CAptain’s Mate of the Month - Porto Santo, Portugal

Porto Santo, a small island 27 nautical miles north-east of Madeira, serves as a great stop-over before sailing on to Madeira itself. Known for its long sandy beaches and friendly locals, visitors enjoy various mooring options, including anchorages, buoys, and a marina.

The approach to Porto Santo is straightforward with no hazards and the harbour provides good shelter, except in a very strong easterly. Porto Santo has all the usual facilities, such as water, shore power, showers, fuel and laundry, as well as a boatyard and lay-up options.

CA member Ian Redsell visited in July 2023 and shares a very comprehensive report on CAptain’s Mate. Here are just a few excerpts:

"There are limited pontoon mooring for visitors and a few swinging moorings in the harbour within an area marked by yellow buoys delimiting the manoeuvring area for the Porto Santo Ferry which arrives most days at 10am. The exceptions are Friday and Sunday when it arrives and departs later to allow for the weekenders and commuters from Madeira.

"At anchor the holding is good in a mix of mud and sand which was a great relief as after we arrived there was a significant storm which struck Madeira with solid gusts well in excess of 30 knots in the harbour.

"Ashore the friendly and helpful harbour authority is located in the white building next to the slipway and open 9 -1200 and 14-1700. They will request your ships papers and your passports as usual. The port cafe is an excellent meeting place with menu del dia consisting of a simple but cost-effective dish. The town is a one-mile walk / taxi to the west and has a number of simple if touristy restaurants.

"There is a good supermarket Pingo Doce on the way into town and other little shops dotted around town slightly inland from the main road. To see the island, the sight-seeing bus leaves from the roundabout bus/taxi parking at 1400 each day and takes a couple of hours to visit several viewpoints around the island. The island has many sandy beaches and just behind the harbour wall to the west is a fine example with good protection and excellent swimming."

Ian’s report covers plenty of other insights. Members can discover more about Porto Santo and other locations in Madeira and beyond on CAptain’s Mate app or web version.


Detailed cruising information on CAptain's Mate for Porto Santo, Portugal


If required, visiting members can receive assistance from a CA Honorary Local Representative (HLR) who is based in Porto Santo. HLRs provide support for things like emergency repairs, mooring arrangements, securing visas, translations, guidance on local customs and bureaucracy, provisioning, land transport and excursions. And if they can't help, they'll know someone who can.

About CAptain’s Mate

CAptain’s Mate was voted as the 'Equipment Innovation of the Year'at the 2022 British Yachting Awards. CAptain’s Mate provides an unrivalled breadth of information and cruising reports covering 7,500+ locations in 100+ countries around the world, providing members with up to date, accurate and trusted location data on anchorages, marinas, ports, harbours, boatyards along with their facilities and amenities. Available on iOS, Android and web, CAptain’s Mate is exclusive to members.

CAptain’s Mate of the Month locations

Each month we feature a CAptain’s Mate location to inspire your cruising adventures and display the vast depth of information accessible on the app.

January 2024 featured Prickly Bay, Grenada and in February we headed to Darsena dell Orologio, Italy. In 2023 we showcased Visby - Sweden / Seville, Spain / Antwerp, Belgium / Sassnitz, Germany / Tangier, Morocco / Amsterdam, Netherlands / Alkionidhes Islands, Greece / Porto Montenegro in Tivat, Montenegro / Skjaerhalden, Norway / Tammasaari, Finland / Rīga, Latvia and Deep Bay, Antigua.

4 March 2024