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Santa Maria

Santa Maria is a nice island to visit. The landscape is different from the other islands on the Azores and the houses are spread all across the island. The land is very fertile and the rural landscape has great beauty.

Santa Maria is the southernmost island in the Azores Islands, about 55 miles from Sao Miguel. The island has an surface area of 97 km2 and about 6000 inhabitants. The island contains the oldest Azorean villages (Vila do Porto). The island also has old houses with windows that belonged to Capitão Donatário, dating back to the 15th century.

santa maria   santa maria

The highest point on the island is Pico Alto, at 590m above sea level. From here there is a magnificent view over the island. The climate is similar to the other islands, but as Santa Maria is the southern most island it is slightly drier and sunnier.

The island is divided into two regions. The first part is flat, very dry and sunshine-rich and encompasses the main town Vila do Porto and a civilian airport. The airport was an American air base until the end of the Second World War. Here you find very little vegetation, because there is almost no rainfall, but there is almost 100 % guarantee for sunshine. The second part of the island is home to the parishes of Santa Bárbara and Santo Espírito and has a lot of vegetation, hills and small mountains.

Santa Maria Highlights

Villages and Culture
  • Vila do Porto: main capital of the island with the Ermida de Santo Antao, Convento de Sao Francisco, Capela da Ordem Terceira, Convento de Santo Antonio, Matriz Nossa Senhora da Assuncao and the small marina
  • Anjos – small village with a statue of Christopher Columbus who went here ashore on his way back of his first America journey.  
  • Santo Espirito - Igreja de Nossa Senhora Purificacao, Museu de Santa Maria, craftsman center Cooperativa de Artesanato de Santa Maria
  • Sao Pedro; Igreja de Sao Pedro, Ermida de Nossa Senhora do Pilar, the Ermida de Nossa Senhora to Saude
santa maria   santa maria


  • Baia de Sao Lourenco: beautiful beach and bay
  • Baia there Figueiral
  • Praia Formosa – nice sand beach
  • Parque Florestal Fontinhas
  • Pico Alto: highest mountain of Sanat Maria (587m)
  • Formigas: a group of eight small islands 37 km’s north-west of Santa Maria. It is a nesting area for many seabirds and it has been granted a Statute of Natural Reserve.

© Azoresweb 2006