The Azores Archipelago, a group of Portuguese islands in the Atlantic, is a tourist destination yet to know but with unique beauty. Composed by 9 islands, the Azores in general and São Miguel, in particular, will win your heart because of its landscape diversity, with peaceful plains, foggy mountains and many ravines with breathtaking views of the Atlantic coast.
Visiting the Azores and São Miguel will, no doubt, give you the opportunity to enjoy untouched nature and coast with an amazing view to the penetrating blue ocean.
The outstanding viewpoints offer an astonishing view over an ocean full of life. You can also swim in the natural hot springs pools, formed due to volcanic activity. Black sand beaches, waterfalls, mountains and sunny forests will make dreams come true to nature lovers.
The Azores Islands have unique beauty but it’s about São Miguel Island that we are going to talk because it’s the main island and one of the most beautiful in the archipelago.
These are the spots that you should not miss at all:
1. Sete Cidades
One of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, it showcases the Blue and Green Lake, which according to legend, were formed from the tears of a shepherd and a princess who shared a forbidden love. These lakes can be seen from King’s View.
2. Lagoa do Fogo
Located in the center of the island are the fascinating landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake), doubtlessly one of the grandest nature attractions of this island, which already is not really poor of beautiful nature sights.
3. Terra Nostra Park
This beautiful 12-hectare park with lush vegetation offers a peaceful time in an impressive botanical collection. Have the opportunity to enjoy the thermal water pools (100º Fahrenheit).
4. Caldeirões Park
Located on the east coast of the island, in Nordeste, this park will amaze you with its river, watermill and beautiful waterfall. You can’t miss the beautiful trees and flowers.
5. Gorreana Tea Plantations
The oldest, and currently only, tea plantation in Europe. They cultivate this wonderful product that is tea since 1883, keeping, since then, the original traditions of the Orient as well as the ancient qualities that have been in our family for five generations.
6. Furnas Lake
Lagoa das Furnas, one of the attractions of S. Miguel, is a far-reaching lagoon. It is a place of peacefulness and romanticism par excellence. On its margins, you will find volcanic fumarole and natural kitchens, where the famous Furnas stew is cooked. The properly sealed pots are buried in the soil.
Mosteiros is a picturesque small village situated on the amazing northeast coast.
This is a village with a big connection and relation with the ocean, with an ancient fishing tradition, but also agricultural, taking advantage of the fertile soils of the São Miguel Island.
The picturesque fishing dock, as well as the natural swimming pools, known as Poço da Pedra (“stone well”) are the main highlights of this charming small village that during summer months is quite looked for due to its pleasant beaches of dark sand, landscapes and also for the therapeutic properties of its seaweeds and waters.
8. Ponta Delgada
The town of Ponta Delgada has a rich history and a charming architectonic heritage, surrounded by the splendid beauty of the São Miguel nature, that astonishes those who contemplate it.
9. Vila Franca do Campo
The village has been able to maintain its traditional tranquillity along with a beautiful and interesting natural and architectonic heritage. Here one can sight and access the wonderful Vila Franca do Campo Islet, located at about 1km distance from the coast, on a lovely crater of an extinct volcano, classified as a Natural Reserve, and quite frequented during summer months.
10. Ribeira Grande
The lovely town of Ribeira Grande is situated on the northern coast of the greenish Island of São Miguel. This is a region of great natural heritage and also architectonic, presenting a gracious urban centre with its typical houses with great gothic and Manueline testimonies and also monuments such as the lovely and typical town hall building dated from the 17th century, the wonderful Espírito Santo Church, or Church of Mercy or Senhor dos Passos, probably dated from the 18th century, the Estrela Church or even the popular Aqueduct.