Maio has an area of 269 km2, with a maximum length of 24 km and a width of 16 km, housing a population of about 6700 inhabitants (in 2000).  It is called Maio because it was discovered on May 1st 1460.
It is an island of volcanic origin, but even so, it has flat characteristics and its highest elevation is Monte Penoso, 437 meters high. Geomorphologically, it is considered the oldest island in the country.

Ilha do Maio is located about 23 kms from the capital of Cape Verde, the city of Praia;
Cidade do Porto Inglês, former Vila do Porto Inglês or Vila do Maio, is the largest urban center on the island.
In addition to the City of Porto Inglês, there are still twelve more locations: Morro, Calheta, Morrinho, Cascabulho, Gonçalo and Santo António Beach, Pedro Vaz, Alcatraz, Pilão Cão, Ribeira Dom João, Figueiras and Barreiro.

If you come to Cape Verde, don’t miss Maio! Tranquil, untouched beaches for miles, off the beaten path and away from the other tourists. If you visit here, you won’t be sorry! Enjoy!


The island of Maio was discovered by the Portuguese in 1460 and its settlement did not occur until the end of the 16th century, after the territory was used for cattle breeding. The settlement of the island arose as a result of the exploitation of salt, which was exported, for example, to Brazil, an activity that continued until the 19th century.
However there is another version that says the island was visited by browsers; Vicente de Lagos- Portuguese, Luís De Cadamosto – Venetian and Genoese António Di Nola in 1446.


The establishment on the island of the first Portuguese families begins.


English pirate Francis Drake landed on the island of Maio to wait for 6 Portuguese ships he had planned to loot.


The English began to frequent the island of Maio.


WILLIAM DAMPIER English explorer and navigator visited the island and found only 230 inhabitants, distributed in 3 villages called Pinoso, Lagoa and Ribeirão João.


Governor Serafim Teixeira Sarmento De Sá began the fortification of the island, building the Fort named Leopoldina.


The island is now managed by António Évora.


Governor António Pusich chose the island of Maio to take refuge for 3 months.


The Government of the then Captaincy of the island introduced order, with bans on the fictional Ship Assignments.
18th century, construction of Fort St. Joseph, to defend the island from attacks by pirates who came to plunder salt.


Construction of the Igreja Matriz do Maio.