Santa Maria Island
The enchanted island...
Santa Maria shares with Graciosa, Flores and Corvo the sad circumstance of being unknown to most Azoreans. And yet, "the island of Gonçalo Velho", the oldest of the archipelago and the first to be sighted (in 1427, at a time when the Azores were already a cartographic certainty), is extraordinarily beautiful and full of contrasts.
From Dos Anjos to Maia, the island presents a very varied landscape, dividing into two distinct parts: a fairly rugged area to the northwest - parishes of Santa Bárbara and Santo Espírito - and a flatter one - Vila do Porto, São Pedro and Almagreira.
An unusual nature, with steep ravines and deep valleys, Santa Maria are two on a single island in only 97 km2 of surface: one side is mountainous and covered with massive vegetation; The other is absolutely arid, known as the "red desert." In Barreiro da Faneca the lands are material of red clay and smell permanently of clay.
Exuberant and extraordinary is the Bay of São Lourenço, with its white sand beach, and the imposing of its vineyards arranged in an amphitheater on the hillside, protected by basaltic stone corrals. In this beach resort I would like to have a house ... Not far from there is Maia, a nature reserve and also a place of summer, of charm and awe.