Azores: Santa Maria Island

Our Starting Point

Woke Up At Dawn

We take the 6:30 am flight to Santa Maria, the smallest island of the Azores archipelago (16.6 km long by 9.1 km wide), located 81 km from São Miguel.

It is also the oldest island of the archipelago: its formation dates back to about ten million years. And the first discovered and populated island of the Azores.

It’s a too early for me (lol!). I’m absolutely not a morning person! Thirty minutes later, we landed. Waiting for the heavy rain to stop, Henrique, our tour guide drives us to the only one opened café in Vila do Porto (the main city). 

Then we head in 4X4 to the Fort Sao Bras (video below). The landscape and wind make me think of Ireland (picture above).


If you have trouble watching the videos, refresh the page and move the cursor a bit forwad on the timeline. And if it doesn’t work, do not hesitate to leave me a comment.. 

Crossing fields

Movie Set

We take a path in the fields to cross the center of the island. Awesome landscape! My first favorite scenery in Santa Maria! 


The Red Desert


Barreiro da Faneca

Totally unexpected! After the fields and sheeps, the Red Desert. This arid zone of clay is unique in the Azores archipelago. Leaving Bareiro da Faneca, we find very green landscapes with here and there lovely traditional houses (photos below).


Poço da Pedreira


North Of The Island

An impressive landscape shaped by man: Poço da Pedreira is an ancient quarry located in Santa Barbara. The stone was used to built the traditional houses and parish of Santa Barbara.

Then we head towards São Lourenço (pictured below). Superb view of the bay and the village from the Mirador of Espigão!


The Lunch



Finally, I can see the ocean up close. The sound and power of the waves! The black sand beach that contrasts with the foam of the waves under a strong light. The color of the water changes from ultramarine blue to emerald. Magic! And the grilled fish is delicious.


Cascata do Aveiro


110 mètres de haut!

Look at the height of the woman in the right edge of the picture above : so tiny! Then we drive along the coast. The ocean…


Ribeira do Maloás


Wow! The only place I saw this kind of volcanic roc was in Porto Santo (small island off Madeira). We walked on a narrow footpath along the cliff (first picture below).

What a surprise by discovering the wide verdant plateau split in two parts with this huge wall! Outstanding!

Back to the 4X4 to go to Pico Alto, the highest point of the island at 586.64 meters above sea level (second photo below). Great a panoramic view.   


Back To São Miguel

In the early evening, we flight back to São Miguel. We are exhausted! I think the dinner will be pretty funny (lol). 

I will go back to Santa Maria!

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.


Visit AzoresVisit PortugalTAPBootlá


Many thanks to Visit Azores, Visit Portugal and TAP for this superb invitation. Thanks also to our great guide in Santa Maria, Henrique Simões. As always, these are my opinions.

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