Sao Miguel is a beautiful hidden gem in the Azores archipelago. They are an autonomous region of Portugal and only a 4 hour flight from Boston.
Where to Stay in Sao Miguel
We stayed in Hotel Talisman in Ponta Delgada. It was a beautiful hotel with very nice and helpful staff. It was in the heart of the city and close walk to local restaurants and the ocean.
What to do in Sao Miguel
Do a Tea Tasting at Cha Porto Formosso
This is a beautiful tea plantation that had amazing views of the ocean, cliffs, and small village below. We went inside and drank tea while eating biscuits made by locals. We loved it here so much we ended up going back two days in a row.
Visit Cha Gorreana
Only a few miles away from Cha Porto Formosso, this is a bigger tea plantation and more well-known. While it was beautiful, we enjoyed the quaintness of Cha Porto Formosso more.
Go to Lagao das Furnas
This lake is green! Here, you can opt to go paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking too. There is an abandoned cathedral and a path around the lake you can walk.
You can then drive to the other side of the lake and the Furnas which is an area where the lava underground heats up the earth so much that there is bubbling water, steam and sulfur. A local restaurant actually puts a tin full of meat and vegetables into the ground and lets the steam heat it up for hours before serving it for dinner.
Hike Lagao dos Canario
This is a steep 15 minute hike up a hill, but trust me the views are worth it. We had fog around us the entire time and we still thought it was an amazing experience. You feel like your on the edge of the world. With steep cliffs on either side and a narrow path across the top of a mountain, you can see for miles. On our way down we stopped at another Lagao just a 5 minute walk away.
Visit Sete Cidades
This parish is nestled in the center of a massive volcanic crater. It sits along two lakes (one of which is in a caldera): Lagao Verde and Lagao Azul. Literally Green Lake and Blue Lake! It is a small town so you can walk around and find something to eat.
Go to Mosterios
This parish is on the west side of the island. Here you can sit and watch the waves crash into shore. It is also a black sand beach!
Go to Nordeste & the Lighthouse
If you are driving from Ponta Delgada, you will have many beautiful lookout points along the way. We stopped off and got pictures of Lagao do Fogo. Walk around and explore. We got lunch at Restaurante Tronqueira. We were a little skeptical at first since it was a buffet but it was one of the best meals on the island. We went up to get more food at least 3 times. The waitress was so sweet too and there were great views of the ocean and palm trees. Then head to the lighthouse!
Hike Ribeira dos Caldeiros
There were numerous waterfalls and beautiful flowers everywhere.