Located at 36o 55’N and 25o 11’W, Santa Maria Island lies 54 mi and 145 mi south of São Miguel and Terceira, respectively, being the more southerly island of the archipelago.
It has 97.42 km2, 12.5 km long and 7.5 km wide, and a population of 5,578 inhabitants.
Santa Maria was the first island to be discovered, circa 1427, by the Portuguese navigator Diogo de Silves. Later on, in February 1493, Christopher Columbus stopped on the island returning from his first trip to America. Following a low altitude plateau, you have a hilly area that has at Pico Alto, 590 m, its highest altitude. It is known as the Golden Island, because of the gorse and undergrowth that covers it and which lead Raul Brandao to celebrate it as “the island that smells good”.
- Maia and Sao Lourenço Bays
- Vila do Porto