Porto Santo - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Porto Santo

Porto Santo

Madeira's sister island, Porto Santo, lies 24 miles (39km) northeast of its larger sibling and was actually discovered before Madeira itself. In 1418 Portuguese mariners Joao Goncalves Zarco and Tristao Vaz Teixeira stumbled across it while running from a storm. Unlike Madeira, Porto Santo is rather bleak and barren, but its southern coast is bordered by a lovely five-mile (eight km) stretch of beach fringed with soft golden sand, which, together with its temperate climate, has turned it into a popular holiday resort. The main town on the island is Vila Baleira, which was visited by Christopher Columbus. There is a scenic park in the town, some cafes and pretty cobblestone streets lined with stucco houses.

Information & Facts

Portuguese is the official language, but English is widely spoken and understood.

Portugal is a member of the European Union and its official currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. There are numerous banks, bureaux de change and ATMs available in main cities and tourist destinations. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and automatic currency exchange machines. Banking hours are generally 8.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques.

Local time is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).
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