Travelogue

Santana

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Characterised by its small thatched  houses with sloping triangular rooftops, Santana is a beautiful village. The village is positioned on the North East coast of Madeira. These small houses built of natural stone and thatched with straw have served the locals for centuries. Used by farmers or fishermen, this small “A-framed” cottages are called palheiros. The cottages have thatched roofs and were originally built to offer shelter for fishermen during the fishing season or as storage for grain. The cottages have white-painted walls and brigh red doors; windows are finished with blue trim. Santana owes its name to a chapel in its honour, bearing the name Santa Ana (Saint Ana). The settlement took place here in mid 16th century, with people from Braga, from Portugal mainland. For that reason, the local inhabitants have the nickname “Bragados”. Every year in July a festival of traditional music and dances is held in the village. It is very lively and exciting but it attracts large crowds of locals and tourists alike, so perhaps it is not best time for quiet contemplation and picture taking. It also is very difficult to find as palheiros are not well signed.