Santa Maria Tourist Attractions

Traveling around Santa Maria Airport on Santa Maria Island in the Azores, Portugal, is a wonderful chance to learn about the fascinating history and admire the natural wonders of this magnificent location. Hike through verdant forests teeming with wildlife, discover deserted beaches backed by towering cliffs, and unwind in a tranquil mountain village.

Vila do Porto, the island's capital is also highly recommended; here, you can see beautiful 16th-century architecture and buy unique trinkets handcrafted by islanders. Day trips to Pico Island, where whale-watching is popular, and other surrounding islands like Faial, Sao Jorge, and Graciosa are also worth considering for those with extra time.

Adventure sports like scuba diving, surfing, and winery excursions are popular with visitors. The Azores are a great vacation destination because they cater to travelers searching for adventure and relaxation.

Please check our website at for other suggestions on your time in Portugal's Azores.

From Faro: Ria Formosa Hop-On Hop-Off Island Tour

Explore the Algarve coast and its unique flora and fauna by visiting three Ria Formosa barrier islands. Spend as much or as little time on each island as you like with the freedom of a hop-on, hop-off boat tour. Experienced boat skippers will lead the way and fill you in on all the details you need to know to have a relaxing vacation.

You can get a speedboat or a ferry from the Faro dock regularly to get to your first destination of Desert Island. Take a day to discover the isolated island and soak up the serene atmosphere.

Spend time unwinding on the beach, watching the local wildlife, or exploring Cape Saint Mary on foot. On Desert Island, enjoy the beautiful weather by sunbathing, swimming, and dining at Estaminé.

Proceed to Farol Island, where you can explore the nearby Farol settlement. Enjoy a drink at a beach bar, stroll along the sea wall, or visit the island's eponymous lighthouse. Stop down at Culatra Island's quaint fishing community on the way back to the mainland.

Check out the international oyster export farms during low tide. Before returning to Faro:

  • Stop at the local church and school.
  • Mingle with the community.
  • Check out some vintage fishing gear.

From Olhão: Ria Formosa 3-Island Full-Day Tour

Your captain will serve as your tour guide as you set sail on a journey to various islands. Start by going to Lighthouse Island, where you may hang out in the village, refresh, relax on the beach, and tour the island's upscale residential areas.

Keep going for a few more hours to Culatra Island, where you can eat a picnic lunch or stop at one of the island's restaurants. If you'd rather spend your time in the sea than dining, Culatra Island has several stunning swimming spots. Spend two hours eating lunch and exploring the island's village.

The next step is to travel to either Armona Island or Deserta Island. During the summer, Deserta Island becomes a gorgeous, undeveloped beach. Visit the Atlantic Ocean side of the island or go for a swim in the Ria Formosa.

Beautiful Armona Island is frequented year-round by both permanent residents and visitors. Experience the peace and quiet of its empty beach.

Faro: Eco-Friendly Ria Formosa Bird Watching in Solar Boat

The environment of Ria Formosa is severe and changes dramatically during the day. The sea level fluctuates by around 3 meters every 6 hours, a major factor in these changes.

There, you'll find a self-sustaining ecology that supports fishing and shellfish farming for a portion of the local population. All of the migrating birds' dietary needs can be met here, so they keep returning year after year.

Explore a network of canals where the only sounds are those of the birds and witness apex predators at work, or listen to the birds as they go about their daily lives. After the tour, you'll return the boat to where it all started.

Azores: Whale Watching and Islet Boat Tour

A brief discussion on the marine ecosystem, communication, migration, and behavioral patterns of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, should kick off the excursion.

Get on the appropriate boat and set sail after the briefing. Slowly and cautiously approach the whales while the onboard naturalist guides and marine biologists provide commentary.

The next step is a visit to the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca does Campo, where you can get a closer look at the volcano and its surrounding animals. You're welcome to bring a light snack; a camera is required to capture the wildlife you see.

Sao Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Discover the best of the western half of the island of So Miguel with a knowledgeable guide and a comfortable van. Explore the island's coast, and you'll come across beautiful cliffs, waterfalls, and rock formations in addition to the well-known crater lakes of Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo.

Beginning in Ribeira Grande, one of the Azores' most photogenic cities, you can move on to the North Coast to take in the breathtaking scenery of its cliffs. The picturesque Salto do Cabrito waterfall, surrounded by untamed flora, may be found in the interior regions of the island.

Travel to the summit of Fogo Volcano to gaze upon the island of So Miguel's purest and most enchanted crater lakes. Take in the panoramic vistas across a huge chunk of the island from the mountain's peak.

After refueling with a delicious meal, you can see why Sete Cidades is often called the postcard of the Azores. You can see the famed twin lakes from two distinct vantage points.

Mosteiros, located on the island's western shore, is home to several beautiful natural ponds and little islets formed by the lava rocks.

Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

Enjoy a thrilling canyoning excursion in the forest and learn about its abundant greenery, crisp waterfalls, and historic water mills. Your journey will begin in Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeires, one of the most visited natural places in the Nordeste unless you decide to pick it up from Ponta Delgada.

You'll start by collecting your protective gear, then taking a 20-minute stroll. At the stream's starting location, everyone should get a safety briefing. Abseiling will be used to overcome some particularly daunting obstacles at waterfalls along the way.

Eight meters is the maximum height of the tallest waterfall. There are a few short walking segments and a more entertaining portion with a slide and a 5-meter jump in between.

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