The paradise island, in the archipelago of Madeira, has a campaign on social networks where it is projected as a “safe destination”. And it is. In addition to the zero Covid-19 cases, it offers 9.5 kilometers of golden and therapeutic sandy beaches and the activities of an open-air resort
“A handful of land in the middle of the ocean. First destination of the Portuguese discoveries. A paradise left on earth, here is the beach that the world dreams of. Invite friends, we will help Porto Santo to recover from the Covidian storm ”. This is the poetic motto of the group created on Facebook for the “Porto Santo – Destino Seguro” campaign, which already has more than 20 thousand members within a week “between Madeirans, Portuguese from the continent and people from 15 different nationalities”, he says. to Plataforma, Rui Lourenço, responsible for the digital promotion of the tourist destination.
The island’s 5000 residents live mainly on tourism and have never been through such difficult times, with most people still “in layoff”. But now there has been some encouraging news: from July 20, charter flights departing from Lisbon will resume, until September 14. “There will be flights that will bring up to 170 people, Portuguese. They will in fact come to a safe destination because only the beach is 9.5 kilometers from end to end and in August the island has a maximum capacity for 25,000 people without ever having the beaches full ”, adds Rui Lourenço.
In addition to the golden sand beaches and therapeutic properties, the island offers a series of activities concentrated in one place, which makes it a kind of “open air resort”. “Here you can do golf, fishing, diving, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, dolphin watching”. SPA fans also have the possibility of doing thalassotherapy with sea water and areotherapy. “Sand has the same property as Reumon Gel for pain. Norway even sends its citizens, through its National Health Service, to do treatments on our sands ”.
Porto Santo usually has many visitors from the Nordic countries and central Europe, including Danish, German and English, some of whom purchase holiday homes on the island. But now, in this return to some “normality”, it will count mainly on the Portuguese of the continent, as stated by the Mayor of the island, Idalino Vasconcelos.
“From July 20, we will have five weekly flights, two will be charters from Portuguese operators and the other three will be from TAP”, says the mayor, born and raised in Porto Santo. “We will have tourism on the island of Madeira and mainland Portugal, which we already had and which interests us because they spend and live with the locals, go to the restaurant and bar, do the excursion”.
And it is also of good gastronomy and wines produced in sandy lands that we speak when talking about the island of volcanic origin Porto Santo. The famous bolo do caco was born here and the tuna caught in its waters is of impeccable quality.
Idalino Vasconcelos describes his land as “a little paradise” and praises the goodness of being able to have the ritual of “watching the sunrise on the beach” and also enjoying its sunset on normal work days. Islander privileges in that Eden where “there are no traffic lights and there are only two roundabouts that had to be created for driving tests because the Code required it”, as Rui Lourenço recalled, amidst laughter.
The six “golden sand” beaches with water at a temperature that can go up to 22 degrees have Quercus’ “Golden Quality” award. Porto Santo was also highlighted by Forbes magazine as “one of the 10 safest beaches in Europe”, recalls the mayor.
Every year the Blue Flag is raised. This year will be the 18th of June, the date of the official opening of the bathing season on the island. The President of the Chamber guarantees that the Regional Secretariat for Culture and Tourism of the Island of Madeira is committed to a strategy of promoting Porto Santo in a “dignified campaign”. But it is not enough. “We are going to request a meeting with the Minister of Transport so that TAP starts to lower the prices of trips to the island. It sells tickets at 300 or 400 euros to New York and for Porto Santo they are 600 euros. It is not reasonable ”, says the mayor. Especially because “in the last six to seven years, there was a decrease in seasonality from July to September and a greater continuity in tourism from May to October”.
A continuity that Idalino Vasconcelos believes will continue throughout the year “if flight prices are lowered”. The island, whose beach resulted from the destruction of a coral reef, is also a romantic destination. “Many young people meet here on vacation and then return to the island to get married, in most cases from mainland Portugal and the island of Madeira”.
The reasons for going are many. Some even stay forever. Who doesn’t like having the sea in front of them every day?
This article is available in: Português