Santa Maria Island is a truly unique destination in the Azores archipelago, offering visitors a distinctive blend of stunning landscapes and cultural heritage. The island’s warm and dry climate sets it apart from the other islands in the Azores, earning it the nickname the “Sunshine Island.” Its diverse geological history is visible in its volcanic and sedimentary rocks, creating impressive sights such as the Pedreira do Campo and the Dalberto Pombo Environmental Interpretation Centre. The island’s two regions also offer distinct features, from the flat and low-lying western area to the rugged and lush vegetation of the eastern region.
For those interested in cultural heritage, Santa Maria Island has plenty to offer. The town of Vila do Porto features houses with Manueline-style doors and windows, providing a glimpse into the early settlement of the island. The Sao Bras Fort serves as a reminder of the island’s history of pirate attacks, with guns pointing out to sea. The traditional houses of the island, with their rectangular shape and cylindrical chimneys, inspired by the architecture of Alentejo and Algarve, are also a must-see for visitors.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Santa Maria Island has something for everyone. From exploring the jagged coastline to visiting museums and churches, visitors can immerse themselves in the island’s rich history and stunning scenery. With its vibrant chromatic color schemes and unique landscapes, Santa Maria Island is an exciting destination that should not be missed.