ITINERARY OF BEACHES
The island of Maio is one of the paradises on Earth reserved to supporters, the fanatics of deserted beaches with extensive beaches of white sand, warm, clear waters, rustling in a silence such that their whispers can be heard. Contact with this pure nature with a beauty that one can hardly imagine is made by the visitors in an almost absolute solitude, if they want, because there is plenty of hidden places where they can vent their stress and other effects of everyday life. The trade winds contributed to create this pearl of nature by smoothing away reliefs, leaving only Monte Penoso, a dramatic designation for a mountain with around 500 meters of height, much lower than many other mountains of the archipelago. Discovering the island of Maio means visiting its beaches with the necessary precautions due to their isolation, because once the deserted beaches are not supervised, being the ones in the Northern part of the territory considered dangerous for swimming.
The rest is discovery, either on foot or by jeep, because many beaches are reachable only with special vehicles, or as long as the traveler is able-bodied and strong for long walks.
Without the worry of being exhaustive, here are some suggestions of beaches itineraries, leaving the choices of details to the visitors. Just outside the village of Maio there is a good beach named Bitche Rotcha, stretching for kilometers beyond the new breakwater. Walking south for about 45 minutes, you arrive at Ponta Preta beach. Morro beach is located to the north of Vila do Maio, after the salt pit; and 3 kilometers away, in the same direction, there is Praia da Calheta, a fishing community.
Leaving Morrinho towards Northwest, on a bumpy road, you arrive at Santana Beach, one of the wildest and hidden on the island, one of the areas preferred by turtles to lay their eggs; nearby are the beaches of Calhetinha and Pau Seco both worthing a swim.
In the same area, you’ll arrive at the beaches named Tartarugas and Cais. On the right side, a huge salt pit can be seen. Continuing on foot towards north, you’ll arrive at the beaches of Galeão and Real. The islet named Laje Branca may be seen.
Lovers of nature phenomena can watch turtles and some rare species of seabirds in Laj Branca islet in front of Pedro Vaz, on the northern coast of the island. On the east coast, you can visit Praiona (Gonçalo Beach), Prainha (in Pedro Vaz) and Boca Ribeira (between Pedro Vaz and Alcatraz). Further south, after Figueira da Horta, towards Ribeira de João, within a 10-minute walk, you’ll discover a fantastic beach with unforgettable turquoise waters.