Sao Miguel is the largest of the nine islands of the Azores Archipelago, an autonomous territory of Portugal in the middle of the Atlantic. Its verdant landscape, breathtaking lakes and towering Japanese cedar trees earned it the nickname Green Island.
With such remarkable natural beauty, San Miquel offers visitors a spectacular setting for outdoor adventures and idyllic nature escapes. At the same time, it also features a vibrant and modern capital where tourists can enjoy luxurious pampering, world-class cuisine and impressive architecture. The rich diversity of attractions and experiences it offers, make the island one special destination that many Azores visitors delight in.
The bustling city of Ponta Delgada, the largest in the Azores Islands, greets guests coming from Sao Miguel’s airport. It is home to a wide selection of accommodation options, from the most luxurious to the most affordable. A walking tour of Ponta Delgada will take you to discover the city’s impressive architectural heritage dating back to the 16th through 18th centuries.
Of course, you will not want to miss the City Gates and their three lofty arches, one of the most popular landmarks in the city. Taking lazy strolls along the atmospheric Avenida Marginal is also a must to experience the vibrant marina and the many restaurants and outdoor cafes in the area.
From Ponta Delgada, head next to Lagoa where you can take in the splendid panorama of Sao Miguel at Pico da Barrosa, the highest lookout point in the area. Descend to the charming small town and explore its pretty thoroughfares. Drop by the ceramics factory and check out the town’s famous pottery.
Next, proceed to the scenic artisan fishing port of Caloura where you will find an old fort and a lovely vineyard. Continue on your way to the lookout point of Pisao to take in the sweeping view of Caloura before you head to the nearby beaches of Prainha and Agua d’Alta, where you can spend the rest of the day swimming and soaking up the sun. The popular resort town of Vila Franca do Campo is also nearby and worth stopping by to visit its museum, admire its beautiful architecture and explore the natural reserve of Ilheu.
Next up is the magnificent natural attractions of the Furnas Valley. It is home to a breathtaking lake surrounded by brightly-hued and abundant flowers. The area’s natural splendor will surely take your breath away. Aside from the marvelous panoramas the Furnas Valley affords, there are also some interesting and fun things to do in the area. Visit the Caldeiras or the hot springs at the lake where you can find the locals taking advantage of the region’s extreme temperature by burying pots of food into the earth and making a mouthwatering meal in a unique way.
Also, when in Furnas, a thermal and mud bath is a must for the ultimate relaxation. Other attractions worth checking out around here include the gorgeous Terra Nostra Park, the breathtaking views found in Pico de Ferro as well as the warm waters of Praia do Fogo beach.
Finally, for those who are on the lookout for outdoor adventures head to the splendid town of Nordeste, explore its many trails and be amazed and intrigued by the awe-inspiring vistas that will accompany you all the way. These are just some of the things to do and places to visit on the island of Sao Miguel and there is still plenty more for you discover and explore in this part of the Azores.