PR4 SMA: Santo Espírito to Maia is a 12.1 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Vila do Porto, Azores, Portugal that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding.

12.1 km
672 m
Out & Back



nature trips




This trail, which begins next to the Santo Espírito Church in the Santo Espírito parish, goes through Maia and ends at the Whaling Factory in Ponta do Castelo, and takes about 3 hours. The path runs along the village in the direction of a traditional windmill. Beyond the mill, the trail continues along a footpath which takes you through a wood of Victorian box trees and then pastureland. On this stretch, after you have come out of the wood, you will find an old drinking fountain to the right. After about 500 metres, turn right where the path forks, and take the dirt path signposted Caminho da Lapa. Keep straight ahead until you see signs indicating a detour to the left, which leads to an area of springs, where locals used to wash their clothes. Continue along the path and you will find another dirt path, where you should turn right and descend towards the coast. You will go down an old lane, with a stone surface, and a little further on you will reach the bank of the Ribeira do Aveiro stream. The trail continues along the bank of the stream until it nears the cliff, where you should carefully cross the stream to the right bank. Continuing the walk, you can stop at various points and look back to see the splendid waterfall of the Ribeira do Aveiro. The trail continues along the cliff via a footpath and then goes down to a hamlet called Maia. Along this stretch you will be able to observe many specimens of Aichryson villosum, a plant native to the Azores and Madeira. On the way down to Maia the path crosses some traditional vineyards. Walkers are asked not to pick the fruit grown by local farmers. When you reach Maia you can turn off the path to the left to see the entire length of the Ribeira do Aveiro waterfall, as well as two small wine-presses built in 1579. When you have seen the waterfall, return to the main path and continue towards Ponta do Castelo. The path continues through Maia, and about 1 km ahead you will find some steps to the right that take you up to the regional highway. There you should turn left and keep straight ahead until you come to the Gonçalo Velho Lighthouse. When you reach the lighthouse you will find a footpath leading down.