São Miguel – one of the volcanic islands in the archipelago of Azores is called also a green island. It becomes quite obvious once you come there as its landscape and greenery is just breathtaking.
It’s one of the places where you have an impression to be in a different world. What are the most beautiful places to visit on São Miguel? Don’t forget to check out also Azores part 2 – São Miguel green island
Small paradise islet next to Vila Franca do Campo
1km from the coast of the town Vila Franca do Campo you will find an amazing islet which is in fact a result of the crater of an ancient submerged volcano. This small islet has almost perfectly circular natural lake inside, connected with the sea by a small channel. It is classigied as a Nature Reserve but still between June and September you can take a boat from Tagarete pier and land on this little paradise. Lovely beach inside of the islet is a perfect place to be.
PROTIP: Once you visit Vila Franca do Campo, make sure you won’t miss a lovely, small chapel “Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Paz” with a magnificent view on the town and the islet.
Sete Cidades hikes
Sete Cidades is the name of a village located at the bottom of a huge volcano crater on São Miguel Island. The name is also commonly used among tourists and locals to refer to the entire crater with the famous lakes.
Lagos das Sete Cidades is the Portuguese name for the two crater lakes, Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul. What is their uniqueness? Only a narrow isthmus separates them and yet they have different colors – one is green and the other blue. Nearby, there is another – equally unusual – green lake Lagoa de Santiago.
One of the most picturesque trails in the Azores that you don’t want to miss during your stay. starts in a magnificent view point – Miraduro da Vista do Rei where you can see both lakes and very interesting but also scary ruins of an abandonded, luxury hotel of Monte Palace. The trail continues to the Sete Cidades town along the rim of the volcano.
Whale and dolphins watching
The Azores archipelago is one of the best places (if not the best!) in the world for whale watching. The ocean waters surrounding the islands are home to many cetaceans, and although the best time to see these animals in the wild is between early April and late May, any time of year is good for an amazing marine adventure. Most of the times you will also be able to see dolphins. There are many different options for individuals or groups, half of full day trips on Tripadvisor.
We went with Sea Colors Azores and I can truly recommend it.
Hidden waterfall Ribeira Quente
I don’t even know how many people drive around this double waterfall without even realizing it – a truly hidden beautiful place to visit. Tucked between two tunnels (you can park near the second tunnel) and walk a little closer to the waterfall.
Don’t forget to check out the second part of best places to visit in São Miguel! Azores part 2 – São Miguel green island
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See you next time, Monika