Vacation in Europe’s last Paradise: Porto Santo

porto santo beach madeira_2011 holiday hotspots

porto santo beach madeira_2011 holiday hotspots

Got a few days off but haven’t planned enough to go too far?

Porto Santo, Europe’s best hidden treasure, is an absolute must-visit holiday spot for all those of you looking for the ideal mix of old-world-charm and secluded beach therapy.

Located at the north-eastern end of the Madeira archipelago, Porto Santo is one of Europe’s last ‘undiscovered’ resorts.

While the volcanic sands of Porto Santo’s beaches are believed to hold amazingly curative powers, this tiny Portuguese Isle – a mere 12 kilometres long and just over 6.5 kilometres at its widest – also has a rugged interior that offers diverse settings for stimulating walks, game-fishing, horse-riding, and even a little bit of mountain-climbing.

Porto Santo Specials

Whether you’re looking for a bask-in-the-sun-all-day type holiday, or for chic restaurants and shopping, this 600-year old island, officially discovered and recognized by the crown of Portugal in 1418, has the works.

Apart from horse riding, diving and trekking, Porto Santo is also home to a fabulously designed golf course that stretches across the island, and makes the most of the island’s amazing features by making for an extremely challenging game. Designed by Spanish golfing champion Severiano Ballestero, this 18-hole golf course with a par of 72, which blends in beautifully with Porto Santo’s natural landscape, has obviously been planned in great detail so as to not disturb the natural surroundings as far as possible.

Even in terms of the variations the course offers, the Northern part of the course comprises high cliff tops, while the Southern part, which features small lakes scattered all over, demands a long and precise game.

Currently featuring a Clubhouse (including a sauna and a Jacuzzi), a pro-shop, a driving range and not to miss, the Golf Club bar and restaurant, and a second course coming up as part of Porto Santo’s golf complex, the complex, once completed will offer  Madeira’s largest golf course.

Magical Healing Sands

Norwegian universities, researching on the properties held by Porto Santo beaches’ sands, are now backing up claims that locals have been making for centuries – that the volcanic sands on Porto Santo’s beaches offer healing properties, especially for rheumatic and orthopaedic disorders.

Additionally, of course, the island’s clays and mineral waters are believed to offer fantastic rejuvenating, therapeutic properties, which have been explored by the numerous spas and hotels on the island and are presented in lavish packages that make you feel pampered to the core.

More specifically, if you’re looking for healing seawater treatments of various kinds, The Thalassotherapy Centre at the Vila Baleira Hotel is your place, while if you’re after Turkish baths, Power Showers, lymphatic drainage massages and other treatments along these lines, the new 5-star Pestana Porto Santo Hotel’s Magic Garden Spa will definitely delight you with what they have on offer.

So go get pampered, relax on the beach, feel the magic of some of those healing powers and make the most of this lovely secluded isle before tourism explodes here and turns it into just another crowded holiday spot !

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Aubrey Chang
Aubrey Chang, Associate Editor Industry Leaders Magazine (www.industryleadersmagazine.com)

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