Santa Maria Island is located in Azores archipelago's eastern group (south of Sao Miguel island) and is country's southernmost island. It covers a total area of approx 97 km2 (37 ml2) and has population around 6,000.
- The island is best known for its white sand beaches and dry warm weather. A number of natural landscapes have been designated points of natural interest by Regional Government to support endemic flora and fauna species, provide communal forms of nature interpretation, and foster conservation. On November 7, 2008, the Government legislated the creation of the Nature Park of the Island of Santa Maria (Parque Natural da Ilha de Santa Maria) in order to administer and encapsulate the variety of territorial units in one scheme, which includes 13 protected areas.
- Many examples exist (churches, auxiliary structures, public buildings, military constructions) of the cultural heritage of Santa Maria Island that have been conserved, preserved and remodelled for their significant histo-cultural value. Since the island was the first to be colonized, older examples of these structures and buildings exist that have lasted longer, thanks to historical volcanism and fewer earthquakes.
- As with the rest of Azores, tourism makes up a major tertiary sector, linked with nautical activities like sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing, sport fishing (swordfish, grouper, tuna) and scuba-diving, pedestrian hiking, rabbit hunting and beach activities. The villages of Anjos, Praia Formosa, Maia and Sao Lourenco are popular as summer tourist centers, pampering visitors with their natural pools, beaches, summer homes and festivals.
Santa Maria Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Santa Maria Island (Ilha de Santa Maria) Azores dock (anchor) at Vila do Porto - port town on the southern coast.
Port Santa Maria Island cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Santa Maria Island, Vila do Porto, Azores. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|17 April, 2021|