From nature to gastronomy, the most famous island of the Azores archipelago has a lot to explore. It is the best known, the largest, and the most accessible of the nine islands, the one that is in the mouths of the world.
7 things you can’t miss in São Miguel
Terra Nostra Park
Terra Nostra Park is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Portugal and was recently considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
You probably won’t realize it, but this valley is actually the crater of a volcano that has been dormant since 1630. This explains the existence of places where the earth’s bubbles, fumaroles, and vapors serve to make a famous stew underground, and natural hot water pools where you can take unforgettable baths.
Caldeira Velha is near Lagoa do Fogo and is a natural park with two thermal pools, one of which is fed by a waterfall, in an exotic environment where giant ferns stand out. Take the opportunity to relax in one of the most beautiful landscapes of the island of São Miguel.
For me, this is one of the most beautiful lagoons of São Miguel, and also one of the most photogenic. Before visiting the lagoons on this island, it is essential to visit the website where it shows in real-time if it is clear sky or fog, so you don’t run the risk of arriving at the place and not seeing an indescribable natural beauty.
Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth)
For me, this is the most beautiful viewpoint in São Miguel. It’s on a high point (1000 m) and has an incredible view of the Sete Cidades Lagoon, the Canário Lagoon, and the Rasa Lagoon. To get there follow the signs to Lagoa do Canário, where you should park. Here you will see a breathtaking landscape.
Visit Ponta Delgada
A morning or an afternoon will be enough to tour the marina and the historical center, where the Portas da Cidade, the main church of S. Sebastião, and the Convent of Nossa Senhora da Esperança stand out. Then you can get carried away by the Portuguese cobblestones with black and white drawings and be surprised by the street art scattered around the city.
Islet of Vila Franca do Campo
Vila Franca do Campo was the first capital of S. Miguel and it enchants as soon as you get to the center and see the main church. 1 km from the coast is the Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo, a nature reserve with a saltwater cove in the interior, in which you can swim. The rock is easily accessible by a boat that operates regularly from the harbor.
In the only tea plantation in Europe, we can walk at ease among the original factory machines,, the same ones with which the four varieties of the Gorreana brand are still made today. Those who are short of tea can taste it for free in one of the rooms or buy it in the factory store at nice prices.