Maio Island

Travel to Maio Island – Forgotten Island of Deserted Beaches

Twenty five km to the east of Santiago, the leeward island of Maio is, like Sal and Boavista, one of the flattest islands of the archipelago. It is relatively untouched by tourism and facilities and attractions are presently limited. However, if looking for an island getaway with simple fishing villages, virgin white sand beaches and crystal clear waters this may just be the place for you!

With Monte Penoso its highest point at 436m and with valleys dry, arid and not very deep, the island clearly doesn’t lend itself to walking as an activity but it does have great potential for watersports. Culturally, highlights are limited to the capital, Vila do Maio. An island tour by jeep is probably the best way to discover the island with its remote beaches and disused salt pans, or alternatively hire a bicycle and pedal – it is pretty flat after all!

Part of the island has been reforested, almost exclusively with acacias, so that Maio now has the largest forested land area in the country. The island was discovered on the 1st May 1460 by the Portuguese navigators Diego Gomes and Antonio de Noli. It was from the name of this month that the island “Maio” got its name. Sixth-largest island with 269 sq. km. Population 6,000.

  • Relax in sea, sun and sand
  • Take an island tour by jeep and discover deserted beaches
  • Visit the sleepy capital of Vila do Maio with its white baroque church


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