Vila Baleira

Most of Porto Santo’s activity – indeed most of the island’s population – is focused on the little town of Vila Baleira. It ticks along quietly to a languid rhythm of its own, hotting up a little on Fridays and Saturdays in the summer, when weekenders come over from Madeira to party. Vila Baleira is on the site of the first settlement on the island, founded back in 1419 by Bartolomeu Perestrelo. The town is centred on its main square, the Largo do Pelourinho, and the Infante Gardens. To the east is a modest port, to the west stretches Porto Santo’s famous beach. The town is home to the Christopher Columbus Museum and offers the island’s chief shopping opportunities.

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