey toward Santa Cruz to visit the village’s center. Continue to Porto da Cruz and visit the historic Companhia dos Engenhos do Norte, a local rum production company. Learn about the glorious past of sugar production on the island. Visit Santana next. Visit the typical culm ceiling houses known as Casinhas de Santana (Santana’s little houses). Travel through an alternative route to reach São Jorge while passing by the breathtaking Boca das Voltas Viewpoint. Depart towards Arco de São Jorge and get time for lunch (not included). Continue through the north coast, driving on regional roads with views over the ocean. Pass Boaventura, Ponta Delgada, and São Vicente, and stop for short visits before the end of the tour. 

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Madeira: Santana Traditional Houses Private Half-Day Tour

6. Madeira: Santana Traditional Houses Private Half-Day Tour

Thatched houses are remnants of primitive buildings made of wood and thatch. The use of these materials, especially wood, was due to their abundance and, at the time, how easy to purchase and affordable they were. The cultivation of cereals, such as wheat and rye, allowed the use of straw (thatch) to cover the housing. These ingredients were also used in flour to sustain the local population.   Visit some of the local houses and discover their history. Experience how the Madeiran people used to live in houses up to 240 years old.  Visit the Queimadas park and have a look at the ancient forest, the Laurissilva. Take home a typical house souvenir so you can remember this amazing day.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Santana

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What people are saying about Santana

This was my best tour trip I have ever had. It’s very adventurous and José was spectacular as our guide. He would randomly stop in several places and show us the plants and fruit grown around the island. The people in the group were also great and I was very lucky to be in this tour with exactly these people. Lots of laughs, fun and the views were breathtaking. Thank you so very much for the wonderful time. I shall never forget this!

it is a great way to get up the high peaks.. very scenic stop offs.. Mr Leno our guide was knowledgeable and very informative. also cracking a few jokes along the way.. highly recommended.

Fantastic in all ways, really recommend this trip! One full day of adventure, & we were lucky to experience all kind of weather & different climate zone.

Top Erlebnis, die alten Straßen von Madeira Offroad zu befahren. Viele Sehenswürdigkeiten und auch "lokale" Stops Abseits der Tourimassen.

Simply great! Beautiful landscapes, nice company…everything went perfect!