The Azores are an incredibly special place: singular not only because of their idyllic and Eden-esque beauty, but the group of volcanic islands also has a particular devotion to the conservation of its picturesque splendor and natural landscapes thanks to sustainable efforts and an ongoing commitment to the environment. practices. But that doesn’t mean the Portuguese paradise isn’t welcoming the inevitable influx of tourists to ‘Hawaii of the Atlantic’, rather that the people of the Azores prefer to strike the perfect balance between tourism and its impact on the surrounding countryside. . — all with sustainable travel and conservation in mind.
And although this stunning place is not as crowded as other island beauties, modern tourism is on the rise due to a number of resorts looking for ways to welcome tourists with open (ecological) arms. : and the Eco-Beach of Santa Barbara The resort, located on the most popular island of the Azores, São Miguel, leads the pack with its savvy sustainability combined with a luxurious and spectacular setting right in the heart of the beautiful lush landscape of the island.
About Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort
At first glance, it appears that the Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort is part of the island itself, rising from the countryside of São Miguel as an elegantly plotted modern architectural marvel. A sprawling visual masterpiece whose roughly hewn edges complement a meticulously planned, ultra-luxe resort, Santa Barbara’s green spaces and carefully curated landscaping dot the property with a verdant, multi-level lushness that makes echoing the breathtaking beauty of its surroundings – and acting as a lovely counterpoint to the sharp, craggy shoreline.
But it’s not just its singular setting that makes Santa Barbara so special: it’s the property’s devotion to eco-friendly practices that begins at its very foundations. From the resort’s thoughtful architecture and natural materials to its daily practices that respect and conserve the natural landscape, Santa Barbara’s commitment to creating a balance between tourism and sustainability is exceptional. And this ethos fits perfectly into its breathtaking setting of the Azores – the world’s first archipelago certified by EarthCheck, the dream Portuguese destination is passionately dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism; while retaining the unspoiled natural beauty of the group of volcanic islands.
The ecological truth
Built on pure green pasture, the hotel blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, a visual counterpart to the natural, local building materials of the structure. Throughout the property, sustainable practices abound: from rainwater collected for irrigation on the farm and to the greenhouses, from which the restaurant harvests its vegetables, fruits and herbs, the sprawling resort is a green dream. from top to bottom. There’s even a garden planted with hundreds of native trees that have taken root amid the volcanic rock of the area. Guests are also encouraged to participate in Santa Barbara’s eco-conscious mission through workshops, beach cleanups, and a variety of nature tourism experiences.
Santa Barbara: the details
- Address: Estrada Regional nº1, 1º Morro de Baixo, Ribeira Grande, Portugal
- The rooms: Fourteen studios; seven one-bedroom villas; nine two-bedroom villas, all with small equipped kitchenettes, luxury amenities, comfortable living space, spacious balconies and spectacular views
- Amenities and services: Bar and restaurant; access to a wellness retreat with indoor relaxation pool and gym; à la carte breakfast from 8am to 11am; daily maid service; room service; outdoor pool; beach club
- Rates: From $500 and up/night, depending on accommodation
Activities near Santa Barbara
One could easily spend their entire vacation relaxing amid the enduring splendor of Santa Barbara, whether it be indulging in a restorative spa treatment, taking a dip in the pool, or simply soaking up the beautiful surroundings. However, as the largest and most populated island in the Azores, São Miguel offers endless outdoor adventures that showcase the island’s singular beauty: from whale watching and swimming from dolphins to verdant jungle treks, there is something inspiring around every corner. of this picturesque island.
- Take one snorkeling or scuba diving expedition to explore underwater wildlife and distinctive rock formations.
- Explore some of the island’s iconic landscapes on horseback riding, off-road tours, bike/e-bike tours or the myriad of local hiking trails, the perfect way to discover the varied and idyllic landscapes of the region
- hit the water with surfing, kayaking and canyoning adventures through forests and hidden valleys (waterfalls definitely included!) Lessons are also available for beginners
- Spend the day at the station farm and participate in the daily routine. This package includes interaction with the farm animals, information on the history and practices of the farm and a tasting of the farm products.
- Visit one of the picturesque São Miguel thermal poolslocated amidst some of the island’s most spectacular and secluded backdrops.
- Treat yourself to one of sumptuous dining experiences: choose between a tasting of local Azorean wines and a special picnic prepared by the chef; or visit the Quinta dos Sabores organic farm, with a tasting dinner.
Responsible and eco-friendly tourism is just one of the ways travelers and their hosts can hope to preserve some of the world’s most breathtaking settings – and in the Azores, residents and resort owners are giving the global example of lavish sustainability in places like the Santa Barbara Resort. Aiming to provide guests with a unique experience that includes a welcoming atmosphere in a luxurious and lush setting, Santa Barbara’s commitment to sustainability is evident in everything from its modern rustic architecture to its daily practices. The perfect way to enjoy the distinctive setting of the Azores through responsible and eco-friendly travel, the Santa Barbara proves that a balance between sustainability and tourism is not only possible, but also elegantly achievable.