When you think of Portugal, the Azores Islands aren’t the first things that come to mind. Well, they should be! Here’s why.
The Azores Islands include 9 major islands. This post focuses on Sao Miguel, the main island, with its capital Ponta Delgada. To travel to the other islands you will need to fly or take a boat. Getting around the island itself is easiest with a car.
The Lakes and Hikes
Yes, Sao Miguel has a very scenic landscape. The most known „attractions“ are probably the lakes of the island. There are three major lakes: the area around Sete Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo and Lagoa das Furnas. All areas are perfect for hinking. Trails are not always cleary marked so investing in a hiking guide is definitely not a waste of money.
The Azores are vulcano islands and well known for their thermal baths, so make sure to pack your swimming suits. Most known on Sao Miguel are Ponta da Ferraria close to Mosteiros and Parque Terra Nostra in Furnas. I much prefer the natural environment of Ferraria. By natural environment I mean that it is a natural swimming pool in the ocean. The water temperature reaches 28 degrees Celsius at low tide due to a hot spring just underneath.
The Tea and Pineapple Plantations
Europe’s only tea plantation is located on Sao Miguel, close to Ribeira Grande. I highly recommend a visit. It is free to walk around the Gorreana Tea Plantation and you may even try the best tea you’ve ever had.
If you prefer fruit, then go visit a pineapple plantation or try an Azorean burger with a slice of pineapple in it. I loved it! But I also love pizza hawaii and curries with fruit in it, so don’t judge.