Located in the south-east of the Archipelago, Santa Maria was the first Azorean island to be discovered in 1427 by Portuguese navigators Diogo de
Silves and Gonçalo Velho. History records that no people had set foot on the island before. Just nine islands were inhabited until the 15th century.
The island has a fascinating history waiting to be discovered, and Casa de Almagreira is the perfect starting point.
The island is 17 km in length by 9 km at its widest point, so any location on the Island can be reached by car in under 20 minutes. The steep
landscape means we recommend using a car to discover the island of Santa Maria.
Santa Maria has one only town, Vila do Porto, which has a very unique shape and an interesting main road leading down to a harbour, lined with
characterful old buildings and pretty churches.
Aside from the main town, Santa Maria has four seafront bathing areas, the most famous of which is Praia Formosa bay, with its fine white sand
beach and crystal clear waters.
We suggest that Santa Maria needs about five days to be explored, allowing several key island sights to be discovered, both on land and at sea.
For the last 15 years, we have been discovering the hidden corners of the island. We have found at least 20 must-see landmarks including
geological sites, places of historical interest, beautiful nature spots and places for simple contemplation with stunning views, which we will
be happy to share with our House guests.
Bicycle rides and trekking are possible to experience the island’s lush green environments. For the more adventurous there is canyoning,
sea kayaking, sailing, and fishing, either on a boat or underwater. If you visit Santa Maria in late September and October, a highlight is
snorkelling with Whale Sharks and scuba diving to see Manta Rays.
Santa Maria offers excellent water visibility for diving. During the peak of Summer the water reaches a very comfortable 24ºC. This creates
the perfect condition for bathing. Sunset swimming is particularly memorable. The shallow sand bays of Praia Formosa and São Lourenço are
perfect for families.