With 16.6 km of length, 9.1 km at its maximum width and a total area of 97 km2, the island of Santa Maria has 5,552 inhabitants (2011 data). Together with the island of São Miguel, it forms the Eastern Group of the Azores Archipelago, with the two islands distancing 81 km from each other. Pico Alto, the island’s highest point, reaches an altitude of 587 m and is located at 36º58’59’’ latitude north and 25º05’26’’ longitude west.
A very popular beach with white sand which is unusual in the Azores
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 ...
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.
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 ...
Located in the north part of the island, the chapel where Christopher Columbus attended Mass on his return trip from America is still standing.
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.
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.
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.