Santa Maria IslandTown Related Links
Santa Maria IslandIntroduction

Lying some 55 kilometres south of the main island is Ilha de Santa Maria which is 18 kilometres in length and 9.5 kilometres wide.

The main town is Vila do Porto lying on the south coast and consists of one principal long street. Ilha de Santa Maria lies to the south of the group Azores and enjoys the warmest annual climate of all the islands.

The population of about 6.000 are mainly descendants from the south of Portugal, especially from the Algarve.

The inhabitants originally enjoyed an economic boom by growing "woad" which was then exported to Europe for use in the dying of cloth.

One of the features of this island is that many houses have an outside bread oven attached to their houses (which used to be also common to the Algarve).

The inhabitants produced a quality of bread that gave rise to a profitable trade with passing ships.

There are sandy beaches on the south coast and a peaceful countryside, both providing a general relaxing atmosphere.

On the west coast of the island is a large airport (previously military), and constructed as a staging base by the USA for use during the 2nd World War.

On the north coast can be found a small statue commemorating the brief visit of Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his return journey after discovering the "New World". Close by this statue is a chapel believed to be the oldest in the Azores.

There is a schedule of regular flights to Ilha de São Miguel and boats also connect these two islands.

Santa Maria IslandEvents


Festa da Senhora da Assunção (Vila do Porto) 15th August

Santa Maria IslandTelephone Numbers


Fire Brigade 296 882 373
Police 296 550 000
Emergency Treatment 296 820 100
Tourist Office & Airport 296 886 355

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