SANTA MARIA ISLANDWe are waiting for you in
Santa Maria island is located in the extreme southeast of Azores archipelago, integrating the Eastern Group. Its population rounds 5,578 inhabitants, spread over five parishes that make up Vila do Porto municipality, the only one of the island.
Located at about 100 km south of São Miguel island and about 600 km from Flores island, Santa Maria is the most eastern island.
Geologically speaking, it is the oldest one of Azores with volcanic formations that are older than 8.12 million years old.
Although it is the only one in the archipelago that does not present recent volcanic activity, the island is subjected to relatively high seismicity due to its proximity to a fault.
Santa Maria Island has fossil deposits that have created great interest in the scientific community, leading to numerous paleontological studies.
The island western region is covered by a reddish clay soil, resulting from the deep pyroclasts alteration, formed when the island's climate was much warmer and more humid than it is today and the average sea level was about 100 meters lower than it is now.
The island coast is generally rugged, reaching a height of 340 meters in Rocha Alta cliffs. The island has a set of very pronounced tips, presenting some sheltered bays where white sand beaches appear, like São Lourenço and Praia Formosa bays. Along Santa Maria coast there are some islets and rocks of considerable size, especially Romeiro islet (São Lourenço), Vila and Lagoinhas islets.
Due to its low altitude and less abundant vegetation, the island has a less pronounced oceanic climate than the remaining Azorean islands, being mild and with great sunshine. Its features are close to those of a Mediterranean climate, with a well marked dry and hot summer; and a mild and not very rainy winter. The average air temperatures range between 14 °C and 22 °C.