Porto Santo Island (is in the Atlantic Ocean, located approx 43 km (27 mi) northeast of Madeira Island. Porto Santo is the northernmost island of Madeira - Portuguese island group in north Atlantic (southwest of mainland Portugal) with a total population of around 270,000 and capital city Funchal.
- Porto Santo Island has total area approx 42 km2 (16 mi2), length 14 km (9 mi), width 8 km (5 mi), highest elevation point (Pico do Facho) 517 m (1696 ft) and population around 6,000.
- The island was accidentally discovered in 1418 after two Portuguese ships were storm blown into its harbor waterway. Both ships were ordered to search for new territories west of mainland Africa and were off-course due to storm. The island was named Porto Santo (translated "Holy Harbour") for its well-sheltered bay. First settlers arrived here in the 1420s. It was constantly attacked by Barbary corsairs (North Africa) and French privateers. Christopher Columbus (1450-1506) after marrying Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, lived for while on the island, where their home is now a house museum.
- The main town - Vila Baleira - is unofficially called Porto Santo. It has schools, a small hospital, gymnasium, police, churches, museum, shops, restaurants, bars, hotels.
- Porto Santo's economy is largely based on tourism. This island has numerous hotels, beaches, a golf course (Porto Santo Golfe), and the building of a second course is planned (to be Madeira's largest). The island's Golf Complex includes a total of 8 tennis courts, two mini-golf courses (a 19-hole and a 9-hole), and the equestrian (horseback riding) centre Pico Ana Ferreira.
- The island is served by the Porto Santo Airport, with regular flights to Madeira Airport (at an approx 15-min fly distance). The airport also has connections with domestic flights (to Ponta Delgada Azores, Lisbon, Oporto, Faro), and occasionally offers charter flights to Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, England.
Porto Santo Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Porto Santo Island dock (anchor) at Vila Baleira - port town on the southern coast.