Sao Miguel Azores also known as the Green Island, is one of the Azores archipelago’s most beautiful and diverse islands.
It offers everything from turquoise lakes to hot thermal pools and nature trails dotted with stunning volcanic craters and waterfalls.
Aside from its incredible natural scenery, the island is also a whale watching mecca with sperm whales and dolphins passing through year-round.
Boat tours departing from Ponta Delgada or Vila Franca will take you to the spot.
1. Ponta Delgada
Ponta Delgada, the capital of Azores is a charming little town with lots to do. It’s a great choice for travelers looking to experience an Azores vacation in a small, walkable city.
This historic city feels like a miniature version of Lisbon, with its cobbled streets lined with colorful houses and unique tile patterns in the pavements. It’s also a very lively place and a nice mix of old and new.
One of the best places to start exploring is on the main avenue, Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, a seaside promenade that runs from a military fortress to Calheta. You can find lots of restaurants, cafes and shops along this street.
You should also visit the Mercado Da Graca covered market, where you can purchase local produce as well as traditional liquors.
Another interesting sight is the Azorean Pineapple Plantation, which offers tours of its greenhouses and explains how this fruit is grown in the Azores.
2. Lagoa do Fogo
Lagoa do Fogo is an attractive natural attraction in Sao Miguel Azores.
It means “Lake of Fire” (in Arabic). Nestled within a lush volcanic caldera, the lake is surrounded by endemic vegetation and offers some of the best views on the island.
You can hike a few steps to reach the lagoon. The PRC2-SMI Trail takes you through protected areas and gives you an incredible view of the local flora & fauna.
It is a circular hike that starts in rural areas, crosses farmland, and ends at the forest. The moderate difficulty hike takes approximately 4 hours round trip.
It is suitable for people with good physical condition and sturdy hiking boots.
The closest viewpoint is located on the regional road adjacent to Pico da Barrosa, a southerly point that offers sweeping views of the whole Serra de Agua de Pau Protected Area, as well as Fogo Lake and the north coast of Sao Miguel.
Hikers can also enjoy an invigorating hike down to the western beach of the lake.
3. Sete Cidades
Located northwest of Ponta Delgada, the Azores, Sete Cidades is a stunning natural area that is full of incredible viewpoints, beautiful lagoons and hiking trails. You can also visit a nearby village.
If you are visiting Sao Miguel, you will want to include a visit to Sete Cidades on your list of things to do! The area is known for its blue and green lakes, which are located within a volcano crater that measures 3 miles wide.
There are many beautiful vantage points in this area and trails leading up to the edge of the crater. To learn more about this amazing area, you can take a guided tour.
Vista do Rei (King’s View), is the best viewpoint to see this stunning landscape. You can see Lagoa Azul and several other craters and lakes here.
Furnas is a beautiful town on Sao Miguel island, and one of the most visited places in the Azores.
It’s known for its geothermal activity, with multiple hot springs and mud geysers sprouting out of the ground.
Lagoa das Furnas, one of three Azores crater lakes is also a great spot for taking in the stunning views. Cozido nas Caldeiras is another highlight.
This is a Portuguese stew made in the natural boiling hot water from the geothermal regions.
You can also try Queijadas de Inhame das Furnas, a local dessert made from cocoyam, which is very similar to a muffin or ‘pastel de natas’ custard cake you might find in mainland Portugal. You can find it at many Furnas restaurants.