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Things to do in

Santana

Our most recommended things to do in Santana

Transfer Pico do Arieiro–Pico Ruivo Self-Guided Hike

1. Transfer Pico do Arieiro–Pico Ruivo Self-Guided Hike

Enjoy an affordable and flexible transfer to Pico do Arieiro to enjoy the famous hike all the way to Pico Ruivo. Trek up to the highest and second-highest mountains on Madeira at your own pace and enjoy pickup and drop-off at your accommodation. Instructions will be given by the host, regarding schedules and where you will pass by. The day before the hike, you will receive the exact pickup time and a weather forecast, in order for you to be as prepared as you can be. Get picked up at your accommodation in Funchal and dropped off at the entrance to Pico do Arieiro to begin your self-guided hike. Experience the most amazing natural scenery as you walk from mountain to mountain on the #1 hiking trail on Madeira Island. Once you're finished exploring, the end of the hike and pick-up location is at Achada do Teixeira, in the parking lot area. On the way back to your accommodation, pass through the city of Santana for close-up views of the traditional triangular homes and you will have a tasting and the end of the hike, produced by locals.

Funchal: Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

2. Funchal: Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

Experience the most amazing natural scenery as you walk from mountain to mountain on a hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo. Walk at your own pace with total freedom as you enjoy the fantastic views. Start with pickup from your accomodation. Before your hike, receive instructions from your host regarding schedules and where you will pass by. The day before the hike, you will receive the exact pickup time and a weather forecast, in order for you to be as prepared as you can be. On the way back to your accommodation, pass through the city of Santana for close-up views of the traditional triangular homes and you will have a tasting and the end of the hike, produced by locals.

Madeira: Full-Day Jeep Tour and Levada Walk

3. Madeira: Full-Day Jeep Tour and Levada Walk

Get picked up from your accommodation or the cruise port and embark on a true adventure around the enchanted island of Madeira. Hop in a well-maintained Land Rover or jeep and head into the Laurisilva Forest in the center of Madeira. Explore a forest known to be the largest surviving laurel forest in the world with over 90% believed to be primary forest. Then walk in the shoes of a Madeiran farmer as you hike along the levadas that criss-cross the fields of sugar cane and other different crops. Learn about how these unique irrigation channels were developed to suit the island's topography and climate. See how levadas like Ribeiro Frio and Referta serve a dual purpose as scenic byways for those looking to explore the beautiful natural landscapes of Madeira on foot.  Make stops throughout the day at viewpoints and villages, including Funchal, Pico Arieiro, Achada Cedro Gordo, Santana and Ponta de São Lourenço. Get dropped off back at your accommodation or the cruise port at the end of the tour.

Funchal: Eastern Madeira Island Day Trip with Hotel Pickup

4. Funchal: Eastern Madeira Island Day Trip with Hotel Pickup

Terreiro da Luta - To start we take you to a viewpoint with a beautiful view above Funchal Bay. Pico Areeiro - We continue the tour to the magnificent Pico do Areeiro mountain at 1818 meters altitude. Ribeiro Frio - Here you will enjoy a small ( 30 - 40 minute) Levada Walk until a beautiful viewpoint. If you are not a walking person, you can enjoy this stop to visit the Trout nursery. Santana - This stop is the bigger one. You can take advantage of this 1h30m to 2h00 stop to lunch and visit the Santana village. Faial - At this viewpoint you can admire the wonderful northeast coast view. Porto da Cruz - At this small village the stop is around 20 to 30 minutes. Here you can visit the North Mills Distillary and taste the local rum. Ponta São Lourenço - The ponta do Rosto is a must see viewpoint. It's situated at the eastiest part of the Island and gives you astonishing views over the North and South Madeira Sea and sometimes also of Porto Santo Island. Machico - This astounishing day ends with a passage through Machico city.

Madeira: Best of the East Tour from Funchal

5. Madeira: Best of the East Tour from Funchal

Discover the diverse landscapes of Madeira on a day-long tour. Wander charming towns, enjoy panoramic views and learn about the area from your expert guide. Depart from the meeting point at Funchal's Lido or take advantage of a free hotel pick-up in selected areas. The first stop is at the beautiful viewpoint of Terreiro da Luta, located a few kilometers outside Funchal. Next, drive toward the mountain of Pico do Arieiro. At an altitude of 1,818 meters, the third highest peak on the island offers breathtaking views. Once you've been to the highest drivable peak in Madeira, head back down through the forest on the way to the coast. Admire some of Madeira's emblematic straw-roof houses, pass pretty villages and get stunning seascape views. Arrive at the very eastern point of the island for some superb panoramas of the north and south coasts. Discover the popular start point for the levada walks, Ribeiro Frio, on the northern slopes of the island. See interesting trout pools and original vegetation. Madeira was once completely covered by laurissilva forest, a relic from prehistoric times. Stop for lunch in Santana, characterized by its small, thatched triangular houses. Past Portela go towards Ponta de São Lourenço, situated in the eastern part of the island. This is a place where a fantastic combination of rocks, sea, and nature combine. The last town to be visited is Machico, a viewpoint where you can look over the bay and the golden sandy beach.

Private Buggy Driving Experience (Pick-up included)

6. Private Buggy Driving Experience (Pick-up included)

Step away from the warm beaches and into the cool forest for a magical adventure through the lush Laurisilva of Madeira. See a different side to this exotic island as you hit the dirt tracks on a thrilling tandem buggy ride and explore the diverse landscapes of the area. Hop on your buggy and follow your guide into the forest, steering away from the crowds. Bring your best friend or partner along on your experience and ride together on the two-seater vehicles. Travel through Madeira's breathtaking landscapes, from ocean to mountains. Seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the Laurisilva of Madeira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and snap amazing photos of some of the iconic verdant spots you'll stop at.

Tour of Eastern Madeira

7. Tour of Eastern Madeira

Start with pick-up from the hotel and drive through Funchal's steep roads, heading to the mountains and through the national park, black forest (Schwarzwald). Pass the Eucalyptus and Mimosa forests overlooking the Christmas pines, into the breathtaking mountains of Pico do Arieiro at 1,800 meters. The centenary Forest covered by the old trees (Laurisilva) is a must and a short walk along the Levada Madeiras water channels can be taken as an option.  Taking the old road of Faial overlooking the eagles rock mountain, Santana will be the next stop. Visit the town's traditional thatched houses and vines. Make a stop for lunch (not included in the price). After the lunch stop in Santana, continue to Porto Cruz, passing the sugar cane fields. Visit the only steam rum factory in Europe (with rum tasting) and explore the village. See the rough black sandy beach popular for surfers. In July and August, enjoy the chance to swim in the famous saltwater. Then, travel along the North Coast where sugar cane terraces are still visible. See the old capital of Madeira, Machico, where the first Portuguese settlers arrived in the 15th century, before heading to Ponta de São Lourenço, the eastern point cape of the island.  The tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel. 

Madeira: Half-Day Nun's Valley and Sea Cliff Tour

8. Madeira: Half-Day Nun's Valley and Sea Cliff Tour

Explore some of the most remote places of Madeira Island. Not far from Funchal, and hidden in between high mountains and deep valleys, lie remote villages and hamlets such as Jardim da Serra with its splendid view over the Nuns Valley. You can explore another world by joining this Jeep safari tour, complete with panoramic views and interesting places. You will also enjoy sensational encounters with Madeira's fascinating natural heritage. Your route will pass though Funchal, Fajã das Galinhas, Boca da Corrida, Jardim da Serra, Quinta Grande, Cabo Girão, and Câmara de Lobos. At the conclusion of your enjoyable day out, you will return to your point of origin.

Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

9. Madeira East Island Tour and Levada Walk

This tour of the east side of Madeira island is designed to show guests how truly magical it is. Come and be awed by its spectacular beauty. To begin the day, pick-up is from the hotel at 8:00 to 9:00. The first stop will be at a viewpoint above Funchal. Continue to Camacha, famous for its beautiful wicker works, and stop to have a look around and then take a scenic drive up to Poiso where the start of the Laurissilva forest can be found. After this, make your way to the majestic views of Pico do Arieiro. Pico do Arieiro is the third highest peak on the island, standing 1818 meters. Next is what some consider to be the most beautiful spot on the island, Ribeiro Frio. Here you will visit a trout farm and do a levada walk to the Balcões. Following the walk, make your way to Santana to see its famous A-framed cottages and then continue along the northern coastal road to Faial. Stop for lunch in the northern part of the island. After lunch, carry on to the eastern part of the island, to the famous viewpoint of Pico do Facho. From here you will have incredible views of Ponta de São Lourenco, Machico and the airport. On a good day one can see the Desertas Islands as well Porto Santo, the small island adjacent to Madeira. The last stop will be a famous viewpoint above Machico. You will arrive back to Funchal by 17:00.

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

10. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Santana

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What people are saying about Santana

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,102 reviews

When we booked the tour we assumed it would be a one-way transfer. The evening before we were told the pick-up time and place, where we were picked up on time. Filipe welcomed us warmly. During the drive he told many interesting facts that matched the environment. He also gave some tips for good local restaurants. On the way back we drove through Santana and were able to try a delicious homemade coffee liqueur from a local. If you had any questions, Logan was always available via WhatsApp. The planned time was sufficient for the hike with photo stops and a poncha at the end :-) Due to Filipe's open and humorous nature, the tour seemed more personal and not like a classic trip tailored to tourists. The hike was strenuous but doable. Unfortunately we couldn't see very much at the summit due to the fog :-)

Unfortunately it rained. That's why there was nothing to be seen on the Pico de Arieiro except rain and fog. Bruno, our guide, managed to keep the mood of the group high thanks to his sense of humour. He also speaks very good English and German! All further stops were fortunately accompanied by good weather. The tour contains many highlights and well-chosen destinations. 100% recommendation from me :-) Thank you for the great trip!

Filipe was not only an excellent driver but he was also very nice and knowledgable and told us a lot us useful tips for the hike but also about Madeira in general. He has a lot of great restaurant recommendations too, so don’t leave this tour for the end like we unfortunately did. Great value for money, 100% recommend! :)

Everything was excellent. Communication was great. Vehicle was clean. Host was great at sharing lots of information about the island.

We had a very friendly and talkative guide Luciano.