As on the other islands, the Holy Ghost Festivals entertain Santa Maria from April until the summer. But it is in August that the island is more colourful and animated. All starts with the Rally of Santa Maria, a traditional round in the regional championship.
By mid month August, there is the Nossa Senhora da Assunção Festival, the patron saint of the island. There are various activities in Vila do Porto, with religious events being held hand in hand with dancing, concerts and handicraft and gastronomic fairs.
The arrival of the Maré de Agosto Music Festival is the peak of this entertaining month. With an international prominence, this festival is dedicated to world music and attracts visitors from various locations, who come to listen to music during the night and to rest on the beach during the day.
This is considered to be the first temple built on these islands. Christopher Columbus prayed there when he returned from America. Inside this chapel, there is a tile panel and a triptych altar which probably belonged to Gonçalo Velho Cabral, who was the first settler of Santa ...
A very popular beach with white sand which is unusual in the Azores
Dedicated to the patron saint of the island, this is one of the oldest churches built in the archipelago. It has been changed throughout the centuries, due to looting, fire and reconstruction, but it still keeps some elements of the original structure.
A unique geologic formation at Malbusca that resulted from the contact of the sea with the lava flow, it is part of a waterfall that stands approximately 20 metres high.
The Dalberto Pombo Environmental Interpretation Centre (CIADP) resulted of the reconstruction of an old historic building in Vila do Porto. This Centre houses the collections of the naturalist Dalberto Pombo, true pioneer in the study of the geological and biological diversity ...
A semi-desert, arid and clayish landscape, red in colour, it is usually called “red desert”. This is a unique protected landscape area of the Azores of approximately 8.35 square km, and includes the Bays of Raposo, Tagarete and Cré.
Located in the north part of the island, the chapel where Christopher Columbus attended Mass on his return trip from America is still standing.
At a height of over 100 metres, visitors can see a wall of pillow lavas, proving that this part of the island was submerged thousands of years ago.
Shaped like an amphitheatre and surrounded by vineyards planted up the slope, it features a beach and tidal pools which are enjoyed by many visitors during the summer.