Ilha de São Miguel Travel Guide

  • Miradouro da Ponta da Madrugada, Nordeste
    Miradouro da Ponta da Madrugada,...
    by mircaskirca
  • Santiago Lake
    Santiago Lake
    by JessieLang
  • Lagoa das Sete Cidades
    Lagoa das Sete Cidades
    by Avieira67

Ilha de São Miguel Highlights

  • Pro
    cachaseiro profile photo

    cachaseiro says…

     Fantastic nature. 

  • Con
    faq profile photo

    faq says…

     Weather too random - the fog can spoil your visits to see the lakes. 

  • In a nutshell
    joserosa profile photo

    joserosa says…

     Indeed: It's more nice than paradise... 

Ilha de São Miguel Things to Do

  • Arruda Pineapple Plantation

    Pineapple is our favourite fruit and is produced inside green houses.In Fajã de Baixo, a village situated only 5km from Ponta Delgada, you can visit some of these green houses in this private plantation.Visitors can find here information about the plantation of pineapple and are invited to drink a liquor of the fruit. Some handicraft is also...

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  • Praia das Milícias

    This beach, also know as Praia Grande, is located in Rosto do Cão, Livramento village. It is about 3 km away from Ponta Delgada and is easily reached by public transportation. Beside it is another one, Praia Pequena or Praia do Pópulo, considerably smaller.Both beaches are served by two building. One houses changing rooms, toilets and showers; the...

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  • Take a drive along the east coast.

    The east coast of Sao Miguel island is the wild part of the island with rygged nature and very few people living there.It used to have no road connection to the rest of the island and it's less than two years ago that they had a really good road connection to the rest of the island so the settlements there are somewhat limited and that gives it a...

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  • Great island tour.

    As we were on a cruise and only had one day on the island of Sao Miguel we decided to have a tour of the island.Amazing Tours was the company we used and we had a great time.Our driver Carlos spoke perfect English and had a vast knowledge of the island.At the end of the tour he even took us to the supermarket so that we could purchase some...

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  • Pineapple plantation - Ponta Delgada

    At first I was very sceptical about visiting at a pineapple plantation of Ponta Delgada but it turned to be nice trip to village of Faja de Baixo.I took a local bus to Faja de Baixo and a bus driver promised to tell me when to step out. In the plantation I got a presentation of pineapples and greenhouses were open for visitors.I also bought some of...

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  • Visit Furnas

    The most volcanic location in Azores is located a half hour drive from Ponta Delgada. I took a bus and had chance to enjoy the views without driving! :)In Furnas you have plenty to do for one day; have a walk to a lake Furnas and its hot springs(takes about 40 minutes), visit in Terra Nostra park and swim in its yellow spring, relax in springs of...

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Ilha de São Miguel Hotels

Ilha de São Miguel Restaurants

  • Taditional Food

    I was used to visit this restaurant, but it was not popular among locals. Nowadays, can be a problem to find a free table on the week-ends without booking in advance.They offer a selected menu of fish and meat, but I advise you to ask for mixed grilled fish and mixed grilled meat. These dishes are served with salad, potatoes, yam and fruit salad....

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  • Japanese Food / Rodízio Grill

    The restaurante-bar Casa Velha was, for a long time, the only place on the Island where Japanese food was available. Because of this, we couldn't compare quality with other local Japanese restaurants. Here it was my first experience with this kind of food, and I liked a lot, not only the food, but also the ambience. Nowadays, real Japanese food is...

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  • Brilliant roadside restaurant.

    4 Platanos is a really nice restaurnat.It´s located by the small village Santo Antonio, right on the main road.It´s located on a hill and has a fantastic seaview.The place is both a restaurant and a cafe and it has a pooltable down the basement that the local youth often use.There is also free wifi and quite a few local business men stop by for a...

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  • Try Fresh Grilled Fish

    Dona Jorgina, the owner and the coocker, is a great specialist. She knows the secrets of the Azorean and Portuguese cuisines. Unfortunately, she doesn't speak English at all, but she is really very kind.Booking in advance will possibilit you to taste delicious meals such as alcatra, codfish and octopus cooked in many ways, leitão à Bairrada, and...

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  • Meeting Point of the Local People

    We quite like Ribeira Quente so after having a drink in a bar on Praia do Fogo and taking a walk along the seafront we decided to have another drink in a local bar along the sea. Café Mar e Sol is a some kind of meeting point of the local people, mostly men. They use to come here to watch a broadcast of a football game or just have a drink or two...

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  • Cold Drink with a Sea View

    On the way from Furnas to Ponta Delgada we made a stop in Ribeira Quente, a small fishing village. The village received its name as water in some areas is warm due to underwater volcanic activity. It has an excellent beach Praia do Fogo with a nice bar. The day was slowly coming to its end so the beach was empty. There was a sensation of...

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Ilha de São Miguel Transportation

  • TOURS UTC

    The bus company UTC, besides offering a shuttle service between the airport and the city centre, also offers some tours around the island. I really don't know, personally, nothing about the quality of the service, but can be a option to take in mind.A companhia de autocarros UTC, além de oferecer um serviço expresso entre o aeroporto e o centro da...

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  • Travelling in São Miguel by public bus

    Three bus companies operate in São Miguel Island linking all localities.Caetano Raposo & Pereira (CRP) links Ponta Delgada to Ribeira Grande and operates in this municipality;Varela operates from Ponta Delgada to the southeast villages of the Island, as far as Povoação;Auto Viação Micaelense (AVM) operates in the municipality of Ponta Delgada...

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  • Renting a taxi / Tour

    I really don't know Gary Travassos, but this site can be very useful, especially if you need to make a tour in the Island. Please, ask other to compare fares! In my opinion, €13 from the airport to a hotel in the city is expensive. You shouldn't pay more than €8.I live in a village about 5km from the airport and the normal fare by taxi is €7-8.

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Ilha de São Miguel Shopping

  • Azorean Tea

    The only place in Europe where the tea is grown is in the Azores. The soil and climate are ideal for tea and by the end of the 19th century fourteen tea factories were in operation. Nowadays only two are still in operation, Porto Formoso and Gorreana. Although the same plant is grown to produce all the variants of tea, it's the process the leafs...

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  • Arts and Crafts

    Many traditional handicrafts can be found on the island, all using raw materials. You can not fail to see charming folk figures made from maize husks, wickerwork baskets, colourful ceramics from Lagoa or the picturesque clay pottery of Vila Franca do Campo, items from cut basalt, embroidery, delicate flowers made from fish scale, fig pith, paper or...

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  • Pottery

    Traditional blue and white pottery. It is made in Lagoa, but you can buy it in shops in Ponta Delgada if you don't get to Lagoa.

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Ilha de São Miguel Local Customs

  • Tobacco Plantation

    At the past there were many tobacco factories. Nowadays we have only two factories.In Maia village, you can find Museu do Tabaco - Tobacco Museum.

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  • Playing domino is a popular past time.

    If you hang out at the local cafes on Sao Miguek island, especially in the smaller villages then you will see that domino is a popular past time there.It's almost always men playing the game and you will mostly have quite a few spectators to the game so it's not just something they do cause they have nothing else to do, but because they take it...

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  • Some people still use the horse for...

    Even if most locals on the Azores drive cars these days then you still have some people who ride horse carts as a mean of transport.You won´t see many of them, but there are quite a few if you drive around the smaller roads on the island and they sure add to the local street scene in a positive way.

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Ilha de São Miguel Warnings and Dangers

  • Ferrous waters: nice for skin, not for...

    If you're going to bathe in ferrous water (Poça Dona Beija, Parque Terra Nostra, Caldeira Velha, for example), don't forget to bring a dark bikini/swimming suit/whatever, or alternatively an old one that you don't care about anymore. The ferrous water leaves orange stains on the fabric that are almost impossible to get rid of.If you already stained...

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  • Be ware of narrow roads.

    On Sao Miguel you have many little narrow roads that are very charming, but they can also be a little dangrous if you are transporting yourself by foot or bicycle.There is often little or no pavement, both in the towns and on the roads connecting the towns.The good news is that they have started creating walking and cycling paths around the island...

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  • Sao Miguel, Theft from parked cars.

    Don't leave anything in plain view while parked ,especially in the more remote parking areas as theft from cars seem to be the only noticeable crime on this entire island. Otherwise, this island is safe just about anywhere at any time, always using common sense.

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Ilha de São Miguel What to Pack

  • faq's Profile Photo

    by faq Written Dec 29, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Prepare yourself for a random weather in the island. You can get hot-summer in the beach and, in the same day, a cold rainy weather in the village where you have the hotel.

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Ilha de São Miguel Off The Beaten Path

  • Serra devassa

    When you are going to Sete Cidade from the village of Covoada, you will find many small lakes before reaching Sete Cidades lakes. All these lakes are inserted in the Protected Landscape of Sete Cidades.Just in front of the entrance to the Park and Lake of Canário, take the trail Serra Devassa.There is no public transportation to this place!

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  • Rocha da Relva

    A vineyard located about 6km from Ponta Delgada.Following the regional route which goes from Ponta Delgada to Relva village, past the airport, you will reach a viewing tourist point, on your left side, over Relva and the sea. The route begins just here, but cars are allowed until to the entrance, a trail.When you reach the trail, you have to walk...

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  • Valley of Lombadas

    When you are going to Caldeiras in Ribeira Grande, just one foot before the Thermal Centre, there is on your right side a route which goes to this protected conservation area. The whole valley, covered by luxuriant vegetation, is the site of the naturally carbonated spring that provides the mineal water known as Água das Lombadas.At the bottom of...

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Ilha de São Miguel Sports & Outdoors

  • Take the hiking trail to Lagoa do Fogo.

    From the little village "agua de alto" on the sothern part of the island you have a road leading towards Lagoa do Fogo.After a couple of kilometers you can leave the paved road and take a little dirt trail the rest of the way to the crater rim of Lagoa do Fogo.You have to go through a gate with a sign, but the sign only states that you can not take...

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  • Surfing.

    Surfing is quite big on Sao Miguel.You have both bodysurfers and windsurfers there, but the bodysurfers are probaply the most visible.Sao Miguel has both very strong winds and quite big waves manking the conditions for both kinds of surfing good.

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  • Fishing.

    Sao Miguel has quite rich fishing grounds and it´s quite a good place to go fishing.You see quite a lot of people fishing off the coast there aswell as at the harbours in the towns.I have mainly seen locals fishing there, but there should be no problems for visiting foreigners to join them.

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Ilha de São Miguel Favorites

  • ITINERARIES

    If you have no time enough to explore the island, you must visit at least: 1. Sete Cidades - lakes and village inside this beautiful crater. This landscape is among the 7 natural wounders of Portugal.2. Furnas - lake, hotsprings, private garden Terra Nostra (hot swimming pool).3. Fogo - lake and Caldeira Velha (waterfall and hot swimming pool). In...

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  • The hydrangea.

    The hydrangea is the most common flower on the Azores.It´s orginally from East Asia but has fitted in very well to the climate on the Azores and you see it all over Sao Miguel, both in parks and on the side of the road.It blooms mainly in the summer, but you can see it bloom aswell in late spring and early fall roughly until 1st of october.

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  • The Sao Miguel cattle dog.

    The "Sao Miguel cattle dog", or the "cao fila de Sao Miguel" is a type of dog that originates from the Sao Miguel island.It´s a working dog that has been bred to work as a cattle dog working for the farmers and it´s not really a family dog as it can be quite agressive.It´s one of the rare dogs of the world and there is quite a bit of work being...

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Explore Deeper into Ilha de São Miguel
Prego's waterfall and Sanguinho
Off The Beaten Path
Lagoa do Congro
Off The Beaten Path
Ferraria
Off The Beaten Path
Try the local beer on Sao Miguel.
Favorites
A saint by the door.
Favorites
The giant ghost hotel in the clouds.
Off The Beaten Path
Whale Tours – Ponta Delgada
Things to Do
Negotiate a taxi trip
Transportation
Caldeira Velha Spring water pool-Ribeira Grande
Things to Do
Sata –airline between islands
Transportation
Busses: S. Miguel Transport
Transportation
Whale watching points.
Off The Beaten Path
The old drain tunnel.
Favorites
Miradouro de Santa Iria.
Off The Beaten Path
Miradouro Pisao.
Off The Beaten Path
Thermal baths.
Favorites
Natural spring waters.
Favorites
Squid fishing.
Local Customs
The Capote.
Local Customs
Poça Dona Beija and Parque Terra Nostra
Things to Do
Sete Cidades.
Things to Do
The chapel of nossa senhora da paz.
Off The Beaten Path
Salto do cavalo.
Off The Beaten Path
The Ceramica Vieira factory in Lagoa.
Things to Do
Caldeira Velha.
Off The Beaten Path
Pineapples.
Favorites
Fishing is a big industry here.
Favorites
Bicycle lanes.
Transportation
Vila Franca.
Things to Do
Sao Miguel is connected to the world by air.
Transportation
Ilheu da Vila Franca.
Off The Beaten Path
Agua de pau.
Off The Beaten Path
Sao Miguel is cattle country.
Favorites
Achada.
Off The Beaten Path
Lagoa de fogo.
Things to Do
Ribeira Grande.
Things to Do
Nordeste.
Things to Do
Furnas.
Things to Do
Parque Terra Nostra.
Things to Do
Visit a tea plantation and factory.
Things to Do
Map of Ilha de São Miguel

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