Things to do in
Santana

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Our most recommended things to do in Santana

Self-guided Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

1. Self-guided Sunrise Hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

Enjoy an affordable and comfortable transfer to Pico do Areeiro to enjoy a sunrise or morning Hike all the way to Achada do Teixeira (10 km). Don't worry about transportation and enjoy pickup and drop-off at your accommodation. Experience the nº 1 hike on Madeira Island, Pico Do Areeiro to Pico Ruivo (PR 1). This concept is specially designed for self-guided hikers, where you have the freedom to walk at your own rhythm. After the sunrise, the hike takes place. You will experience the most amazing views, in the middle of the highest mountains (up to 1800m). 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, you will pass through the city of Santana, which is famous for its triangular typical houses. It's very important to know that the weather conditions are very unpredictable in this part of the island, so your reservation could be canceled or postponed due to aggressive weather conditions. The sunrise is also not guaranteed, due to weather conditions that may occur. You will be contacted within 48 hours before the hike.

From Santana: Private Buggy Driving Experience

2. From Santana: Private Buggy Driving Experience

Follow the guide along remote dirt tracks to discover the island on a different way, far from the touristic places. Each vehicle seats two people, allowing for double the fun as you cruise around. We will cross landscapes from sea to mountains, passing through our forest that is world heritage - Laurissilva Forest - and making stops to enjoy the stunning landscapes and take photos to later remember, but we can guarantee that it will be unforgettable!

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

3. 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: Full-Day Jeep Tour and Levada Walk

4. 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, and Ponta de São Lourenço. Get dropped off back at your accommodation or the cruise port at the end of the tour.

From Funchal: Advanced Canyoning Experience in Madeira

5. From Funchal: Advanced Canyoning Experience in Madeira

Join in on an advanced-level canyoning adventure with this tour from Funchal. Use high-quality equipment to traverse Madeira's canyons and streams. Keep your up your energy with snack stops along the way.  Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Funchal. Sit back and relax as you head to a location that is hand-picked for the day's conditions at Seixal, Calheta, Santana or Ribeiro Frio.  Start abseiling down rock faces and crossing water lines. Get wet as you swim and slide through the picturesque canyon. Enjoy jumping from waterfalls, where it is possible to do so. Take a break with some water and snacks.  Have photos and videos that you can take home to share. Eat some more snacks before returning to your accommodation in Funchal.

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

6. 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.

Madeira: Full-Day Laurel Forest Guided Walking Tour

7. Madeira: Full-Day Laurel Forest Guided Walking Tour

Experience the magic of Portuguese forests on an adventurous trail hike. Madeira is known for its "levadas", a system of aqueducts, popularly used as hiking trails. Drive to the quaint town of Santana and up to Queimadas Forestry Park to journey through one of the famous levada walks. Deep in the Laurel forest, find a typical thatched house, which serves as a park landmark and creates a fairytale setting to begin your journey. This magical trail runs through the Serra de São Jorge and wanders through an emerald green paradise. Take in outstanding views of the valleys and villages that lie below, until finally reaching the magnificent Caldeirão Verde waterfall. Make contact with the lush greenery as you walk along this historical levada in the company of your experienced guide.

From Fuchal: East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana Houses

8. From Fuchal: East Tour Madeira 4x4 Jipe Tour Santana 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

9. 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.

Madeira: Ponta São Lourenço Hike

10. Madeira: Ponta São Lourenço Hike

Your walk starts at Ponta de São Lourenço car park, and follows a 3.5-kilometer trail to the eastern most point of the island. Along the way it will be possible to enjoy fabulous seascapes, as well as the contrast between the calm south sea and the rough sea of the north. There are short but steep climbs and descends along this magnificent but windy trail, where amazing samples of endemic fauna and flora can be seen. It will be possible to see volcanic rock formations and understand the volcanic origin of the island. After arriving at Cais do Sardinha House, it will be possible to take a break and enjoy a snack. You can also go down to the sea and enjoy the quiet and relaxing coastline, before returning to the car.

Other Sightseeing Options in Santana

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What people are saying about Santana

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 290 reviews

We were a bit uncertain about booking this trip, because although we were keen to see some more of Madeira, we wanted to avoid a bus trip and didn't hire a car, looking for a more relaxing holiday. Initially, we thought this was a bit expensive, but having had the experience, it is excellent value for money. Our guide, Ruben, was friendly, informative and at no point did we feel insecure on the steep, windy and norrow roads and tracks. The trip uses back roads to explore the stunning countrside, with information about the history, people, agriculture and vegetation. There were stops at viewpoints to appreciate the mountains and valleys and also the tenacity of the people in developing these areas. There were 2 short trips off road, which were fun, standing up in the back of the jeep for the second. We then visited Cabo Girao, the skywalk over the cliff, which we had been keen to do. Lastly, a short stop in Camara da Lobos, a beautiful, colourful fishing village. Loved every minute

Logan was fantastic, very responsive and actively helpful administration. Pedro was a brilliant tour guide for the journey there and back, loved the additional touring we did and I for once enjoyed the tour information, great guy.

Great people, with good updates on the hike situation, pickup and drop off. Super helpful in giving recommendations, clear instructions on the hike, and just really nice overall experience.

We had the best trip ever and I can recommend for everyone who comes on the island.

Great service, excellent people. The hike was lovely