Santana Madeira

Named after St Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, Santana is a village of hedgerows and flowers on the north coast of Madeira Island.

Complete with waterfalls, cobble-stoned streets, lush green meadows and plunging ravines, it is without doubt one of the prettiest villages in Portugal.

With their iconic thatched roofs protected with straw and wood-panelled interiors, the famous triangular-shaped houses of Santana are a must-see attraction in Madeira. They were mainly rural homes used by local farmers during the settlement of the island. More than 100 hundred of them still exist thanks to a tourism initiative to reward the best-kept house in the town. Some open their doors to visitors who are always surprised by the amount of available space inside.

The town’s parish church built in 1698 features impressive retables to the two side altars, while 5 km up the coast from Santana lies São Jorge, a picturesque village most notable for its richly ornamented 17th century church.

Need more sightseeing ideas for your next visit? Why not listen to or download the Portugal Travel Show, the podcast for people planning a trip to sunny Portugal…