«(…) uma freguesia de invocação de Santa Ana (…) são terras de lavrança, de muito pão e criações; tem muita castanha e noz, e muitas águas e fructos de toda a sorte».
Gaspar Frutuoso, Séc. XVI
Located on the north coast of the island, the municipality of Santana is made up of six parishes: Arco de São Jorge, São Jorge, Ilha, Santana (municipal seat), Faial and São Roque do Faial, being elevated to the status of municipality in 1835. Its name is derived from Sant’Ana, the patron saint of the municipality. For many years, the main economic activities carried out in the municipality were essentially directed towards agriculture, thanks to the nature of the land, which was favourable to the growing of cereals, sugar cane, vineyards, horticultural products and fruit trees. Faial’s wine and custard apples are worthy of special mention.
One of the obligatory stops in the municipality of Santana is the Madeira Theme Park, one of the main tourist attractions. This infrastructure is located close to the centre of the city of Santana, not only transmitting the historical evolution of Madeira, but exploring as well the natural aspect, with pedagogical contents and activities, perpetuating the ethnography of Madeira in terms of handicrafts, traditions, habits and customs through pavilions and open-air exhibits.
Next to the City Hall, the Santana Municipal Government has placed at the disposal of visitors some examples of one of the houses characteristic of the region, the so-called “Santana House”, an A-frame house made out of wood and covered with a thatched roof.
Although the various regional dishes are prepared in almost all areas of Madeira, it is worth mentioning that Santana is particularly known for its wheat soup (sopa de trigo), a thick soup that served to sustain the men who worked in the fields all day.
Festivals and Events:
Custard Apple Festival in Faial Regional Folklore Festival, known as “48 Horas of Dancing” At Carnival, be sure to see the Festa dos Compadres.
Nature and activities:
Rocha do Navio Nature Reserve, Ribeiro Frio, Queimadas, Caldeirão Verde, bathing area at the mouth of the Faial brook. Don’t pass up the chance to visit Pico Ruivo, the highest point of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, at 1861 m elevation. The footpath begins at Achada do Teixeira, going up to the summit of Pico Ruivo, returning to the starting point. It is about 3 km each way (6km there and back) and can be easily done in 3 hours.w