Maio is one of the least developed of the Cape Verde islands in resect of tourism. However, it is also one of the loveliest and one when you can get close to nature. There are lots of beautiful beaches (often deserted); there are forests of acacia trees; a small mountain; attractive villages; and friendly welcoming people.
Maio is ideally set for that quiet holiday away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Having recently been designated a UNESCO Biosphere, the island is consequently excellent for exploring the natural environment of the island. You can read more about conservation on the island on our conservation page.
The main town, Vila do Maio (also known as Porto Inglês) is in the south of the island. The small airport and the ferry port are located on the edge of the town. The town is attractive and built on the site of a hill. The streets running down the hill give lovely glimpses of the sea. The church of Nossa Senhora da Luz looks over the attractive town square and nearby, on the water front is the Forte S José.
A tour of the island will give the visitor sight of some of the attractive little villages, such as Morro and Calheta. Also they will get to see some of the other beaches, such as Praia Gonçalo and the sand dunes at Morrinho.
The name Maio (Portuguese for May) comes from the fact that it was discovered on May 1, 1460. The settlement only started on the 16th century, after the territory was used for livestock, especially goats.
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