Location: Santa Maria
As you arrive on Santa Maria, your first sensation will be a feeling of peace and tranquility typical of the Azores. The scenery is breathtaking, and the lush, green mountains in the east, including the imposing peak of Pico Alto at 590m, contrast with the flat plains of the west.
On the west side you’ll find the capital of Vila do Porto along with the fabulous beach at Praia Formosa and to the east is the shell-shaped Bay of São Lourenço (St Lawrence), where pale volcanic sands are lapped by beautifully clear turquoise water and grapevines run down the hillsides almost touching the sea.
On the North coast, you’ll find the pretty village of Anjos with its sea pools and chapel which Christopher Columbus is reputed to have visited on his return from the Americas. And everywhere, you’ll see the pretty white houses with decorative white chimneys which reveal the Algarve origin of the first settlers.
Surface area 97km²Population 6,000