Grande Rota de Santa Maria with accommodation before and after

Duration: 7 days
Trails: T2 trails
Distance: 10 - 15 km per day
Ascent per day: 250 - 500 m ascent per day

> The only long-distance hiking route in the Azores
> In 5 days from hut to hut around Santa Maria
> Dramatic sea views of the Atlantic Ocean

The Grande Rota de Santa Maria is a spectacular long-distance hike on the island of Santa Maria, part of the Azores archipelago. This sub-tropical group of islands is located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and is part of Portugal's territory. The unique thing about this trek is that you sleep each night in a converted stone barn, that are scattered around the island in beautiful locations.

The route follows the dramatic coastline full of geological wonders, due to its volcanic activity. Each day will be different: you hike through sleepy villages, along steep cliffs and through some of the island's evergreen forests. The cherry on the cake is the climb up the highest point on the island, Pico Alto. From the summit you'll have otherworldly views of Santa Maria and beyond. And it's a true delight to spend each day in one of the cozy huts. Before and after the trek you'll stay in a comfortable guesthouse or hotel in Vila do Porto. Come and join us on this magical trek!



Arrival in Vila do Porto

Welcome to Santa Maria! Your trip starts in Vila do Porto, the island's main town. Unwind and get into the island mindset by staying the first night in this charming port town.

Vila do Porto

Vila do Porto

Vila do Porto - Malbusca

Duration: 04:00 h
Distance: 10.4 km
Ascent: 450 m
Descent: 220 m
The trek starts in the “capital” of Santa Maria, Vila do Porto. It’s a stunning day with views of the dramatic coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. Heading east, you quickly reach the first highlight, the Regional Natural Monument of Pedreira do Campo. This sandstone field plays a key role in the geological history of the island and is known for its oceanic fossils that are found here. Halfway through today's stage you pass another interesting feature, the Gruta do Figueiral, a man-made limestone cave. The trail descends briefly to the spectacular shoreline, where you can take a dip in the ocean. After a very satisfying first day you stay in the Malbusca shelter, that looks out across the Atlantic.



Malbusca - Lapa

Duration: 05:30 h
Distance: 13.6 km
Ascent: 620 m
Descent: 610 m
From the hamlet of Malbusca you follow the country road for roughly a kilometer. You then hit the trail that winds its way around the coastline. You pass a wall of basalt columns with a waterfall plunging off it. Via another hamlet, Panasco, you go inland briefly. The route eventually heads towards the southeasterly tip of the island, which has a spectacular view of the lighthouse and the Atlantic. After that, the route descends to the shore and via the Aveiro Waterfall you climb to the second shelter on the trek at Lapa.


See entire itinerary


  • Booking the huts

    We will take care of arranging accommodation on the Grande Rota de Santa Maria for you. We will also provide you with a detailed itinerary for every stage and instructions on how to get to the trailhead.

  • Full travel guide

    We will send you on your way with a digital travel guide that includes a route description for the Grande Rota de Santa Maria, interactive hiking maps, and the most important information applicable to your trek

  • Accommodation

    During your Grande Rota de Santa Maria, you will spend your nights in mountain huts. In the mountain huts we normally only book dormitories, but we can look into private rooms on request. If the private rooms are fully booked or not available in the hut, we automatically book a bed in dormitories for you. Please note that private rooms are more expensive and there will be an additional charge for this.

  • Half-board

    Accommodation at the huts includes dinner and breakfast. We will arrange this for you as well. This allows you to travel lighter and have one less thing to worry about. Bear in mind that lunch is not included, but it can be purchased at the huts. Here you can also buy an array of snacks and bottled water.

  • Accommodation before and after the tour

    Accommodation before and after the trek is included. Breakfast is part of your stay.


  • Traveling to and from

    You have to make your own way to the starting point. The total amount does not include personal transport.

  • Transfers

    Should you need any form of (public) transport on location, this is not part of the trekking package. This includes the use of taxi, bus, cable cars, gondolas etc.

  • Lunch

    Half-board is included in the price of this trek. Lunch, however, is not. You can get something to eat at the mountain huts along the way.

  • Travel Insurance

    Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.

  • Personal expenses

    Personal expenses on such as souvenirs, drinks, and other similar expenses are for your own account.


  • How do I travel to Santa Maria in the Azores?

  • When is the best time to do the Grande Rota de Santa Maria?

How to Book

  • Booking

  • Availability

  • Cancellation policy

Packing List for the Grande Rota de Santa Maria

  • Information

  • Essentials

  • Extras

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Contact our Trekking Expert
Maureen Ypma
Maureen Ypma

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