On my favorite place on earth

Traveling
Porto Santo

My Thoughts on Porto Santo, the Island Paradise in the Madeira Archipelago

Author

João Granja-Correia

Published

October 12, 2023

To some extent, I am a creature of habit. Every year, I take my summer holidays in early September on the same island, Porto Santo.

View of the Porto Santo beach

View of the Porto Santo beach

Porto Santo is a small island with a resident population of around 5,000 and limited economic activity, primarily relying on summer tourism. The island’s landscape is arid, having had its native Dracaena vegetation destroyed and soils degraded due to over-farming of wheat in the 16th century. Porto Santo faces what locals call ‘double insularity’ as it’s part of the Madeira archipelago, which is itself isolated from the mainland. It depends on daily connections via sea with Madeira for most of its produce and goods.

Rainbow over the sea

Rainbow over the sea

I first went to Porto Santo on a scuba trip in 2010. I had long heard about the spectacular dive spots of Porto Santo, with it’s pristine clear blue waters of tepid temperatures. At the time I was diving frequently, so Porto Santo was a must go place. I knew Porto Santo was a small island in the Madeira archipelago, but at the time I had never even been to Madeira itself.

View of Ponta da Calheta with Ilheu da Cal

View of Ponta da Calheta with Ilheu da Cal

My first experience was great, not only the scuba diving was simply spectacular, but also the island had what for me is the most beautiful beach in Portugal. Life there was peaceful, with not much to do. I remember that during that first stay I was able to read a couple of Ian M. Banks books from the Culture series.

Since that initial trip, we’ve spent the entire year looking forward to my future summer holidays in Porto Santo, and we’ve visited almost every year, a total of twelve times. I aspire to one day retire on Porto Santo, relishing long beach walks and peaceful reading by the sea.”

This year was no different. Although we were greeted by heavy rain as we were leaving the airplane, which is a rare occurrence in Porto Santo, we had wonderful weather during our stay. We were able to enjoy the beach and the sun. However, with three kids, you don’t get a lot of time to sit and enjoy a book. Still, I managed to finish a couple of books and made significant progress in another one. All three are interesting books, and I’ll be writing about them here soon.

Early evening view of Porto Santo beach from Vila Baleira

Early evening view of Porto Santo beach from Vila Baleira

Now, back home, resuming work, and with the kids back at school, I’ve already started dreaming about my next trip to Porto Santo, which is likely to be in September 2024. It’s a love for the island that I’ve passed on to my kids; the youngest has already asked when we’re going back to Porto Santo.

Citation

BibTeX citation:
@online{granja-correia2023,
  author = {Granja-Correia, João},
  title = {On My Favorite Place on Earth},
  date = {2023-10-12},
  url = {https://joao.granja-correia.eu/blog/blog_20231012_My_favorite_place_on_earth},
  langid = {en}
}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Granja-Correia, João. 2023. “On My Favorite Place on Earth.” October 12, 2023. https://joao.granja-correia.eu/blog/blog_20231012_My_favorite_place_on_earth.