The lovely houses of Santana
Every trip to Madeira Island should include a stop in the municipality of “Santa Ana”, to visit the lovely houses of Santana.
These are some traditional cottages with triangular straw-covered roofs, white-washed and with red windows. The roofs must be replaced every five years, but the locals are encouraged to keep the traditional specific of the houses intact for tourist purposes.
This particularity and the Laurissilva Forest in Madeira have been included in the UNESCO world heritage sites list. When the Portuguese settlers first came to the island, they built such houses, so they are a reenactment of these glorious age of discoveries.
Today’s Santana houses are owned by local farmers or simple dwellers. The main occupations of the locals include farming, fishing and craftsmanship. There are many country fairs to attend and enjoy if you want to buy products and encourage the local economy.
Don’t think walking about looking at houses is all you can do in Santana! The municipality built a theme park – with a suggestive name: the Madeira Theme Park. It covers over seven acres and this is where you can glimpse the island’s rich and old history. If you want an entertaining day for the whole family and an educative experience for your children, this is the place.
Santana is everything you want in a one-day excursion: fun, quiet, beautiful, with fresh air and dramatic views over the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Laurissilva Forest on the other.
July is the month that attracts the most tourists. This is because festivals entailing music, dances and cultural events take place. The only problem is that the Island of Madeira tends to get very crowded in summer, during high season. But there’s no reason for worry, really: you’re still on time to book accessible lodgings, plane tickets, Madeira car hire and Funchal Airport transfer vouchers.