"Santa Maria" Ilha de Santa Maria by mircaskirca

Ilha de Santa Maria Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 181 photos

Ilha do Sol

Situated on the extreme southeast of the wonderful Azores archipelago, Santa Maria was the first island to be discovered, by Diogo Silves, around 1427. It is the third smallest island with a surface area of approximately 97 km2 and about 5500 inhabitants. The island's capital, Vila do Porto, is one of the most ancient towns of the Azores. The island receives more sun than other islands and sea temperatures are higher. Though being used to the warm waters of the Adriatic Sea and the Caribbean I find it too cold and rather enjoyed it from the distance :)

Filled with natural beauty, Santa Maria is known for the various and vivid colours of its landscapes, from idyllic, picturesque, tranquil landscapes of forests and pastures to high sea cliffs with spectacular views and the highest point, Pico Alto. The island is characterized by its charming white houses with their peculiar white chimneys.

The first sensation you get about Santa Maria is peace and tranquillity. I immediately fell in love with the island and was happy that I decided to stay at least two days instead of one day as some people suggested. The most convenient way to see the island is hiring a car and meander along almost empty winding roads through the glorious countryside, stopping for views, taking pictures and exploring the villages, or just walking to the sound of birdsong, makes for a wonderful couple of days holiday.

  • Last visit to Ilha de Santa Maria: Jun 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (19)

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    This is a beautiful island and the island lover made me make a step more toward such a place! I like a lot the white houses and the churches there, and yes! people in such places are so kind. I was feeling your happiness travelling there Mira!

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Thats an excellent page bringing back great memories. I love this combination of landscape & their typical architecture !

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    Hi Mira, this looks like a beautiful scenic island, but the best part was certainly that you met such lovely people there. I'm sure it was a big help that you speak Portuguese from your many visits to Brazil.

  • micas_pt's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    Nice page about Santa Maria, it is great visiting the island through your tips and photos.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Mira, lovely page with brilliant photos of Ilha de Santa Maria. Although I was already twice in Portugal, I never made it to the Acores.

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2009 at 5:38 AM

    This does indeed look like paradise, Mira. Excellent well constucted tips with gorgeous photos. The Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Purificação church is magnificent.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Sep 5, 2009 at 11:42 PM

    It looks wonderful! And I absolutly want to visit one day, but the lack of public transportation will be a problem. Well, anyway great tips and photos Mira!

  • luwan's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    mirica, q massa! adorei a senhora valentina.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2009 at 10:44 PM

    Would love to go down these steps at Ponta de Castelo -- that coast looks awesome and you got great pics, especially of Praia Formosa...beautiful...can't wait to get to Portugal! Norman :)

  • elsadran's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    Lovely islands! Look peaceful and scenic! Baia formosa, Santa Barbara!! And food seems delicious! Nice work Mira!

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