Santa Maria

 

                                                                                     View from the harbor towards the town of Vila do Porto.

 

                                                                                      

 

 

                                  Santa Maria  is a very exiting island to visit. Exiting because the landscape is so different from the other islands
                                  on the Azores . Santa Maria is about 17 x 9 km . It is possible to go to Santa Maria by ferry from Ponta Delgada on 
                                  So Miguel from May to September. Here you will find a population of about 6000 people.

                                  Santa Maria has a very big airport, which has been used as an American air force base since World War 2. The 
                                  base was closed down many years ago, and the airport is today entirely used as a commercial airport. The tourist 
                                  office on Santa Maria is placed in the main building of the airport.

                                  The biggest town on Santa Maria is Vila do Porto . Typically this is the place to stay. If you prefer to stay in a private
                                  villa all by yourself, I can recommend a nice house in Santa Barbara . It has 3 beds and cost about 25 EURO in 
                                  July 2002. Go to the local grocery shop in Santa Barbara and ask for Alice . She will be glad to help you. The tele-
                                  phone number is 296884237.

                                  A nice sandy beach is located at Praia Formosa . From here it's possible to windsurf. Sao Laurenco bay has a
                                  nice sandy beach.

                                  The nature of the islands is special in the way that it is ”separated” in two very different kinds of areas. One part on
                                  which the airport is located is almost " flat as a pancake."  Here you find very little vegetation, because there is al-
                                  most no rainfall in this area. You are almost 100 % sure of sunshine. Vila do Porto is located in this area.

                                 The other part of the island has a lot of vegetation, hills and small mountains. In this area you will also find some far-
                                 ming. Because of the mountains the clouds are forced to drop all the rain it contains here. So all the rain falls in
                                 this area, and it's is therefore some moistly. But nevertheless it's absolutely worth a visit. You can drive all the way 
                                 to the highest point of Santa Maria, which is Pico Alto. From here there is a magnificent view over the island.

                                On Santa Maria I can recommend "renting" a taxi to discover the island. It's rather expensive to rent a car, if even 
                                possible. I can recommend Mr. Fontes, 
Lugar Cruz Teixeira,   9580 Vila do Porto , Telephone 96 252 70 38. He is
                                very friendly and helpful, and speaks fluently English.

                                Close to the airport there is a Go-cart track. There is an "Internet Caf" at no. 88 on the main road of Vila do Porto
                                It's next to the SATA-office. It's open from 10.00 to 22.00.
And it's free.

                                On Santa Maria they produce some handcrafted items, nice bedcover, pillowcases, and a lot of beautiful pottery.

                                Every year in August there is a section of the Portuguese Rally. So if you are not crazy about racing, I recommend
                                that you avoid visiting Santa Maria on that particular week-end in which the rally takes place. The rally very must involve 
                                the whole island. (Blocking the roads for many hours, etc.) It's usually take place in the beginning of august. But 
                                check it out.

                                See also General information about the Azores. ( F. A. Q. )

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maia

Maia

 

Maia

 

 

Praia Formosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Valverde 2004

 

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   Valverde 1991

   Valverde 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  Vila do Porto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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                                                                                                                 Sao Laurenco bay.   

   

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