Visit Santana Madeira
Santana, declared as 'Biosphere Reserve' by UNESCO, is a picturesque town located in the north of Madeira island, Portugal. The municipality of Santana preserves a valuable natural and cultural heritage.
Santana is known for its brightly-colored traditional houses, the Santana cottages or Casas de Santana, which are made of thatched roofs and have a triangular A shape. In fact, these typical houses are a reflection of the isolation of this location, which for a long time was difficult to reach by land and sea. Locals no longer live in these houses, but they are open to visitors.
The preservation of unique cultural traits, as a result of that contingency, become a heritage of enormous value for this municipality, which currently has around 9,000 inhabitants. There are 120 kilometers of biosphere walking routes to discover.
The name of the settlement comes from Santa Ana (St Anne) the mother of the Virgin Mary.
Santana, a 96.2 km² area, is a municipality with six parishes: Santana, Faial, Sao Jorge, Sao Roque do Faial, Arco de Sao Jorge, and Ilha.
There are many other hotspots in Santana that are worth exploring. In this article, we will cover some of the top attractions in Santana, Madeira.
- Parque Temático da Madeira
Parque Temático da Madeira is a theme park that showcases the history and traditions of Madeira. It is located in Santana and offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the local culture through interactive exhibits and activities. The park features a replica of a typical Madeiran village, a working watermill, and a traditional wine press. Visitors can also try local cuisine at the park's restaurant and shop for souvenirs at the gift shop.
- Pico das Pedras
Pico das Pedras is a peak in Santana that offers stunning views of the island. Visitors can reach the top of the peak by hiking or by car. At the top, there is a viewpoint where visitors can take in the panoramic views of Madeira. The peak is also home to a picnic area and a camping site, making it a great spot for a day trip or overnight stay.
- Madeira Theme Park
Madeira Theme Park is a nature park located in Santana. The park features a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking trails, zip-lining, and bird watching. There is also a museum that showcases the island's flora and fauna. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the park to learn more about the local ecosystem.
- Levada do Rei
Levada do Rei is a hiking trail that starts in Santana and follows a channel that was built to irrigate the island's agriculture. The trail is approximately 10 kilometers long and takes about 3 hours to complete. It is considered to be an easy hike, making it suitable for families and beginners. Along the trail, visitors can see waterfalls, forests, and scenic views of the island.
- Santana Cottages
Finally, no trip to Santana would be complete without visiting the town's famous cottages. These traditional houses are made of thatched roofs and have a triangular shape. They were once used as homes for farmers and their families, but today many of them have been converted into tourist attractions. Visitors can learn about the history and architecture of the cottages at the Casa de Colmo museum or simply walk around the town to admire the unique buildings.
- UNESCO Laurissilva Forest
Queimadas Forest Park is a Laurissilva forest that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area has a rich biodiversity and a large variety of trees, such as the Fringila coelebs madeirensis and the Fringila coelebs madeirensis.
- There are also popular hiking trails at Queimadas Forest Park, leading to different parts of the island and passing through beautiful streams. One of the most popular hikes is the Caldeirao Verde Levada trail. You will also find the Casa de Abrigo das Queimadas, a gorgeous cottage-like home that is open for visitors.
In conclusion, Santana, Madeira, has a lot to offer visitors. From theme parks to hiking trails to traditional cottages, there is something for everyone. Whether you are a nature lover or a history buff, Santana is definitely worth a visit.