If you are visiting Madeira for a golf break, a trip across to the beautiful island of Porto Santo (approx 2 hours by ferry from Funchal Port, or about 20 mins flight time from Cristiano Ronaldo Airport) is definitely a worthwhile addition to your Madeira golf holiday.

On arrival, the feeling is immediately of like being on a Caribbean island and the amazing beaches and hospitality only serve to add to this impression of Porto Santo.

The Severiano Ballesteros designed Porto Santo golf course is a classic Seve design with 6 x par 3’s, 6 x par 4’s and 6 x par 5’s and the usual “S” shaped Seve bunker, but what is different to most Ballesteros courses is the quite incredible layout of the back-9.

It is easy to be a little under-whelmed by the front-9 which is a typical American-style layout with wide fairways, generous landing areas and large rolling receptive greens, but just use this as a scoring opportunity because come the back-9 you may easily lose focus on your game as you traverse the cliff-tops and admire the views down to the mighty Atlantic far below.

Reminiscent of some of Ireland’s best seaside/clifftop layouts like Old Head for example, the back-9 at Porto Santo Golf Madeira is simply breathtaking.  The loop starts off with an excellent par-5 that rewards a 2 shot strategy over 2 separate lakes and then the next 4 or 5 holes cling to the cliff edges, with some tee shots over yawning chasms down to the sea boiling away below up to elevated greens ready to receive your ball and reward good putting.

What a loop of holes this is!  In fact when we played there in April, our whole group felt it was so spectacular and awe inspiring that we almost welcomed the relative normality of the closing couple of holes down to the clubhouse.  However, the 18th is a great test as well with a long approach over water to the green usually with a bunch of spectators high on the clubhouse terrace above!

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Tell us about your experience

Par: 72
Max Length (Men): 6434m
Max Length (Ladies): 5357m
Designer: Severiano Ballesteros
Manager: Bruno Martins


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  • Use Faro Airport in Portugal for the Algarve and also the Huelva region of the Costa de la Luz
  • Use Jerez/Seville/Gibraltar/Malaga airports for the Cadiz/Jerez region of the Costa de la Luz
  • Use Alicante/Murcia/Almeria airports for the entire south eastern region of Spain
  • Use Girona or Barcelona airports for the north east of Spain including the Costa Brava
  • Use Antalya Airport in Turkey for golf holidays in Belek, Turkey
  • Use Las Palmas Airport for golf holidays in Gran Canaria
  • Use Tenerife South Airport for golf holidays in Tenerife, unless you can source any flights to Tenerife North for Melia Hacienda del Conde and other resorts in the north of the island.
  • Use Tenerife South Airport for golf holidays in la Gomera and use the excellent Fred Olsen ferry service from Los Cristianos to San Sebastian port in La Gomera


Porto Santo Golf Club

  • A classic Seve design
  • 6 par-3 holes
  • 6 par-4 holes
  • 6 par-5 holes
  • Highly recommended by The Golf Travel People