Getting there

Getting to and from Porto Santo from outside Portugal can be difficult. There are several ways but none are straightforward.

1. Fly to Lisbon and get the direct flight to Porto Santo.  These are twice times a week (three in summer) and leave Lisbon around 9pm.  This is a convenient way to arrive as it's easy to get to Lisbon in order to make the connection to Porto Santo.  However, the problem is that the return flight leaves Porto Santo after 11pm and arrives in Lisbon at 1am (!!).  Thus, you're faced with spending the night in Lisbon airport or overnighting in a hotel down town. There is also a SATA flight from Lisbon on friday afternoons in the summer.

2. Fly to Lisbon, then to Funchal and then take a 20 minute flight from Funchal to Porto Santo. The flight is operated by SATA, who replaced the previous carrier, aerocondor, and offers fewer flights (approx 8.30am, 10.30am, 1pm, , 8.30pm) but a larger plane. As you'll have to make connections in Lisbon and in Funchal, you can spend a long time  waiting in the airports for your connections.  NB The SATA connecting flight is apt to be cancelled if not enough passengers are booked. This is most liable to occur on the first flight at weekends and the middle of the day flight during the week. Therefore do make sure SATA have your contact details so you dont find out about a cancellation when you arrive at the airport and be sure to insist on the appropriate EU compensation.

3. Many charter airlines fly directly to Funchal. This will spare you the overnight in Lisbon.

4. There is also a regular ferry from Funchal to Porto Santo. This makes the trip most days of the week (not all), generally leaving in the morning to arrive in Porto Santo about 10am and leaving around 6 or 7pm.  The friday trip is in the evening.  This may suit those who also stay some time in Funchal.  The ferry is best if you want to do a day trip from Madeira. 

5. If you live in Italy there is a weekly charter, direct to Porto Santo from Milan. 

6. There is also a weekly charter from Gatwick, London direct to Porto Santo and another from Brussels (stopover in funchal on outgoing leg) . In summer  2011 there was also a weekly charter from Poland.