Welcome to São Miguel, the biggest and more diverse island of the Azores. So it's no wonder that most of the visitors simply stay on this island and leave out the others. Therefore, you'll find more tourists on São Miguel than on the other islands. After spending a week in Faial, Pico, Flores and Corvo, it was a big crowded for us. But when we met other travelers, they all said that São Miguel is not touristic at all. And it's true of course if we compare it to other destinations in Europe in summer.
São Miguel surely impressed us with its diversity. We did some beautiful hikes, enjoyed breathtaking views, saw wales and dolphins, relaxed in some natural hot pools and did so much more. As usual, we stayed in three different places. Our favorite place was Pink House (more here). It's nearby the city Ponta Delgada and is a great starting point for many adventures. We always recommend our friends to stay in more than one place. If you have kids it might be too much the constant moving. No worries, the island is small and you can visit every corner from one place too. We further stayed at WHITE Exclusive Suits & Villas and Furnas Boutique Hotel. More about these two hotels will soon be in the magazine too.
We stayed seven nights in São Miguel because we did want to relax too and not being running from one place to another. It was perfect. And we could have stayed even longer. There's enough to do! Here are a few things we did:
Hike from Sete Cidades to Vista do Rei (and back)
Actually, the official trail goes from Vista do Rei (view point) to Sete Cidades. At Sete Cidades there is a bus that will bring you back to the view point. As we don't really like to only hike down, we did the trail the other way round. a few meters before arriving to the view point Vista do Rei, you'll find a little "secret" path on your left hand side (it's marked as a non-trail, but it's no problem to walk down there). After you enjoyed the view at the view point go back and walk down that path. As usual we recommend to hike with hiking or trail run shoes.
Hiking from Sete Cidades to Vista do Rei
View point on the way from Sete Cidades to Vista do Rei
View from Vista do Rei
View from the "secret" path back to Sete Cidades
When driving to Sete Cidades stop at Lagoa das Empadadas
Azores is well known for it's nature and not really for the beauty of their cities. Well, there are some cute villages but most of them are very much asleep. Ponta Delgada is the capital and worth a stroll before going out for dinner. But there's not much to see.
Lagoa do Fogo
This is one of the most beautiful views in São Miguel. There is also a hike trail there.
Actually, Furnas is much more well known for the hot pools. But we think that Caldeira Velha is worth a visit too.
Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo
We enjoyed a lazy day swimming in this beautiful little island. There is a boat from Vila Franca do Campo driving to the island and back once an hour.
Chapel in Vila Franca do Campo Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Paz
We kept Furnas and Nordeste (north east) for the last three days on São Miguel. It was the perfect choice. We enjoyed swimming in the natural hot pools and drove along the north east coast. This is our favorite coast on São Miguel, the views are just breathtaking.
Lagoa das Furnas
Garden Terra Nostra with natural pools
Hike to Salto do Prego
Driving along the coast to Nordeste
On our last day we drove alongside the east coast and enjoyed the beautiful weather and view.
Beautiful garden at Viewpoint of Ponta do Sossego
One of the most beautiful views at Viewpoint of Ponta do Sossego
Waterfall at Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões
Where to eat
Tasty fish soup at À Terra (restaurant at Furnas Boutique Hotel)
And these are the restaurants we loved:
Tasquinha Vieira (dinner)
Calçada do Cais (dinner)
Café at Armazens Cogumbreiro (breakfast or lunch)
Typical Portuguese food at José do Rego
Bar Caloura by the sea
We were very lazy and enjoyed our dinners at the hotel's restaurant. But it was very delicious: À Terra
Well, we hope this article will inspire you for your next travels to Azores!
Wishing you a lovely Sunday,
Liliana & Mike