Resting on the eastern tip of Madeira Island, Santa Cruz boasts an impressive black pebble beach and a palm tree-lined promenade. Discover 16th-century architecture and Michelin-starred restaurants along the coast or venture inland for rugged volcanic landscapes with mountains and lush valleys.
Things to do in Santa Cruz
Take an enlightening tour of Sao Salvador Church. Tranquil, cool and quiet, Sao Salvador is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Portugal. Admire the intricate Gothic interior before exploring the well-maintained gardens and stopping for a bite to eat at Bilheteira restaurant.
Browse local stalls and sample typical Portuguese street foods at the Municipal Market. This energetic marketplace brims with fresh-cut flowers, exotic produce and a robust underground fish market. Take a break from the action and order a heavenly custard-filled Portuguese tart at the market’s open-air cafe.
Explore an authentic artisanal cheese factory at the family-run Fabrica de Requeijao Massa. Sample rich and creamy cheeses and discover how each cheese is created by hand using traditional techniques. Tour the family’s fruit orchard and taste homemade plum and strawberry preserves.
Leap into the crystal-clear waters off Palmeiras Beach and admire the intense black pebbles that cover the seafloor. Spend a day at Aqua Park Santa Cruz to ride water slides or relax on the lazy river.
Getting around Santa Cruz
Madeira International Airport is a five-minute taxi ride from Santa Cruz. Alternatively, take the car ferry from Porto Santo in Lisbon to Funchal and ride the local bus 30 minutes to Santa Cruz. Once in Santa Cruz, everything can be reached by foot.