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Santana

Day Trips

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Our most recommended Santana Day Trips

Madeira: Best of the East Tour from Funchal

1. 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.

Madeira: Full-Day Jeep Tour and Levada Walk

2. 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 Madeira: Private Buggy Driving Experience

3. From Madeira: Private Buggy Driving Experience

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.

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

4. 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.

Madeira: Ponta São Lourenço Hike

5. 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.

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.

Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Santana

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 1 reviews

Absolute highlight of our trip!!! We had an absolutely unforgettable day with our amazing driver, Nuno, who knows so much and loves his island so much! Instead of a group tour, we booked the trip as a private tour and enjoyed how much he was able to cater to our needs and showed us the secrets but also the hotspots of this island far away from the tourists. We have seen things that one would never have managed to do in the form (and time) self-organized. Thank you thank you thank you! We look forward to seeing you again, Nuno!

Best tour we did! Super interesting and funny guide. Great transport, although air con is poor. Lunch too long in Santana, but overall a wonderful tour with the right amount of stops. We were very lucky with weather!

It was a really great day with Nuno making our journey even more enjoyable. Nice viewpoints, nice stories, nice to learn about Madeira and see it in the same time.

Excellent itinerary, places of stops well chosen. The guide was very friendly and very nice. To do.

Great activity with great guide. Highly recommended