São Miguel Island Overview…
São Miguel is part of the Oriental (Eastern) Group and is known as the ‘Green Island’ for a very good reason. A subtropical island, always in bloom, with so many shades of green to contrast the striking blue ocean wherever you go.
It is the largest island of the Azores Archipelago and is home to the capital, the charming port city of Ponta Delgada. More than half the Azorean populations lives on this island, but at a mere 150,000, with most of those in the city, the island still feels very unspoilt and quiet.
With a length of only 62.1km and maximum width of 15.8km, São Miguel may seem small; but the amount of natural wonders and sights crammed into this island, means that you’ll need at least a week to even scratch the surface!
For ultimate relaxation surrounded by nature, you have to try one the island’s many hot springs. There is a range of stunning options, from the oceanic hot springs of Ferraria, to the jungle like scene of Caldeira Velha or the tranquil waters of Furnas set in Terra Nostra Gardens or Poça da Dona Beja.
See the famous hydrangeas in bloom from spring to summer. Introduced in the 17th century, this plant and its stunning blooms is now one of the recognised symbols of the Azores. You’ll soon see why! The gardeners do such an amazing job here, making every island drive an absolute pleasure. Literally every month there is a flower in bloom on the island, even in the winter!
The ocean surrounding the island is extremely deep offering the perfect habitat to resident pods of Sperm Whales, Common Dolphins and Bottle Nose Dolphins. The Azores is also the perfect Mid-Atlantic stop off point for many migratory whale species, such as Orcas, Blue Whales and Humpbacks!
Sampling the Cozido lunch makes any trip to Furnas complete. This unique meal is delicious and the coolest thing about it is that it’s buried in the ground and slow cooked over volcanic steam!
Enjoy a cup of tea and incredible views at one of only two tea plantations in the whole of Europe. It’s fascinating to see the rows upon rows of tea in perfect symmetry; a very pleasant place to hike, with several marked trails in the area. Sample all the different types of tea; pekoe, orange pekoe, broken leaf and green tea and see the factories in action at Chá Porto Formoso and Chá Gorreana. The homemade ice cream at Chá Gorreana is a must try too!
When you first set eyes on Sete Cidades, you’ll understand how it was awarded the title of one of the ‘7 natural wonders of Portugal’. With its two contrasting lakes of iridescent green and deep blue water it really is out of this world!
The Azores is fast becoming a well established ‘active holiday destination’ and for good reason. There are a vast array of activities to choose from all with a very high quality of trained guides, giving you the perfect mix of relaxation and adrenaline for your trip!
Check out the links below for inspiration…
Here at Azores Connections, the islands and travel are our passion. We are based on São Miguel so can offer accurate, friendly and real time advice to create your perfect Azores Vacation.
The Island Specialists
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