Maio is a small island about 20 miles east of Santiago and will benefit from easy access when the new international airport on Santiago opens for international flights in early 2009. There is a small airport on Maio which is just an 8 minute flight or a short ferry trip from Santiago. The flights cost about £55 return and now with Halcyon Air flying as well as TACV there are 5 flights a week into Maio.
Maio is a tranquil and almost forgotten island with vast, deserted white sandy beaches and only about 6000 inhabitants, mainly living in the capital, Vila do Maio, which is next to one of the longest beaches on the archipelago.
Vila do Maio is on the south-west corner of the island, so is protected from the prevailing north-easterly breeze. There will be new restaurants and bars opening soon, as the island quietly develops. On the deserted beaches sea turtles can be found laying their eggs in the summer. Maio has a desert like landscape with sugar cane plantations, small oases and a few small towns, such as Morro with its one main street fringed with coconut palms.
Some excellent new developments on Maio will allow for the island to slowly develop in its own way, but with a sleepy quality that will keep it apart from some of the other islands of Cape Verde.