- Posted: 27 December, 2019
- Category: Europe
Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal
When I left Sao Miguel, I said to my friends: wow, this is one of the most beautiful islands Ive ever seen! Both beautiful and dramatic scenes!
If you’re visiting Sao Miguel, then you must know that Sao Miguel is not a beach destination sort of island, not a lets go swimming and tanning kind of Island. Sao Miguel is more about nature, hiking and surfing.
Azores is a cluster of islands; nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. I recommend at least 4 full days in the island. (3 nights)
The best months to visit the Azores, weather speaking, are from April through November…of course June through August are the busy tourist season. The other months can be cool and rainy.
São Miguel Island, also referred to locally as “The Green Island” is the largest and most populous island in this region.
I reached Sao Miguel from Lisboa, by flight. You just need to reach Lisbon or Porto to have frequent connections with the town of Ponta Delgada (Island of São Miguel)
When it comes to accommodation and to start looking for places to stay in Sao Miguel, although the island is small but not really. Nice places and areas are spread in the ends of the island, so you’ll need to know where you’d like to see more of. If you have a car, then yes its amazing but still try to find a place where the area is more relevant to what you’d like to see.
For example, if you’re looking to surf, then find hotels near the surf area/beach. If you’re looking to see the hotel springs, then find an area like Furnas, located in the valley of a volcano. (which is where I stayed, but only because I thought the hotel was cute). The hotel I stayed at was Furnas Boutique Hotel. The cote’s À Terra restaurant is really delicious too!
There are other hotels around the area, so you’ll need to figure out where you’d like to stay (or if you like the hotel, just like my case), then book it and figure out the rest. I read about Hotel Azor and Out of the Blue.
For nature and outdoor lovers, welcome to paradiseeee!
How to get around the Island?
I would totally recommend you rent a car. Although its an island, reaching from one place to another requires a car. We rented ours from the airport, and driving there was not difficult at all. Make sure you have a working GPS with you. For me in particular, I wanted to ensure that I have the time to make stops to take pictures and drone shots; so ideally a car was a perfect solution.
Your other alternative if you don’t feel like renting is car, is basically joining tours and organized hikes and so on. Usually, they will come to pick you up and then drop you off after the tour. So the choice is yours.
As for taxis, I’ve seen taxis in the some places but I did not notice that there were many; I’m not nonetheless the hotels or the restaurants or wherever you decide to visit, can sort out calling a taxi for you. Further, you can always take that one taxis number and start coordinating with them to pick you up at some other places and drop you off!
Now, what do you see or do in this Island? Here are some things I highly recommend you checkout:
- Lagoa do Fogo – a lake in a crater!
- Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo Tour with Hot Springs
- Termas da Ferraria: thermal baths tucked below a towering cliff.
- Also things to do while in Sao Miguel Azores, is to see tea plantations and surf beaches. Sitting alone on a clifftop is the Santa Bárbara Eco-Beach Resort: a chic hotel focused on the surf, mountains and nature of the Azores, there are 14 glass-fronted cabins that have uninterrupted sea views. Although I did not like the service at this hotel when I visited for lunch and to enjoy the views, I still liked the location and the views.
- Another recommendation in Azores, which I haven’t tried, is to go whale watching! Its super famous in there!
One of my favorite experiences there is trying the food and cooking. They burry the food underground (stew) and have it get cooked by volcanic heat, known as a Cozido das Furnas. If you don’t eat pork/or specific kind of food, you could always inform them.
Basically what you could do if you’d like to cluster the areas:
Day 1: Sete Cidades (Checkout Miradouro da Grota do Inferno & Vista do Rei and Ferraria geothermal spring)
Day 2: Ponta Delgada (Whale Watching) & Lagoa do Fogo (Checkout Caldeiras, Miradouro Ponta da Madrugada for sunrise spot)
Day 3: Furnas & Nordeste (checkout the 2 hour hiking trail Sanguinho – Salto do Prego. Great hike that leads to a waterfall). Also, so many thermal springs in Furnas!
Day 4: Vila Franca & Tea Plantations
And finally ill leave you with a tip; be prepared for backup plans! Seems that the weather changes alot there & ENJOY!