Travel: 48 hours in Porto Santo, Madeira

Porto Santo
Porto Santo
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Robin McKelvie spends 48 hours in Porto Santo, Madeira

Friday, midday

Check into Vila Baleira (doubles from £45,, a large resort set just back from the island’s epic 8km long beach. Book a room with an ocean view.


Slip into Porto Santo time with a light lunch at Pe na Agua (tel: 291 985 242). Clams and octopus are amongst the bar snacks, while local fish scabbard tempts on the main menu.


Take a taxi or cycle up to the Miradouro do Pico Castelo. Just enjoy the epic views or push on and hike to the summit for panoramic vistas.


Dine back at the hotel after a sundowner on the beanbags at their beach shack. Choose between the main buffet restaurant or the Beach Club by the pool.

Saturday, 10am

Keen divers can use the dive centre at the hotel, while golfers can catch a free shuttle bus to the island’s award-winning course (, which was designed by Seve Ballesteros.


Hire a bike or drive out to Molinos, 
a lovely picnic spot shaded by palms by the ocean. Bring your own meat and charcoal and use the free barbecue. Or just snack above the surf.


The hiking is superb on Porto Santo. On your way back from your picnic you can forge up 270-metre-high Pico do Espigao and circle back behind the island’s golf course to the hotel, enjoying sweeping views en route.


The Panorama Restaurant (tel: 291 983 122) offers arguably the best views of any eatery on Porto Santo. It offers a free transfer service to and from the Vila Baleira, with seafood the highlight.

Sunday, 9am

Relax at the hotel’s thalassotherapy complex, which guests can use for free. Paying extra for a Vichy Massage is well worth it as you are simultaneously pummelled with expert hands and seawater.

• EasyJet ( fly to Madeira from Edinburgh with returns starting from £155.98. Regular ferries and shuttle flights go to Porto Santo. Lonely Planet’s Madeira guide covers Porto Santo.