The early history of this island is shrouded in mystery, the most known version states that a storm in 1418 caused the infant sailors D. Henrique, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristan Vaz got out of her course, sailing aimlessly, hours and days to find an island who gave the name Porto Santo. But another version historically argued, states that in earlier times, a vessel found a safe haven on the island after a violent storm, a time before the Portuguese settlement on the island of Porto Santo, which has had this name – something found in ” Atlas Medicis “of about 1370.
Porto Santo has an extensive sandy beach nine kilometers, with a yellowish and fine sand, skirting its southern coast, between the port and Calheta. Being in an environment that provides the realization of beach throughout the year, along with a water temperature that remains constant throughout the year. This beach offers a quiet and relaxing time.
As regards the economic activities of the island, this is based on trade and services, while agriculture is weaker due to the natural conditions of the island. Recently, however, the tourism sector has been increasing by the new element that captures attention and relates the island of Madeira to Porto Santo, the wolffish.
Already the biggest cultural icon of this island is the House Museum Christopher Columbus, who recalls and indicates the presence of America’s adventurer and discoverer. This space aims to recreate the environment in which the explorer lived, consists of two buildings, is the oldest of the time when Christopher Columbus was on this island. It is still possible to see the exhibition of the sixteenth century to the twentieth century, which has portraits of Columbus and the maps of the different routes running along.
The only city of Porto Santo, Vila Baleira was elevated to this category on August 6, 1996 and now Porto Santo gives its name to both the municipality as the only parish.