Madeira and Porto Santo are the only populated islands in the Madeira archipelago, which also includes the Desertas Islands and the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands.
Porto Santo is actually a quite different island from Madeira. Surrounded by turquoise waters, it has 9 kilometres / 6 miles of golden sand beaches and an arid, volcanic landscape.
You have two ways to get from Madeira (Funchal) to Porto Santo Island. Here are the options.
Ferry: Most Popular Choice
Taking the ferry is the most common way to get from Funchal, the capital of Madeira, to Porto Santo. The trip is on board the modern ferry boat “Lobo Marinho”, operated by Porto Santo Line, and lasts 2h15.
The ferry runs daily except Tuesday (but it may vary), summer and winter. It usually departs at 8am from the south dock of the Port of Funchal, and returns from Porto Santo between 6pm and 8pm.
A ticket costs around €60 roundtrip (high season). Crossing from Madeira to Porto Santo with a car can set you back €160 or more. There are also hotel + ferry packages if you decide to spend the night on Porto Santo.
Since the ferry times vary slightly from day to day and month to month, make sure you check Porto Santo Line timetables. You can buy tickets online or at the ferry terminal up to 15 minutes before departure.
Plane: Most Expensive but Quickest Choice
You can take a flight from Madeira to Porto Santo, but it will cost you twice the price of a ferry ticket. The flight takes about 25 minutes, and is operated by Binter Canarias.