Porto Santo Island Tour
Your comfortable coach will take you to Portela, which overlooks the golden beach and the small town of Vila Baleira below.
From here, the tour continues to Pico do Castelo, one of the highest volcanic peaks on the island. The summit of Pico do Castelo provides some of the best views out over the island. After a short photo stop, you will be driven to Cardina Museum in the village of Camacha. The museum is the product of the personal passion of José Cardina. Fascinated by the artefacts of Porto Santo´s past, Cardina began not only to collect them, but to make beautiful working 1:5 scale models of artisan´s implements. The museum itself is an octagon, built around a life-size wooden windmill, of trhe sort that were once found all over the island.Around the walls you´ll find a vast collection of antique tools and farming implements, and the models are similarly ranged on a mezzanine floor. Here you will taste the Porto Santo Wine.
The tour proceeds to Quinta das Palmeiras, a place that provides a surprising patch of lush greenery in a dry plain to the west of the airport. This mini botanical garden and bird-park is the result of a vision of one man, Carlos Afonso, and of fifteen years of work. The resulting oasis is a haven of shade, with roses and Red Hot Pokers, hibiscus and Angel´s Trumpets aplenty. Swans swim around a pattering fountain. There are cooing doves, gorgeous parrots and all manner of other birds. Here you will have time to visit and have a soft drink.
Your tour will then proceed to Calheta, the western point of the island, where a narrow channel separates the inlet of Baixo from the main island. On a clear day, Madeira is sometimes visible from Calheta, and there are nearly always magnificent views out over the Atlantic Ocean.
Returning to the town, you will visit a small museum in a house where Christopher Columbus once lived. Columbus married the daughter of Bartolomeu Perestrelo, the first governor of Porto Santo, but left the island long before he set out on his voyages of discovery.