Island of Santa Maria - Azores

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Santa Maria Island
Santa Maria, the third smallest island in the Azores, is 30 minutes by plane from the island of São Miguel, 102 km away from the island that makes up the Eastern Group. It is known as the Golden Island, because of the subterranean geek that covers it and that led Raul Brandão to celebrate it as "the island that smells good".

With an area of ​​about 97.5 km2, its municipal headquarters is located in Vila do Porto.

The green of the fields, the traditional cultures, the chimneys of whitewashed houses, the dark ocher of the land, the golden beaches and turquoise waters make Santa Maria different from the other islands of the archipelago.

Some of its most characteristic features are the joy of the popular festivals, the delights of its traditional cuisine, its dry climate and its inviting beaches. All this, combined with the art of well-being of its people, makes Santa Maria an appreciated tourist destination.
Baia da Maia and São Lourenço - Two of the most beautiful bays of the archipelago, with their vineyards on the slopes that descend towards the sea, presenting as an amphitheater compartmented on terraces that protect and warm the vineyards. Both have bathing facilities.

Anjos - The bay is historically very significant, because it was there that Christopher Columbus landed on the return of the Americas.

Santo Espírito - A beautiful village surrounded by pastures, with a beautiful parish church.

Vila do Porto - the oldest urban foundation of the Azores archipelago, is one of the best examples of a linear settlement structure that can still be observed practically intact.

Praia Formosa - white sand beach, one of the best in the Azores;

Some Miradouros - Fontinhas, Lagoinhas, Espigão, Picos and Pico Alto, the highest point of the island, with 587 m.
In Santa Maria the gastronomy is rich and diversified. Fish Soup, Nabos Broth, Fish Caldeirada, Cucumber, Liver Sauce, desserts as crispy meringue, Melindres (honey cakes), Cake in the pot, Crackers, Tigeladas, Ear Cookies, Biscuits Whites, Biscuits and Cavacas (sugar cookies), are characteristic of local cuisine.

The Wine of Santa Maria is produced mainly in the beautiful bays of São Lourenço and Maia, being traditional the Vinho Abafado, Liquor of Milk and Aguardentes.
Due to its location, low altitude and little exuberant vegetation, the island of Santa Maria is the one that presents more similarities with a Mediterranean climate. Less humid than the other islands of the archipelago has dry and sunny summers, as well as a mild temperature and a low precipitation in the winter months, factors that have earned it the designation of Sun Island.
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