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.
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.
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
- Anjos – small village with a statue of Christopher Columbus
who went here ashore on his way back of his first America
- 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
- Baia de Sao Lourenco: beautiful
beach and bay
Formosa – nice sand beach
- Parque Florestal
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.