Santa Maria is the sunniest island in the Azores and offers a pleasant climate all year round. Until October you can swim, snorkel and dive in the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic. In the summer season you can go cycling or boating and visit the local traditional festivals as well as some international music festivals. Nature lovers and those seeking peace and quiet can go for walks and hikes in the lush, blooming nature thanks to the mild, spring-like winter of the Azores.
This forgotten piece of earth has remained largely untouched by human intervention, and that is precisely what makes it so attractive. If you are looking for hustle and bustle, programmed entertainment, chic shopping streets and glamorous hotels, you are wrong.
There is only one traffic light on Santa Maria, and the few cars drive slowly on the winding, narrow streets. In fact, it is hard to believe that there are still so untouched, sparsely populated places in Europe.
Hikes and walks in untouched nature
All around the island you can enjoy the great landscape on hiking trails. From easy walks to demanding hikes - all of them lead to spectacular viewpoints.
In summer, numerous marine mammals seek the proximity of the islands, ideal conditions for whale watching, diving and encounters with dolphins, mantas and whale sharks.
Santa Maria offers a variety of landscapes: the magnificent bay of Sao Lourenço, the red desert, the beach of Praia Formosa, the waterfall of Maia, the historic old town of Vila do Porto, and much more.
For those who want to escape the cold in their home country for a long time will find a perfect and inexpensive "winter quarters" here. The year-round mild climate allows many tropical and subtropical plants to thrive, plants bloom all year round and the forests and meadows glow in lush green even in the winter months - while in elsewhere everything is gray and cold.