Santana
UNESCO Sites

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Santana UNESCO Sites

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

1. 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.

Northeast Madeira 4X4 Tour from Funchal

2. 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

3. 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: Santana Traditional Houses Private Half-Day Tour

4. Madeira: Santana Traditional Houses Private Half-Day Tour

Thatched houses are remnants of primitive buildings made of wood and thatch. The use of these materials, especially wood, was due to their abundance and, at the time, how easy to purchase and affordable they were. The cultivation of cereals, such as wheat and rye, allowed the use of straw (thatch) to cover the housing. These ingredients were also used in flour to sustain the local population.   Visit some of the local houses and discover their history. Experience how the Madeiran people used to live in houses up to 240 years old.  Visit the Queimadas park and have a look at the ancient forest, the Laurissilva. Take home a typical house souvenir so you can remember this amazing day.

Madeira: Private Guided Half-Day Tour of Northwest Madeira

5. Madeira: Private Guided Half-Day Tour of Northwest Madeira

Start the day with a convenient pickup from your accommodation or the cruise port of Funchal and depart with your private guide to the first stop of tour at São Vicente, where you'll see a beautiful sight over the valley. Continue along the north coast as you go to Chão da Ribeira, another beautiful spot where you can appreciate more of the valley within the Laurisilva of Madeira, the largest surviving area of laurel forest on the island. Advancing toward the north end of the region, you’ll reach the viewpoint of Ribeira da Janela where you can appreciate the contrast betweens the mountains with the sea. Finally, visit Achadas da Cruz, a place that marks the transition between the north coast and the south of the island. If you wish, you can ride the cable car and visit one of the most beautiful and quiet places on the island constructed from landslides and lava flows.

Frequently asked questions about Santana UNESCO Sites

What are other things to do than UNESCO Sites that are worth visiting in Santana?

The other unmissable things to do in Santana are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Santana

Want to discover all there is to do in Santana? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Santana

Had a great experience. We had 2 seats at the back of the car. Maybe not very comfortable, but only us 2 could stand while we were driving of road. The rest of the passengers had to seat. Breathtaking views. Day gone very quickly.

Fantastic in all ways, really recommend this trip! One full day of adventure, & we were lucky to experience all kind of weather & different climate zone.

Great trip! Saw very beautiful landscapes and got a lot of impressions and background information. Our guide Spencer was a particular highlight

Very nice safari with a great tour guide! Got to know a nice group of people and saw beautiful areas. Recommended!!

We have seen much more than we expected. Highly recommend!