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.
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.
A very popular beach with white sand which is unusual in the Azores
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.
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.
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.
Located in the north part of the island, the chapel where Christopher Columbus attended Mass on his return trip from America is still standing.
Displays several colections on the island's natural heritage. This estate had been collected by the distinguished naturalist Dalberto Pombo.
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 ...
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.