São Miguel

Azores, 10 day tour: tour-sao-miguel

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The island of São Miguel is synonymous of nature and beauty, with wonderful places and diversified activities. This itinerary takes you to know the best kept secrets of the most tourist island in Azores.

This itinerary is part of a trip to the Azores with the duration of 10 days, 5 of which were spent in Faial and Pico and the rest has spent in São Miguel.

 
The São Miguel hosts a multitude of landscapes, lagoons, waterfalls and beauty that never end. Personally, I had visited this island in the past and I was in love. At that time was less knowed and was less tourism unlike what happens nowadays. You will find a lot of traffic in the most well-known sites, car parks with counted time and queues to take selfies. The silence of some places was lost, but I still think that the island has not lost its charms with this tourist boom.
 
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First Day - Ponta Delgada

We take the day of our arrival to know the city of Ponta Delgada. The capital of the Archipelago and also the island has several places of interest that are worth a visit. If you like to visit cultural places, start by visiting the Portas da Cidade. This monument that in english is "Gates of the City" is a monument that is in the center of the city, near streets full of restaurants and small shops. Next to it you find the marina zone that are called Portas do Mar with restaurants and bars. Near this area there are several churches that you need to visit (São Sebastião Church, St. Cristo's Church, São José Church, Todos Santos church, among others), the São Brás Fort where you can find the Military Museum of the Azores and several gardens such as Jardim Antero de Quental.
If you enjoy more the sea you can find the beaches near the city, with black sand, and the natural pools and also you can rent the Cetácios observations.

 portas cidade

Seven Cities Lagoon and Western Part of the Island

On the second day we took the opportunity to visit the Lagoas area near the best known, the Lagoa das Sete Cidades. We leave Ponta Delgada and follow the road that passes through Covoada zone and take the opportunity to visit Lagoa do Carvão, Lagoa do Canário and Lagoa das Empadas. Then we follow to Miradouro da Vista do Rei where we can enjoy a view to the Lagoa das Sete Cidades. If time goes by, you can appreciate its two colors. We descend to the town of the Seven Cities, inside the crater of the extinct volcano and look for a place to have lunch and renew our forces. In the afternoon, we went to the Monasteries to get to know the beach, but we did not stay. The final destination was Ferraria, where we could bathe in the ocean for waters heated by the volcano. Yes it is true, in the Ferraria, besides the Baths we can bathe in the ocean, in a small cove where the water is very hot, warmed by the heat of the volcanic earth. The place, at least in the summer, has a beach support, rescuer swimmers and ropes that allow us to be enjoying this water without great effort.

 sete cidades

 

TIP:

ferraria

  

Where sleep

 

Second day - Fogo lagoon and Caldeira Velha

On the third day we were prepared to walk and obviously to take a bathe in hot whater. Yes, this mix can be done on these island. We leave Ponta Delgada in direction to Lagoa and then Lagoa do Fogo. On the day that we visited it we were lucky that the clouds were not covering the landscape of the various viewpoints. We stopped at the parking of Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo (Fogo Lagoon viewpoint) and he went down throught the trail  to visit this paradise. Being inside the walls, near this big lake with lush vegetation made us, for a moment, forget the huge climb that we still had to do. We returned to the car and went down to Ribeira Grande, where we stoped to lunch. Then we return to the same road and stop at Caldeira Velha where, in addition to an interpretation center, we can bathe in the various hot swimming pools created to enjoy the warm water that falls from a waterfall. Place of enormous beauty and despite the movement, of some calm.

caldeira velha

TIPS:

 

4º Day - Furnas

The fourth day was reserved for the Furnas Zone, famous for its stews and boilers. We leave towards Lagoa das Furnas and visit Fumaroles where the famous stew is done in holes on the ground. On the other side of the lagoon, we visited the Mata José do Canto. Then we headed towards the village of the Furnas where we spent the rest of the day visiting the Caldeiras and the Pool of Dona Beija (Poça da Dona Beija). Dona Beija's Pool is a set of pools with very warm water, in a small valley and where you can spend part of the day and also during the night. On the way back we pass through the Congro Lagoon. This lagoon is further away from the other better known, but is of rare beauty. We need to descent inside the old vulcano and at the end of the descent we find the lagoon, calm, serene and splendid.

dona beija

 

TIP:

5º day - Nordeste

Although the island was not very big it is necessary to reserve one day to know the area of the Northeast (Nordeste). To do so, we left again in the morning Ponta Delgada and headed towards Ribeira Grande to catch the road that runs throught the island, but in an area where it is faster than on the south side. On the way we made a mandatory stop at the Gorreana Tea Fabric (Fábrica de Chã da Gorreana). We return to the road and in the area of Achada we leave it again and visit the Natural Park of Ribeira dos Caldeirões. This park follows the Caldeirões river and provides to the visitors two waterfalls, small park, WC, and coffee. We return again to the road and in the Northeast we visit the beaches, we have lunch and we continue until the viewpoint of the view of the boats (Miradouro da Vista dos Barcos) where the Lighthouse of the Arnel can be observed. We also went to the viewpoint of Ponta do Sossego. We return to Ponta Delgada.

TIP:

ribeira caldeiroes

5º day - Vila Franca do Campo small island

The small island of Vila Franca do Campo is located in front of Vila Franca do Campo village, and due to its volcanic formation has a round cove protected from the sea. It is a magnificent place to spend some time sunbathing, swimming, diving and relaxing. Because it is a protected area there are a maximum number of people that can be on the island daily and your should book your boat ticket on web in advance. Then get ready for the queues and enjoy your day.

 

São Miguel Map

 

Photo Album

 

 

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Find more about São Miguel island on Azores.

Itenerary with principal atractions on São Miguel Island.

What to do on São miguel and Ponta Delgada. Where eat on Ponta Delgada.

Activities on São Miguel and also beaches.

What to visit in São Miguel, Azores.

Flights and stays on São Migue.

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