Porto Santo Island
Porto Santo was the first Portuguese discovery in the 15th century. This island marked the beginning of the great age of the discoveries launched by Prince Henry the Navigator. Years later, Christopher Columbus stayed on the island for a while and prepared his voyage of discovery to America.
Porto Santo was discovered in1418 by the Portuguese mariners João Gonçalves Zarco, Tristão Vaz Teixeira and Bartolomeu Perestrelo, who was later appointed the first Capitão Donatário of the island. Some years later, Christopher Columbus stayed on the island for a while and married one of Perestrelo’s daughters.
In 1446, Prince Henry the Navigator donated Porto Santo to Perestrelo. It was promoted to municipality in 1835.In August 1996, its capital, Vila Baleira, was made a city. There are two theories as to the origin of the name Porto Santo. They agree on the event that gave rise to the name but differ on the date and origin of the navigators. According to a folk legend that dates back to 1418, João Gonçalves Zarco and the other mariners gave it its name because the island gave them shelter during a terrible storm.
The second version, which has historical confirmation, says that in the lower Middle Ages, a vessel found safe port on this island after a violent storm. This confirms that the island had already been named Porto Santo before the Portuguese began settling there in 1418.
There can be no doubt about the year when the Portuguese mariners Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira arrived in Porto Santo - 1418. It was this voyage and this island that marked the beginning of Portugal’s overseas discoveries. Another important aspect of the island’s history is the fact that Christopher Columbus lived here after marrying Filipa Moniz, daughter of Bartolomeu Perestrelo. Colombus, the Genovese discoverer, prepared his voyage of discovery to America in a house in the centre of Vila Baleira, today Casa Museu Cristóvão Colombo.
The island is characterized by two areas: the accidented northeast (mountainous, with rocky ledges and cliffs), and a coastal plain in the southwest (that includes a nine kilometre long white sand beach, giving the island an advantage over neighbouring Madeira).
The mountainous northeast part of the island, consists of two geomorphological structures that includes: an area of peaks, Pico do Castelo (437 meters), Pico da Juliana (447 meters), Pico da Gandaia (499 meters) and Pico do Facho (517 meters); and between the eastern coast and this area, a series of minor peaks, Pico do Maçarico (285 meters), Pico do Concelho (324 meters) and Pico Branco (450 meters).
The southwest part of the island, although relatively flat, includes a series of elevations 100 meters in height or greater, such as Pico Ana Fereira (283 meters), Pico do Espigão (270 meters) and the Cabeço do Zimbralinho (183 meters). The slope of the western part of the island slopes from 150 meters to the south coast reaching the sandy beachs of Porto Santo.
A third system, in the west-northwest, that includes Cabeço da Bárbara Gomes (227 meters) and Cabeço das Canelinhas (176 meters) is distinct from the areas identified. The island is encircled by an oceanic platform between 20 and 37 km2, with a minimum depth of 8 meters (Baixa do Noroeste), and limited by the flanks of a large submarine volcano.
The main industry o n the island of Porto Santo is tourism, which has emerged through hotel construction in the 20th century and is based on the attractions of the beac hes and temperate climate.
Although a small island, the Porto Santo community has its own schools, health-care centre, police detachments, a gymnasium, churches, several local squares, a Congress Centre, museum, shopping centres, bars, hotels and restaurants.
The island has a golf course that was designed by Spanish golfing champion Seve Ballesteros; Porto Santo Golfe hosted t he Madeira Islands Open in 2009, as part of the European Tour. Once the planned second course is completed, Porto Santo Golfe will be the largest course in Madeira: there is currently one 18-hole golf course and one nine-hole course. In additio n, Porto Santo's Golf Complex includes eight tennis courts and an equestrian centre (Pico Ana Ferreira).
The island has a central airport, with routine flights to Funchal (about a 15-minute flight away); the nearest place to Porto Santo Santo is Machico (on Madeira). The Porto Santo Airport (PXO) has many connections with both domestic (Ponta Delgada, Lisbon, Oporto and Faro) and (occasionally) international flights (including several charters to England, Italy, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain).
Properties for sale in Porto Santo
TWO Bed Semi-Detached
Ideally located near to the The beach, Golf Club, shops and restaurants are but a short stroll from this fantastic holiday home.
• Two bedrooms
• Kitchen, laundry room
• Two bathrooms
• Plot area 296,50m2 / Living area 133,72m2
• Private small garden
• Secure fencing around property
Contact: Paulo Nunes
Mobile Tel: 00351917864045 (Portuguese) - 00351924404555 (English)
• VIEWING STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT
• PRIVATE SALE
What to do in Porto Santo ?
There are some interesting landscapes and natural beauty spots in Porto Santo. They are well worth a visit as they are excellent locations for photo sessions.
The “Lobo Marinho” is a modern ferry which provides a daily connection for passengers and vehicles between the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo. The trip lasts approximatly 2h15mins. Passengers are provided with a convenient journey and are welcome to enjoy the comfort of the boat’s high quality interior.
Porto Santo Line’s partnership with Torre Praia and Praia Dourada hotels and Luamar Aparthotel in Porto Santo has allowed the company to offer several travel packages created to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
At Porto Santo Beach, the pleasure of sea bathing combines with safety and the qualities of the sand to make the island an exceptional holiday destination. Health and wellness go hand in hand on this magnificent beach as, in addition to its crystalline waters, its sands have rare therapeutic properties. Discover the benefits of this tranquil, inviting beach and relax and recover the energy and enthusiasm that you need.
Porto Santo Tennis Academy
In Porto Santo you can find the region’s best tennis complex and one of the best in the country. It is located in Campo de Baixo, near the golf course, and is equipped for top-level tournaments.
Porto Santo Golf
There’s a new golf course in Porto Santo where you can discover unique challenges while playing amidst breathtaking scenery.
Surrounded by serene countryside and enveloped in a sea breeze, the Porto Santo Golf Course has everything you need to play golf the whole year round.
Go for walks in Porto Santo to refresh your spirit. To the north, you can breathe the pure mountain air of the pine forest.
Today, the recently restored footpaths are ideal for walking tours, thanks to their safety and the beauty of the landscapes to which they take us.
Porto Santo and its mild climate make this island a very attractive place for open-air sports throughout the year. There are modern sports facilities for professionals and amateurs alike
Porto Santo, like Madeira before it, is getting quite an international reputation as a top-class destination for deep-sea fishing. It’s the right place to fish for blue marlin over 500 kg, given the abundance and quality of fish from the tuna family.
Porto Santo has long been a favourite spot for divers, thanks to the purity, colour and temperature of its waters and the beauty of its underwater seascapes. Start with snorkelling and discover the delights of marine life. You will not be able to resist the temptation to dive into this fantastic submarine world. The favourite place for divers is the area south of the harbour where the Madeirense has lain sunk since 2000 after sailing for decades between Porto Santo and Madeira. Four years later, hundreds of divers have already visited it and they all agree that this dive has the potential for becoming a world-level site.
Sailing, boat trips, canoeing and rowing
Give yourself over to the delights of a calm, warm sea and enjoy the island to the rhythm of the gentle waves. Sail or row while you feast your eyes on the contrasts of the island’s different coasts.
Jet skiing and water skiing
Make use of the blue sea waters lapping against the immense golden beach and submit to the excitement of jet skiing and water skiing.
Windsurfing and kite surfing
Challenge the wind and make the most of a beach where you can find a place just for you, with excellent conditions for enjoying the excitement of windsurfing or kite surfing. These sports are attracting more and more fans and filling the island’s calm waters with colour and movement.
Source: Wikipedia / http://hubpages.com / http://www.visitmadeira.pt