There are two ways to see the island. You can take a a tour around the island by taxi. It costed 60€ for four hours. I thought that was far too little time and quite expensive so I decided to rent a car. Antonío already arranged everything for me. After arrival to Santa Maria I phoned to the guy, Jorge Botelho. He brought the car to Valentina's house.
It was a small car, black Fiat Uno, just perfect for one person. First I was thinking about taking a car perhaps only for one day and another day just chill out on Praia Formosa. But I completely fell in love with Santa Maria and with many stops I only saw half of the island in my first day. It was obvious I was going to take the car for my whole stay.
I very much enjoyed driving on the island. It gave me freedom that I needed more than anything, the possibility to visit those tiny villages and places out of the main road. I made many stops for the views ant taking pictures and did all together a little more than 200 km. The price for the car for two days was 50€ plus additional 15€ for the gasoline. Oh, it was such a wonderful trip!
There are several possibilities to get from Ponta Delgada to Santa Maria. I bought a ticket for a ferry boat (it leaves Ponta Delgada on Friday at 18:30 with the arrival at 22:00 and Wednesday at 9:00 with the arrival at 11:15; it leaves Santa Maria Wednesday at 18:00 with the arrival at 20:15 and Sunday at 12:00 with the arrival at 15:30; a return ticket costed 56€).
But upon weather forecast it seemed to be rainy on both days of my planned trip to Santa Maria, so I decided to change my plan and rather go three days later when it said to be very sunny. Unfortunately there was no ferry boat at that day. I had to return the ferry boat ticket and bought a flight ticket instead.
SATA Air Açores has the most flights between Ponta Delgada and Santa Maria. I took a flight from Ponta Delgada at 6:30 with the arrival at 7:00, and returned with a flight leaving Santa Maria at 19:50 with the arrival at 20:20. But in fact, the flight only takes about 20 minutes.
The third option to travel to Santa Maria is by boat for transporting goods. It leaves ponta Delgada on Monday and Wednesday at 18:00 and return from Santa Maria on Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00. The journey takes 6 hours and the price of return ticket was 35€ + 6€ for insurance.
To visit this Island using a taxi, about 4 hours is enough.
Normal fare per hour is 15 EUR.
I advise you Célia Moreira, telm. 962374403. She speaks very well English and is a great guide.
Praça de táxis de Vila do Porto, Tel. 296882199
The best way to travel around the island is by car.
Depending on the travel car agency, diary fare including all taxes and with illimited kilometres, varies from 40 to 47 EUR
Ilha do Sol, tel. 296882021
Ilha Verde, tel. 296886528
Mariense, tel. 296886250