The village of Santana is famous for its A-frame, thatch-roof palheiros (haylofts), which are unique to the island. Traditionally painted in bright colors, they look as if they've come straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Although few islanders still live in these dwellings, you can look around several of the houses just off the main through road, one of which is Santana’s tourist office and the others are little craft and souvenir shops. You’ll see that the upper floor was used for sleeping, while the lower floor was used as a living area or for storage. Cooking—and toilet facilities—was traditionally done outside, clear of the dwelling space. Santana is also a good base to see pretty vineyards and take a levada hike.
When there was every reason in the world to stay away and see the ruins, one woman traveled to Greece to get to work.More