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TUI to launch new flights to ‘Europe’s hidden gem beach destination’ | Travel News | Travel

TUI is set to launch flights to the Portuguese destination of Porto Santo, a small island in the archipelago of Madeira. Described by VisitMadeira as “Madeira’s sandy little sister”, the island destination is known for its white sandy and rugged, mountainous landscape.

It’s a great destination for those who want to “holiday like a local”, with residents of nearby Madeira and Portugal often choosing the “unspoiled beauty” as a holiday destination. VisitMadeira notes that this “makes it the perfect place for authentic cultural experiences”.

TUI adds: “This tiny island in Portugal is where a lot of locals go on their own holidays, thanks to its footprint-free beaches and snoozy towns.”

As of May 2024, TUI’s newly launched flights will mean Britons can reach Porto Santo in just three hours and 45 minutes from London Gatwick. The direct flight will run once a week in May, with prices starting from £290 per person.

And with TUI offering an array of deals and seasonal sales throughout the year, there is always the chance you may be able to snap up an even cheaper deal.

Perhaps one of Porto Santo’s greatest draws is its 9km beach, which stretches almost the entire south coast of the island and has won countless awards over the years, for the quality of its sand and waters. According to VisitMadeira: “The sand is scientifically recognised for its unique blend of properties, such as anti-inflammatory mineral strontium, which is used to help relieve symptoms of osteoporosis, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”

These natural events have been harnessed and are used by spas on the island, such as Porto Santo Hotel and Spa with hot sand treatments. And those who enjoy swimming can take a dip in perhaps one of the world’s most interesting natural swimming pools.

The natural sea-swimming pool, Porto das Salemas, is located in the northern part and is carved out of volcanic rock, offering incredible coastal views.

Golf enthusiasts can get in a round of two at the island’s 18-hole golf course which runs from one side of the island to the other, and was designed by legendary pro Seve Ballesteros. Other popular outdoor activities include 4×4 off-roading, horse-riding, fishing tours, diving, other watersports and hiking.

If you want to explore how locals live on the island, the beautiful town of Vila Baleira is actually the only town on the entire island. Home to 5,000 residents, the town is made up of quaint cobbled streets and white-washed buildings, with plenty of excellent restaurants and cosy accommodations for tourists. “The atmosphere is laid-back and safe, making it ideal for families,” commented VisitMadeira.

There is also a range of hotel options to choose from on the island, from smaller accommodations to larger, all-inclusive resorts.


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