HOW TO GET THERE
SANTA MARIA ISLAND, AZORES, PORTUGAL
DESTINATION AIRPORT: SANTA MARIA AIRPORT (SMA)
You can reach Santa Maria Island from Lisbon, São Miguel Island, Azores (Ponta Delgada Airport) and Terceira Island, Azores (Lajes Airport). The airline that flies to Santa Maria Island is Azores Airlines.
You can reach São Miguel Island ou Terceira Island by Azores Airlines from:
From Portugal, there are direct flights from Lisbon, Porto and Funchal (Madeira Island)
From North America, there are direct flights from Boston, Providence and Oakland (USA) and from Toronto and Montreal (Canada)
From other European countries, there are direct flights from London, Frankfurt and Gran Canaria.
From Cape Verde, there are direct flights from Santiago Island.
Be aware that the number of flights and seats per flight are very limited, so book your trip in advance.
Santa Maria Island doesn't have a large public transportation service. If you want to visit the island, we recommend renting a car in advance or booking jeep tours with local operators. You can also rent a moto or a bike, but be aware that all that services are limited so we strongly suggest that you make reservations in advance.
For the Virtual Columbus Trail, to reach the start line, you can book with a taxi, a tour company or even in your hotel to drop you off at the startline and to pick you up at the finish line.
Caution: if you decide to rent a car, we recommend that you do not venture on dirt roads that you do not know. The mud in Santa Maria can be tricky!
ABOUT SANTA MARIA ISLAND
Santa Maria Island is one of the 9 Islands of the Azores Archipelago, Portugal, located in the North Atlantic Ocean. All the islands have volcanic origin which defines their unique landscapes marked by the contrast between the dark color of their stones and sandy beaches, the deep blue of the high seas and the varied green of their forests and fields.
The island of Santa Maria is located at the southeastern end of the archipelago of the Azores, of which it is part of the Eastern Group. It has an area of 97.4 km² and a resident population, the marienses, of 5 578 inhabitants (2001), distributed among the five parishes that make up the municipality of Vila do Porto, the only one on the island.
Located about 100 km south of the island of São Miguel, the biggest of the archipelago, Santa Maria is the most eastern and southernmost island in the Azores.
Geologically, it is the oldest of the Azores, with formations that exceed 8.12 million years old, being therefore the most remote volcanism It was the first island in the Azores to be seen, around 1427, by the Portuguese navigator Diogo de Silves. Later, in February 1493, Christopher Columbus climbed the island on his return from his first trip to America.
Nowadays, the main pillar of the island's economy is aeronautical activity, with Santa Maria Airport and the Atlantic Air Control Center, which manages the Santa Maria Oceanic FIR, one of the largest and most important regions of the world's flight information.
Santa Maria is called the Sun Island due to it's weather that is hotter and drier then the other islands. Because of the weather, it's clear sandy beaches and music festivals, the island is a popular summer destination.
WHAT TO DO
We recommend that you enjoy the trip to get to know more about Santa Maria. There are several activities and landmarks to visit in the Islands such as:
- Visit and enjoy the beautiful São Lourenço bay and Anjos Bay
- Visit Barreiro da Faneca
- Spend the day in Formosa Beach
- Visit Ribeira de Maloás
- VisitPedreira do Campo
- Surfing and Windsurfing
- Hiking and Trail running
- Walk around the island (5 days)
We hope you have the most incredible time during this trip. But remember, this is an adventure on an small island the Middle of North Atlantic. We may face bad weather, we may need to deal with some shortage of supplies, you may need to wait a while in the restaurants, there might be lots of rain, some mud...
But we'll certainly have the most amazing experience!
Welcome to Columbus Trail® by Azores Trail Run