Known as “The Green Island”, this is the largest in the archipelago. Dazzling lakes, sandy beaches and dramatic mountains provide a stunning backdrop whilst tea plantations and pineapple groves make full use of the hillsides. Visit fascinating villages like Furnas, built inside a volcanic crater, and geological wonders such as Sete Cidades, twin crater lakes linked by a narrow passage. It is also an excellent base from which to explore the wide variety of outdoor activities that make the Azores a top destination amongst discerning holiday-makers. Ponta Delgada, the major city of the island, is a 10 minute drive from the airport and has a fascinating history. The cobbled streets of the old town are lined with restaurants and bars and the new marina development is very lively on the weekend.
Area: 744,7 km2
Population: 137.856 inhabitants
Highlights: Sete Cidades Lake; Ponta da Ferraria; Furnas Valley; Terra Nostra Park; Caldeira Velha; Lagoa do Fogo Lake; Nordeste; Ponta Delgada old town; Vila Franca do Campo; Tea and Pineapple plantations;
The cuisine of São Miguel is filled with fish dishes, always with a common factor: freshness. There are also various types of sea food, and delicacies like the barnacle, a crustacean boiled in sea water. The meat comes from the cattle bred in pastures, and it is soft and tasty. As for appetizers, there are the famous local red, mashed peppers served with fresh cheese. The bolo lêvedo from Furnas is a cake that is well known and may be served during any meal. As for sweets, the most famous are the Queijadas de Vila Franca do Campo (Vila Franca do Campo Custards). There is a tradition for cultivating exotic fruits such as pineapple, annona, guavas and passion fruit, which are eaten raw or used to make liqueurs. The plantations of Gorreana and Porto Formoso, are unique in the Europe. During visits to the museum-factories, one learns the history and evolution of the machinery, before a well deserved cup of Azorean tea.In Furnas, the pots containing meat and vegetables for a typical boiled/steamed dish are put into a sac and buried in the geothermal soil. The food cooks for approximately five hours. Before tasting the singular taste of a dish made in the natural heat of the earth, it will be worth waiting to see the lifting of the pot, with strong arms pulling the ropes that had been attached to the heavy pots.
There are many options for your stay at São Miguel, from guesthouses to Hotels. The accommodations cover a wide range of tastes that will make your stay unforgettable.
Given its dimension and the diversity of facilities and services it offers, São Miguel is the island for experiencing, a true gateway to the active discovery of the Azores Archipelago, with many things to do.