Santana
Meet the Locals

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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.

East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Typical Houses

2. East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Typical Houses

Discover more of Madeira with a 4x4 excursion to the eastern part of the island. Travel from Funchal to see sights like Pico do Areeiro peak and Ponta de São Lourenço natural reserve. See how rum is made with a visit to a sugar cane factory. Be picked up from your hotel in Funchal and drive to the Pico do Areeiro to see the views from the third highest peak on the island. Continue to the charming Ribeiro Frio village. Take a leisurely walk to Balcões viewpoint in the lush heart of the Laurissilva forest. Jump back in the jeep and drive through São Roque do Faial parish, Cruzinhas viewpoint, and the mountain village of Lombo Galego. Take the off-road trail Cova da Roda. Pass through Pico das Pedras right in the middle of the Ponta de São Lourenço reserve. Head towards Santana, where you can go get lunch. Visit the Porto da Cruz sugarcane rum factory. Finish with panoramic views of the Atlantic at the reserve.

Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

3. Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

Head out from Funchal on a full-day tour of Madeira’s north-east. Leaving the town behind, stop in São Vicente, and take in amazing 360-degree views. Marvel at the contrast of colors from the vineyards. Enjoy a drive along serpentine roads and through forests. Discover the unique scenery of the area from an open-top 4X4 vehicle. Before lunch, visit a water mill and see the traditional thatched houses of Santana. Stop to enjoy lunch in idyllic surroundings, and later visit a sugar cane and rum factory, where you can taste the local rum. Finish your tour in Caniçal, where you’ll have spectacular views of Ponta São Lourenço – the eastern part of the island.

From Funchal: Santana and Pico do Areeiro East Island Tour

4. From Funchal: Santana and Pico do Areeiro East Island Tour

Explore the wonders of Madeira on this guided minibus trip from Funchal to the east side of the island. Visit Camacha, Pico do Areeiro, Ribeiro Frio, Faial, Machico, and more. Enjoy a long stop in the village of Santana to see local life and have time for lunch. Enjoy a great start to the tour by visiting Camacha, one of the most rural and rustic villages in Madeira where folklore is still hugely in practice. Camacha makes Madeira world-renowned for its industry of wicker and cane. The next stop is Pico do Areeiro, the third highest peak on the island with an altitude of 1818 m, where you can take in unbeatable 360-degree island views. Often, rocky formations can be seen to be piercing through the clouds creating one-of-a-kind visuals and photo opportunities. Next, move on to Ribeiro Frio (meaning cold river). Ribeiro Frio is a small village situated in the heart of the Laurissilva forest. It is the largest surviving area of laurel forest in the world and is believed to be 90% primary forest. In this classified UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, you can enjoy a variety of plants and species in their natural habitat. Get the chance to also observe a trout farm made up (as naturally as possible) of stone enclosures and fresh flowing levada water, set against a backdrop of pure nature. The tour continues to Faial, where you can view the imposing rock of Penha de Águia, which separates Faial from Porto da Cruz. With a lengthy stop at the village of Santana next, you will have ample time for lunch and to see Madeira’s world-famous typical thatched roved triangular houses, painted in happy primary colors. Pass by Portela en route to Ponta São Lourenço, which is situated in the most eastern part of the island. Take in the unique landscape characterized by the fantastic combination of rocks, sea, and nature. Your final stop is the larger city of Machico, the first area of the Island that the Portuguese navigators came across. Later, return round-trip to your pickup location in Funchal. 

Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Old Forest Safari Tour with Pico Arieiro

5. Madeira: Jeep 4x4 Old Forest Safari Tour with Pico Arieiro

Explore Madeira Island in a unique and active way on this Land Rover 4x4 trip. Prepare to see breathtaking views, visit hidden places that you can’t reach by yourself, and collect memories you’ll never forget. Visit the Laurissilva Forest and Pico do Arieiro. Start your trip by departing from Funchal in the direction of Camacha Village, where you can visit the basketwork factory. Then, continue through Vale Paraíso towards Poiso with an altitude of 1412 meters. Climb through the mountains to Pico do Arieiro, Madeira’s third-highest peak at a height of 1,818 meters. This is one of the most beautiful places in Madeira, with unbeatable views of the island. Stay here for a while and walk around. Later, descend to Ribeiro Frio and reach the Laurissilva Forest to visit the trout nursery. Continue the adventure along old paths passing Cedro Gordo and Cruzinhas until you reach the Village de Santana where you’ll get to visit the typical straw houses (colmo). After this stop, descend to the village of Faial with views down to the sea, then continue towards Ponta de São Lourenço in the east of Madeira. This part of the Island is much drier and arid, but with a unique beauty due to its cliffs and colors. End your trip with drop-off back in Funchal.

From Funchal: Madeira Island Private Jeep 4x4 Tour

6. From Funchal: Madeira Island Private Jeep 4x4 Tour

Discover the best of Madeira Island with this Jeep safari tour. Customize the route to see the Sea, Mountains, Cliffs, and Laurissilva Forest (North-East part of the island). Leave Funchal in the direction of the village da Camacha where you can visit the basketwork factory. Continue through Vale Paraíso towards Poiso with an altitude of 1412m and climb through the mountains to Pico do Arieiro at a height of 1818m for mesmerizing panoramic views. Then, descend to Ribeiro Frio in the Laurissilva Forest and visit the trout nursery. Continue your adventure along old paths passing Cedro Gordo and Cruzinhas until you reach the Village de Santana to explore the typical straw houses (Colmo). Descend to the village of Faial for amazing views down to the sea and then continue towards Ponta de São Lourenço in the east of Madeira. Finish off with a transfer back to Funchal.

Madeira: Santana Traditional Houses Private Half-Day Tour

7. 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.

Madeira: Levada Calheta to Prazeres Private Walking Tour

8. Madeira: Levada Calheta to Prazeres Private Walking Tour

Stroll across the paths of Levada Calheta and Prazeres and discover a variety of plant species. Take in amazing views of the surrounding landscape along the way. Begin in Calheta with a stroll along Regional Road 211 and towards Prazeres village, following a vibrant path. Discover several species of flora, such as acacias, eucalyptus, pine, and wildflowers. Stop to look around and let yourself be dazzled by the beautiful landscapes that arise along the way. Explore a little more of the natural beauty of this region, including the human presence that gives it life. Find various dirt roads that cross the route of the Levada and continue your way following the channel of water until you arrive at the Levadeiro house. Take a moment to pause and enjoy the beautiful nature as your tour comes to a close.

North Madeira 4x4 Adventure Jipe Tour Big Island Tour

9. North Madeira 4x4 Adventure Jipe Tour Big Island 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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What people are saying about Santana

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 109 reviews

I was lucky to have found a spot on this tour with Mauricio. While the weather didn’t allow us to do the tour that was planned — rain and cloud cover completely hid the spectacular views from the peaks — Mauricio drew on his local knowledge and took us on a ride throughout the center and south side of the island chock full of stunning views, history, information about the residents, flora, infrastructure, and customs. Mauricio was professional, full of personality and a wealth of information. He showed us places I would not have been able to drive on my own, and made the day spent in his company a highlight of my stay in Madeira.

Had a great experience. We had 2 seats at the back of the car. Maybe not very comfortable, but only us 2 could stand while we were driving of road. The rest of the passengers had to seat. Breathtaking views. Day gone very quickly.

Great trip! Saw very beautiful landscapes and got a lot of impressions and background information. Our guide Spencer was a particular highlight

Very pleasant drive with the car and a nice travel companion who took care of everything.

We have seen much more than we expected. Highly recommend!