Yacht Charter and Boat Rentals in Porto Santo
Yacht Charter Porto Santo
On a Porto Santo yacht charter with Borrow a Boat you can explore much of Madeira's islands within an easy sail. Whatever you want from a Madeira yacht charter, from enjoying the walking and culture to whale watching and even golf, a Porto Santo sailing holiday is going to be an unforgettable experience.
The smaller of the two inhabited islands of Madeira, Porto Santo is mostly known for its 9km long sandy beach - one of the best in the region. It has a fair bit of history to consider - it was the first offshore island discovered by and claimed by Portugal's adventurers in the early 1400s. Later, Christopher Colombus, having married a local girl, lived on the island as he prepared for his expedition to the Americas. You can tour a house said to be where he lived today complete with portraits and maps showing his discoveries.
Porto Santo tends to stay in the present. We have mentioned its beautiful beach, but golfers around the world have its golf course on their bucket list thanks to Spanish world champion Seve Ballesteros designing it. Inland you can go mountain biking and hike to the top of Pico do Facho, at 517 metres the highest point and a spot you could almost see the main island of Madeira on a clear day.
The capital of the island is Vila Baleira, and here you will find a range of boutiques, hotels and restaurants that will entertain you all day and all night as you choose. With the international airport and direct flights from the UK, mainland Portugal and Europe, this tiny Atlantic Ocean island is a wonderful holiday destination in its own right.
So what about the rest of Madeira and the Madeiran archipelago on your Porto Santo yacht charter? Read on to learn more!
Explore Porto Santo By Renting A Yacht
Sitting around 40NM south of Porto Santo and 280NM north of the Spanish administered Canaries, Madeira Island and its smaller islands are a great escape from the unpredictable weather of Europe. Sometimes described as having a climate of permanent summer, they are fertile and mountainous. Like the Azores further to the north, they are a tourist destination more suited to the active travel.
Being peaks in the sub-ocean Mid Atlantic Ridge, there is an upwelling of nutrients that bring plankton and this makes the archipelago an important feeding ground for a range of species of migratory whale that pass through on their endless journey. This makes for great whale and dolphin watching, and if you're into snorkelling or scuba diving you're in for a treat too with a riot of marine life (that you may end up eating in the restaurants ashore or catching them fishing too!).
Just inland from the fertile coastline plains on Madeira Island are a network of Levada agriculture irrigation channels that reach 1000 metres up the island's interior. With something like 1,860 miles of them around Madeira, many with footpaths closeby, these make for a good chance to lose yourself in the lush jungle and mountains of the main island.
For those who just want to chill on a beach? On mainland Madeira these are often volcanic black sand or pebbly.
How To Get To Porto Santo
Porto Santo International Airport
This recently extended airport has airlines flying in from London and mainland Portugal. It is a 15 minute flight from Madeira Airport, though you can take a ferry to the island from Madeira Island instead of taking a second flight to your destination.
Marinas In Porto Santo
Porto Santo Island only has one marina, but this can take luxury yachts of up to 50 metres - some of the biggest in Madeira.
Porto Santo Marina
Porto Santo Marina is on the south coast of the island near to the centre of Vila Baleira. It is a yacht charter hub with charter companies and boat owner offering crew charter and bareboat boat rental of luxury catamaran, monohull sailing boat, luxury yacht charter and motor yacht charter yachts.
Max Length 50m (164 Feet)
Max Draught 3.5m (11.5 Feet)
List of additional amenities: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, hotel, restaurant.
Suggested Sailing Routes From Porto Santo
On a bareboat charter or skippered charter sailing yacht or motor boat charter out of Porto Santo, you're likely to sail largely around Madeira Island with two longer legs from Porto Santo and back. Let's look at a typical sailing holidayitinerary.
7 Days - Madeira Archipelago: The shakedown cruise will be downwind to the Ilhyas Desertas, desert islands where just you and a few other yachts will be moored off in peace and quiet. The port of Moniz on the NE coast of Madeira will be your first port on the main island. Calheta Marina on the south coast of Madeira will be your next stop - a fun tourist resort with an imported sandy beach. Funchal, Madeira's capital is your next evening's destination. Take time to head up Monte by cable car and perhaps ride down in a wicker sleigh! Your last evening on the main island will be at Quinta do Lorde Marina on the island's eastern peninsula before an upwind leg back to Porto Santo for handover.
Best Times To Hire A Yacht In Porto Santo
There is a year round sailing season in Madeira thanks to its location on the Atlantic. The Trade winds can be fun but are reliable and steady. With the Gulf Stream keeping the seas warm year round, it is largely down to whether you don't mind a bit of warm rain in the winter months on your sailing trip or want blazing subtropical heat and crowds of fellow tourists in the peak summer months of July and August? If you can get to the archipelago outside of school holidays then you will see the best of it without the crowds, though a cruise ship arriving can make things a little busier whenever they turn up.
These come from the NE and can get up to an exciting 20 knots but are extremely reliable. It can get into the 30 degree C range in mid-summer, during the dry months. It rains more in the northern hemisphere winter but that said, the temperature rarely drops below 20 degrees C.
What should I consider when hiring a Yacht or Boat?
The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a skipper, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.
What are the Marinas in Porto Santo?
Porto Santo Marina has 140 berths and takes a vessel of up to 50 metres. This is a major yacht rental hub with boat owner/charter companies offering charter yachts and boats for tourists.
When are the best times to hire a boat in Porto Santo?
There is a year round sailing season in Porto Santo thanks to its location on the Atlantic. The trade winds can be fun but are reliable and steady. With the Gulf Stream keeping the seas warm year round, it is largely down to whether you don't mind a bit of warm rain in the winter months on your sailing trip or want blazing subtropical heat and crowds of fellow tourists in the peak summer months of July and August?
Do you have to pay a deposit when hiring a Yacht in Porto Santo?
You will typically pay 50% up front on booking the yacht hire and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.
What happens if my Yacht breaks down?
If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.
What should I think of before I hire a Yacht or Boat in Porto Santo?
You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat rental before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Have something for cooler winds but be prepared for fierce heat in summer.
What Qualifications Do I need to hire a boat or yacht?
If you want to sail without a skipper then you will need relevant qualifications like RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC)/ASA 104 Bareboat certificate or the US Sailing Certificate. For small 'day boats' or if you choose to have a crewed yacht charter you typically don't require licences.