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São Miguel

In the following we would like to give you a first overview of the island of São Miguel.

There is so much to discover and experience that we unfortunately have to leave it with a small selection of highlights - anything else would go beyond the scope, because São Miguel is worth more than a one-time stay.

São Miguel is the largest island in the Azores, which belong to Portugal. The archipelago is located about 1,500 kilometers from the Portuguese mainland between North America and Europe in the middle of the Atlantic. São Miguel is known for its volcanoes and the rich flora and fauna (including whales). Deep green jungles, fantastic panoramic views from the volcanic edges, thermal springs and fantastic beaches that invite you to swim - São Miguel offers many highlights. Still largely spared from mass tourism, you cannot escape the fascination of this island.


The Furnas valley is located in the east of the island, in a huge volcanic crater. In Furnas you will experience at close quarters that you are on a volcanic island. Visit the fumaroles, 22 hot springs with sulfurous water. It bubbles and steams, the floor is so hot that the traditional stew "Cozido"  is cooked in holes in the ground.

In the Terra Nostra Park near Furnas you feel like in the jungle. The park is home to one of the world's largest collections of camellias with several hundred specimens, as well as a collection of special palm ferns (sago palm fern).

Terra Nostra Garden
Poça da Dona Beija

The "Poça da Dona Beija" must also be visited. It is a thermal bath with five pools, which have been perfectly integrated into the landscape. Bathing in the hot water in the evening is particularly atmospheric when the entire area is beautifully illuminated.

In the crater of the Caldeira Sete Cidades is the "Lagoa das Sete Cidades". This lake consists of two parts, the large Lagoa Azul (blue lake) and the Lagoa Verde (green lake). In fact, one part of the lake shimmers blue and the other green. You have a magnificent view of the lake from the main viewpoint Vista do Rei, which is 300 meters higher. The most spectacular viewpoint is the Miradouro Boca do Inverno.


The "Lagoa do Fogo" (lake of fire), the third largest lake on the island, is located at almost 600 m in the central highlands and is surrounded by lava mountains. The area around the crater lake is a strictly protected, uninhabited natural area in which rare plants and animals have settled. The landscape on the lake with its densely overgrown, steep banks is particularly attractive. There are beautiful sandy beaches and clear blue water on the shores of the lake. The lake can be easily explored by foot.

Between Ribeira Grande and the Lagoa do Fogo the Caldeira Velha is located. It is a thermal pool somewhat hidden in a forest, with an information center about the geothermal energy of the Caldeira. The complex looks like an enchanted rainforest with small, bubbling lakes, thick vegetation like in the jungle and a waterfall.


The capital Ponta Delgada with 68,000 inhabitants is also the largest city on São Miguel. The port and the airport make it the gateway to the world. The cityscape is characterized by villas and well-tended parks, but of course the modern era has left its mark with hotels and office buildings. A popular meeting place is the promenade at the seaside with cafés that invite you to linger. With its narrow streets, tiny shops and quaint restaurants, the historic city center is particularly worth seeing. The most beautiful historical buildings include the town hall, the "Igreja Matriz de São Sebastião" church and the "Portas da Cidade" gate, which is considered the symbol of the city.

An absolute must do when visiting the Azores is of course a whale watching tour. In the past, the island was the starting point for the whale hunt, today, thank God, it is limited to observation. More than 30 species of whales and dolphins reside in the waters around the islands as regular or seasonal residents. With a little luck, sperm whales, pilot and fin whales, sometimes even blue whales, can be observed.

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