São Miguel, Azores Islands

Vladimir Chernykh
10 min read · 26 Sep 23


1 review

If you want to see another planet, you shouldn't miss the Azores. Getting lost on an island in the middle of the ocean, driving through the clouds and watching the incredible ocean makes it worth coming here. In addition, in summer, almost all species of whales migrate through the islands, which can be seen live.

  • Days
  • Distance
    289 km
  • Spots
  • Intensity

Full route

  1. Ponta Delgada - Miradouro do Caminho Novo - Miradouro da Vista do Rei - Ruínas do Monte Palace Hotel - Miradouro da Grota do Inferno - Lagoa do Canário - Sete Cidades - Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado - Mosteiros Beach - Ponta da Ferraria - Ponta Delgada
  2. Ponta Delgada - Lagoa do Fogo - Praia do Areal de Santa Bárbara - Miradouro de Santa Iria - Maia
  3. Maia - Miradouro do Pico do Ferro - Furnas - Parque Terra Nostra - Furnas Lake - Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões - Nordeste
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Our to-do list

  • Ponta Delgada: Start your journey in the capital city, where you can explore historic sites and enjoy local cuisine.
  • Miradouro do Caminho Novo: A viewpoint offering stunning panoramic views of São Miguel’s landscape.
  • Miradouro da Vista do Rei: Another viewpoint overlooking the iconic Sete Cidades twin lakes.
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Interesting places we didn’t visit

  1. Janela do Inferno: a dramatic sea arch on São Miguel Island, formed by volcanic activity, offering stunning coastal views.
  2. Salto do Cabrito: a picturesque waterfall in a lush forested area of São Miguel, perfect for hiking and enjoying nature.
  3. Gorreana Tea Plantation: one of Europe’s oldest tea plantations, where visitors can explore tea fields, learn about tea production, and taste fresh Azorean tea.
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Day 1: Ponta Delgada - Sete Cidades - Ponta Delgada
  • Distance
    82 km
  • Spots

We kicked off our road trip adventure with a buzz of excitement. First things first, we grabbed our ride from ANC Azores Holidays, one specific moment that you would need to go to the outskirts to take your car.

With the wind in our hair and the open road ahead, our first stop was Miradouro do Caminho Novo. The view was a total jaw-dropper, making us feel like we were on top of the world. Next up was Miradouro da Vista do Rei, this viewpoint boasts panoramic views of the Sete Cidades crater, known for its twin lakes. It’s named after King Carlos I of Portugal, who once visited and marvelled at the scenery.

We couldn’t resist checking out the Ruínas do Monte Palace Hotel, a once-luxurious establishment now in ruins, reflecting the island’s past tourism boom. Why did the hotel close? There wasn’t much else to do at the hotel besides the beautiful view. There were no pools, no spas, and no city nearby.

Miradouro da Grota do Inferno lived up to its fiery name, this viewpoint offers a glimpse of volcanic formations. It’s a testament to São Miguel’s geological history, showcasing its fiery origins. Lagoa do Canário was a serene crater lake, perfect for nature lovers, next to which we walked on the way back.

We couldn’t miss Sete Cidades, with its legendary seven villages submerged beneath the lakes. But the highlight of the day? Mosteiros Beach, a picturesque black sand beach surrounded by volcanic rock formations.

The hot springs at Ponta da Ferraria and the mysterious A Porta do Diabo wrapped up our day, leaving us eager for more adventures in Ponta Delgada at the Antillia Hotel.

Next Days

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A map showing the route across Azores Islands in Portugal.
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