If you prefer life in the slow lane, holidays to Santana are made for you. Getaways to this part of the world let you enjoy old-world Madeira with scenic walks through the forest and dinner dates in Funchal.
Land of little houses
Santana, a quiet village on Madeira’s northeast side, is like a living museum. It’s most well-known for its casinhas, or little houses. The triangular, thatch-topped dwellings with white walls and red and blue trims have become an emblem of the region. A handful are still standing today, and mostly operate as tourist attractions, so you can duck inside and see how 16th-century farmers used to live.
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
The countryside around Santana is protected by UNESCO. It means the area’s natural beauty is preserved as much as possible, which is key seeing as this part of Madeira is known for its levadas. These waterways are used to irrigate the greenery, and walks along them are really popular. Routes take you across mountainsides, through kaleidoscopic flower gardens, and past tumbling waterfalls.
Days and nights in Funchal
When you want to increase the pace a bit, Madeira’s capital is just a 45-minute drive away. Days here can be spent cooling off in seafront lidos and natural pools, and pottering around boutiques in the Medieval old town. After dark, the stylish marina district is the place to go for haute cuisine dinners and cocktails in swish nightspots.
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