Once you venture to the northern part of Madeira Island to the tiny village of Santana, you will be transported back in time to when the people were first settling on the island. Santana is known for the traditional Casas de Santana (Santana Houses) constructed with sloping triangular straw roofs, white-painted stone walls and red doors and windows with blue trim. These houses have become an international symbol of Madeira because they were rural homes used by local farmers during the settlement of the island and they have a completely distinct look. The village also has a traditional theme park that showcases the island’s culture and early history. At the Madeira Theme Park you can find more Santana houses, some of which you can enter, and a giant Madeiran style straw hat and brown leather boot.
The area essentially lives from agriculture, craftwork and tradition. One of the largest traditional folklore festivals are held in Santana every July called 24 horas a bailar, which literally translates to “24 hours of dancing.” Santana is the perfect place to visit on the island to get a real taste of traditional Madeiran culture and to see the famous Casas de Santana.