Introducing Holidays to Vila Baleira
Vila Baleira is the capital of Porto Santo, a small island just off mainland Portugal. The town is small and peaceful, with whitewashed buildings, a quaint town square and cobbled streets. Upon first glance, the town embodies traditional Portuguese town life and an idyllically relaxed way of life. In contrast, down at the port, the coastline is scattered with trendy little bars and clubs in a scene of old Portugal meeting the new.
With a population of around 6,000, Vila Baleira feels familiar and intimate, yet still pulsing with an invigorating upbeat energy. The Largo do Pelourinho is the centre of the town square and the beating heart of Vila Baleira, where locals and visitors alike congregate to sip coffee and enjoy a traditional rustic stew at a café.
Life's a Beach
The biggest attraction in Vila Baleira is, of course, the beach. Although the town itself is very small, the beach at Vila Baleira is surprisingly long. It extends for 9km all the way around to Ponta de Calheta in the south, making the town an ideal venue for sun-seekers and fans of water sports. A gently sloping shelf merges into the Atlantic’s clear blue waters, creating an ideal opportunity for diving and snorkelling.
If you’re travelling with family, the shallow inclines make this stretch of coast an ideal location for kids swimming with arm-bands and paddling around in warm waters. The crystal-clear water provides ideal conditions for exploring the coastline and all of its marine life with a snorkel. With the lengthy track of sand expands in front of you, the beach also makes an ideal place to take long strolls on the sand, watch the boats on the water and enjoy a cool drink as the sun goes down.
Top Attractions in Vila Baleira
Aside from the beach, there’s plenty to enjoy in the town of Vila Baleira itself. The cobbled streets and picturesque white houses contrast with the hilled area that forms a backdrop to this scenic gem of a town. You can head to the Largo do Pelourinho to enjoy a coffee at one of the bars and cafes the town centre has to offer, while you can also enjoy the stunning scenery of the town as the lights of the city twinkle against the silhouette of the hills, like stars in the night sky. History fans will enjoy a visit to some of the town’s historic attractions, such as the 16th century town hall, a pristine white building surrounded by dragon trees, and the parish church of Nossa Senhora de Piedade.
In the alleyway behind the church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade is the Christopher Columbus Museum, the house in which he reputedly stayed while he was married to Filipa Moniz, the daughter of the founder of Porto Santo. Close by, an avenue lined with palm trees leads to the Infante Gardens, a tranquil space scattered with statues and sculptures. Of course, one of the main attractions of Vila Baleira is the peaceful seclusion and small town charm that you can enjoy just by leaving your hotel room and seeing where the day takes you.