Madeira Travel Guide


Travel Guide > Santa Cruz > Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Airport land

It all started with a trunk. That’s right. Imagine that...
The civil parish, which today is the chief town of the municipality, started as a dry trunk, with two branches in the shape of a cross. The trunk was found in the laurel forest on the southern coast.
The settlement took place right at the beginning of the colonization of Madeira Island, between 1425 and 1440.
The civil parish of Santa Cruz was established during the second quarter of the 15th century. As such, it is one of the oldest on the Island.
Santa Cruz became a municipality with town jurisdiction at the time it was separated from Machico, on May 26, 1515. 

The patron saint of Santa Cruz is São Salvador, from the chancel of the town’s Mother Church.
The Church of Santa Cruz appears in Madeira Island travel guides amongst the churches not to be missed. The church, which dates back to 1533, still has its Manueline trace, and is the largest temple outside Funchal.
Being one of the regions where the settlements first took place, Santa Cruz still has traces of its noble origin.
Along the years, it has fought Machico, creating a healthy rivalry, which has been kept along the centuries.
The main settlers were of Portuguese origin.
In terms of economic activities, we would like to point out the service sector, being the main source of income.
Santa Cruz has developed a lot in the past few years. A lot of investment has been made in terms of public infrastructures, which have promoted the growth of the hotel industry and an increase in real estate undertakings.
When talking about Santa Cruz, one has to talk about Aeroporto Internacional da Madeira (Madeira’s International Airport). This is the entrance point for thousands and thousands of tourists that arrive here everyday. The infrastructure was inaugurated in 1964, and today all sorts of planes can land there.
Santa Cruz has about 6,070 inhabitants.
The climate is warm all year round, with very pleasant temperatures.
Useful information
Municipal Public Holiday January 15
Area: 81.52 Km2
Bathing Areas: Praia das Palmeiras and Praia dos Reis Magos
How to Get There

From Funchal, take the freeway in the direction of Aeroporto (Airport). Take the Santa Cruz turnoff. You can turn off at the first exit or further down the road.  

Nearby Accommodation:

Vila Echium

Holiday House Vila Joaninha

Holiday House Vivenda Belo Horizonte

Holiday Cottages Casas Valleparaízo

Rural Hotel Estalagem a Quinta

Aparthotel Villa Opuntia

Holiday House Quinta do Lagar

Holiday House Casa d' Avó Beatriz

Outdoor activities - activities, tours, rentals:

Walking tours


Byke tours

Boat trips


Jeep tours

Wales and Dolphin watching

Scuba diving

Gastronomic Specialties of Madeira
  • Tuna Fish in Vinegar Sauce

  • Typical Food in Madeira Island
  • Mushy Wheat Soup
  • Grilled Mackerel with sauce made of onion, vinegar and spices
  • Gastronomic Specialty made with Potatoes
  • Rounf Flat Loaf typical of Madeira

  • Traditional Sweets and Deserts in Madeira
  • Broas de Mel
  • Corn Cake boiled on cabbage leaf

  • Traditional Drinks in Madeira Island
  • Vinho Surdo
  • Licor Tintanton
  • Wine Liqueur
  • Tangerine Liqueuer
  • Sweet/ Dry Wine
  • Licor de Cerveja com Aguardente

  • Historical Facts about the Parishes
  • Story of Santa Cruz council

  • About the Parishes in Madeira Island
  • Characterization of Santa Cruz council

  • Parks and Nature Reserves in Madeira island
  • Jardim do Tribunal de Santa Cruz

  • Sport and Leasure Activities in Madeira Island
  • Vela
  • Joeira (Papagaio de Papel)

  • Sports Facilities in Madeira Island
  • Sporting Clube Santa-Cruzense

  • Sightseeing in Madeira Island
  • Promenade de Santa Cruz
  • Porto de Recreio de Santa Cruz

  • Monuments, Churches, Chapels, Fortresses in Madeira Island
  • Town Hall
  • Town Hall
  • Mother Church
  • Chapel of Santo Amaro
  • Chapel of São Pedro
  • Chapel of Remédios

  • Cultural Centres in Madeira Island
  • Santa Cruz Cultural Center
  • Brass Band

  • Parks and Gardens in Madeira Island
  • Jardim Municipal de Santa Cruz
  • Jardim da Praça de Santa Cruz
  • Jardim da Quinta do Revoredo

  • Natural Pools, Streams, Waterfalls in Madeira Island
  • Palmeiras Beach
  • Aquaparque
  • Pool at Palmeiras Beach

  • Harbors and Marinas in Madeira Island
  • Porto de Santa Cruz

  • Handicraft in Madeira Island
  • Reed Baskets

  • Madeira Tapestry
  • Patchwork Rugs

  • Markets and Fairs in Madeira Island
  • Mercado de Santa Cruz

  • City Council in Madeira Island
  • Câmara Municipal de Santa Cruz

  • Civil Defence - Emergency Service in Madeira Island
  • Serviço Regional de Protecção Civil da Madeira