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Santa Maria overview

Santa Maria is different from the other islands in that it is flatter and so much dryer, warmer and with a lower humidity. The west, being the flatter area of the island, has higher temperatures and low growing vegetation. The central mountainous area and the rest of the island are more heavily wooded (with many endemic plants) with high cliffs and hillsides plunging into the ocean. To the south is Praia Formosa, one of the best beaches of the Azores and the Baia da Praia nature reserve. There are wonderful exploratory itineraries around the island. Anjos, where Columbus landed, the quaint town of Sao Pedro, the white Algarve style houses of picturesque Santa Barbara in the forested north and Pico Alto (590m) from where one can see the whole of the island. The 15th century town of Vila Porto is the oldest in the Azores and has long streets leading to the 16th century cliff top fort of Sao Bras with the port below. At the tiny village of Maia, the steep hillsides leading down to the ocean have been terraced with black volcanic rocks over many generations to hold the fertile soil in place in order to grow vines, wheat and corn. There are also the Baia de Sao Lourenco, Ilheus das Formigas and Baia da Maia nature reserves wonderful places to explore.

Have a browse of a small collection of hotels.....there are many many more we are able to book, just drop us an email and we are more than happy to check them out for you!