Santana’s brightly colored A-frame houses, built in a traditional style with natural stone and thatched roofs, make this mountain destination worth the trip any time of year. The rolling wheat and rye fields, dotted with these triangular bungalows, are famous and distinctive sights. Travelers can visit the Santa Ana Chapel or shop for local crafts at the dozens of shops that dot the rural landscape. Ride the nearby cable car for an aerial look at the attractive historic town, or wander the levadas footpaths for equally impressive views from the island’s highest point.
However, many visitors come to Santana for the famed Madeira Theme Park, seven sprawling hectares of family fun. Most activities and exhibits showcase traditional Madeira culture, from lake rowboats and traditional hedge mazes to pirate-themed rides and live shows. Music lovers also gather here every July for the 24 Hours of Dancing Festival, during which traditional folklore groups perform, making it one of the best times of year to experience this picturesque village on Madeira’s northern coast.
There are two scenic drives connecting Santana and Funchal: Mountainous Route 103, traversing the Parque Ecológicao do Fuchal and Parque Natural do Ribeiro Frio, and the faster, coastal Rapida 101, via Macheco. Buses 56, 103, 132 and 138 run hourly between Funchal and Santana.