Porto Santo Island

Porto Santo ( German " blessed port ") is a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, which lies about 42 kilometers northeast of Madeira and belongs to the archipelago of Madeira.

Porto Santo is about eleven miles long and no more than six miles wide. The inhabitants live mainly from fishing and tourism, is responsible for the especially the nine kilometer long sandy beach.


When the Portuguese navigator João Gonçalves Zarco, Tristão Vaz Teixeira and Bartolomeu Perestrelo in 1418 the Madeira Archipelago " rediscovered ", they entered first Porto Santo to the possibility of a settlement check from here in Madeira. A 1418 device subject to a promising rabbits increased very strongly, so that suffered after a few years the first settlers among a large rabbit plague.

1420 Perestrelo was at that time still covered with dragon tree forests, scrub and scrub island of Henry the Navigator as a fief. From the beginning, lack of water made ​​farming on Porto Santo to a gamble for tenants and landlords. In contrast, the livestock was more promising than to Madeira, Porto Santo, which is why to this day acts as a meat supplier to the neighboring island thanks to the flat surfaces.

1479 married Christopher Columbus Dona Felipa Moniz Perestelo e, the daughter of Perestrelo, who was at that time governor of the island, and already in 1420 was on an expedition of the above sailors to Porto Santo there. Columbus lived with his wife a few years on the island; how much originated the plans for his later travels to Porto Santo, but it is not entirely clear. Until the 18th century Porto Santo been victims of attacks was English, French and Moorish pirates. To protect a small fort was built at Pico do Facho, of which, however, nothing remains today.


The first settlers of Porto Santo found a wooded island with many dragon trees and lots of juniper and heather. Ten plant species are endemic only to Porto Santo, a further 29 are usually only found in the Madeira Archipelago (< 2000). Strong deforestation have led to Porto Santo is largely treeless today; in the context of reforestation projects, many trees were replanted between Vila Baleira and the airport, which belong to the Natural Park of Porto Santo. Nevertheless, the overall impression of the landscape of Porto Santo, especially in comparison with Madeira, the island a bare, what with the very dry climate and the fact that there are no rivers, related.


Most tourists visit Porto Santo by the nine -kilometer-long sandy beach Campo de Baixo, which is all the more appealing because Madeira itself hardly has sandy beaches. So Porto Santo is visited especially on the weekend, not only by tourists but also by many residents of Madeira. In Vila Baleira is the Casa de Colombo, a Columbus museum in the house, which was probably once inhabited by him. To the east of the island of Pico do Facho offers (517 m of volcanic origin ) a good view over the island. In the West can be found on the southern slopes of the Pico de Ana Ferreira interesting basalt formations.

Transport links

The daily service on the ferries need for the route from Madeira to Porto Santo between two and three hours. In the 60s, an airport was in Porto Santo by NATO built, as the Porto Santo regular airport now connects the island in 20 minutes with Madeira, and there are air links with Lisbon and Porto. In the summer of 2014 ( July 3 to October 16 ) was first flown directly from Germany Porto Santo. The tour operator Olimar Travel provides a full charter airline germania available, which flies every Thursday from Dusseldorf.


Template: Infobox Municipio / Maintenance / name is empty

Template: Infobox Municipio / Maintenance / Management Name is empty

Template: Infobox Municipio / Maintenance / not involved

Capital of the island is Vila Baleira on the flat south coast, almost all the inhabitants of Porto Santo live here. Porto Santo is one of the six Portuguese circles, along which are comprised of only one municipality ( Freguesia ).