The Island of Porto Santo is 71.4 km from Funchal, Madeira. We spent a week at the excellent Vidamar Hotel in Madeira and decided to extend our holiday with four days at the Pestana Columbos on Porto Santo.

There are two routes from Funchal, Madeira to Porto Santo; an almost daily Porto Santo Line ferry which leaves at either 08:00 or 19:00, takes 2 hours 15 minutes and costs 58 EUR return or a 10 minute flight, with convenient departure times for which we paid 83 EUR return. The ferry appears to be ridiculously overpriced.

We took the 13.00 flight out and 08.00 back – only early as we had to catch another flight from Funchal to London. The small Dornier twin-turboprop aircraft has only 19 passenger seats – our outbound flight had just five passengers.

We checked in a bag but also had carry on luggage. We had to leave this at the aircraft steps and it was put into the on-board hold.

The Captain came out to visit us from the cockpit and asked that we watch the safety video.

The flight to Porto Santo took about 10 minutes. Our carry on bags were returned to us. Ours was the only aircraft on the runway.

And our checked luggage was the only bag on the conveyor.

The bag arrived within five minutes, which isn’t surprising as the aircraft was only a short walk from the empty terminal – we could have taken it ourselves.

Outside, there weren’t any taxis, just a number to call – a taxi arrived within five minutes of the call and took us to the Pestana Porto Santo Columbos (12 EUR) for our four-night stay.

The return flight was busier and this time our seats were just behind the pilot. I took a video of him during take-off.

It took some time before bags arrived at Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport, Funchal. While waiting I took these pictures that advertised the duty free shops – questionably one of the top three things in Madeira!


I’d highly recommend the flight if you intend to visit Porto Santo.