Porto Santo

This is the sister island to Madeira and we sailed there from Cascais in Portugal, taking almost 4 days. There is one harbour with a small marina, most of the pontoons being for small boats but we were fortunate to get a berth alongside the reception pontoon which is used for larger boats and were able to stay there for 5 nights.

Alternatively there is a large anchorage within the harbour walls but you need to stay clear of the ferry turning area. This goes to Madeira every day but you have to stay overnight there due to the timings. It then works out as an expensive excursion, so most people sail there if the marina has room. Outside the harbour along the beach is another option with a huge amount of space.

There is water and electricity on the pontoons but the Wi-Fi can only be used outside the marina office which is a 15 minute walk away. Immigration is processed by the police in the office on the site and was a simple enough task. There were showers but I couldn’t get my key to work and so can’t comment on their condition. There wasn’t a launderette but I believe washing can be collected and delivered back to the marina. A small cafe is located onsite.

Right next to the marina is the sandy beach with clear turquoise water lapping the 3.5 km length and it is virtually empty. The beach is stunning. A half hour walk (which is 20 minutes longer than Rob likes to do normally, except when there is food at the end of it!) along the beach takes you into town where there is a Pingo Doce supermarket, restaurants, shops, banks, a park and neat cobbled squares fringed with palms. The Columbus museum isn’t that great but it didn’t cost much.

The marina and island has a very friendly feel to it and we really enjoyed our stay there. The mountain walk is tough but the views are well worth the effort. Our post in October has photos and further information about our time there.

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