Santana is the place to go to view the unique triangular thatched houses that are pictured on so many postcards.
Santana is on the North East coast of Madeira. If travelling from Funchal, set aside most of the day for getting there, sight seeing, and the return journey.
Most taxi drivers offer island tours, with the option to visit Santana for lunch via Pico do Arieiro (one of the highest points on the island) for little more than 100 Euros. The trip will take most of the day, check the back of the seat pocket in a cab for the tariffs, they are clearly listed and regulated by the Madeira tourism board.
These amazing houses have been undergoing restoration, thanks to a recent government scheme, and some are open to the general public. There are also cafes and restaurants in Santana, one of the best is listed below and on my restaurant page.
The Hotel Quinta do Furao is one of several good places to eat in Santana but, perhaps, has one of the best views on offer! While you can eat inside there is a large balcony situated several hundred feet above the sea. The service is excellent, as is the food and wine choice.
After your meal, you can go for a quick stroll along the cliff path seen below, breathtaking views as you would expect in Madeira!
Mark Blezard suggests, "Use our trusted driver, Manuel, to take you here. Email me to organise a day trip with lunch."
Hotel Quinta do Furao, Achada do Gramacho, 9230-082 Santana, Madeira. tel 291 570 100.
The cliff path offers great views but also a few drops. Not all of the path has a railing so be careful!
Just below Santana is a small community called Faial. A sheltered sea pool has been built for swimming shown bottom right. The large cliff face dominating the picture is called Eagle Rock.
It's worth asking your taxi driver to stop at the bottom of the road, below Faial, where the carpark offers great views of a large expanse of the North East coastline.