Santa Maria has many white sandy beaches and natural pools with excellent conditions for summer activities. The most famous one is Formosa Beach, where you can enjoy surfing, windsurfing, water skiing and sailing.
A boat trip, which passes through the Romeiro Islet grotto, with its natural interior pier and where there’s a mysterious grotto with stalactites and stalagmites, is the best way to discover the magnificent coast. The coastal shoreline is excellent for fishing and underwater hunting.
The abundance of underwater life provides snorkeling enthusiasts with unforgettable moments. The islets of Vila, Lagoinhas and S. Lourenço, as well as the Encharéus Grotto and the Tagarete Bay are places of unique beauty. Around 37 km northwest of the Santa Maria coast, you’ll find Formigas, an interesting group of eight islets which, mainly because they are isolated, are a privileged resting and nesting place for many sea birds, while also possessing a rich underwater fauna, which confers it the status of Natural Reserve.
Paragliding is also one of the many activities that can be enjoyed in Santa Maria’s various bays.
With a guide and proper equipment, it’s possible to explore natural grottos, such as Furna de Santana and Furna Velha, or manmade grottos, such as the Figueiral Grotto.