Unspoiled, unique, safe, rich in natural beauty, clean, friendly — „the pearl of the Atlantic” have it all. Every island looks different with its own features, I know it’s not easy to choose. If you have to, maybe the most obvious one is São Miguel. This is the main island of Azores, the largest and most diverse in the archipelago. A wealth of things to see and activities to do, where life is polite and unhurried. Shall I say is a kind of dream? Truly a place to recharge. You’ll ﬁnd scenes of untouched beauty as you explore this magical island. If you decide to see it, we suggest don’t miss any of these charms…
I was thinking, maybe way too much (anyway this is kind of my style), how to show you this wonderland. In the end I decided to take you to a whole island tour, where you have the opportunity to see all the beauties together. So let’s start!
Ponta Delgada administrative capital of the Autonomous Region of the Azores. Arriving and leaving point. Don’t expect a big city, but this is the largest one with a lively economic and cultural life.
Today, urban art is a respected, appreciated and celebrated international form of creative expression, often times with the support of local government and communities. Ponta Delgada decided to take a step forward too. Every year, "Walk & Talk" festival inviting local and internationally known artists to give life to dead walls. Great permanent ones are everywhere on the island, make sure to keep your eyes open or take a self-guided street art tour.
Gruta do Carvao Cave largest lava tunnel of the island. Along the cave it is possible to observe a great variety of multicolored speleological structures.
Sampling the local delicacies of pineapple from the local market. It takes 2 years to raise them from flower to fruit. On the pineapple plantation you can learn more.
Landscape keeps amaze us.
Picnic spots along the forested roads… to enjoy your meal with locals. white wash basalt houses
Weather is capricious.
Even if it is raining or is foggy.
This walk takes you on a stunning journey like a fairy tale with dragons and wizards, unspoiled nature, breathtaking lagoons at Serra Derassa mountains.
All green, silent and peaceful.
“Lagoa das Sete Cidades” (Lake) which transforms the scenery into a poetic paradise.
Sete Cidades is a green crater with its twin lakes, different colors: Green and Blue. One of the 7 Wonders of Portugal.
Aside from the main lake there are others to explore. Up in the higher reaches of this area are hidden gems.
Of course the adventure does not stop up here, get down into the bottom of the crater.
Picnic on the edge of the lake, wander through the picturesque village and see the way of life here.
Ferraria: lava formed geothermal heated water baths in the middle of the ocean.
Ponta da Ferraria is the only geological formation of its kind in the world. Incredible spot to take a hot tub.
Massive rock formations formed by lava.
Dark cliffs decorated with different greens.
With a long History of whale hunting, these days the only reason the boats go in the water is for fishing, cruising or looking for a chance to spot some whales. No less than one third of all cetaceans in the world can be found here.
Ribeira Grande the second largest city on the island.
I loved the charm of these towns.
The Arquipélago - Contemporary Arts Centre is a transdisciplinary art center that will host projects of creation, production and exhibition of contemporary arts.
Caldeira Velha where a warm river joins a steaming geyser to form a pool under the exquisite forest scenery. There you can see how a volcanic caldera looks like and take a swim in naturally warm spring water.
From the top of surrounding cliffs we are privileged to watch Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake).
One of the most beautiful Azorean lake is situated at the bottom of the Caldera of the Agua do Pau volcano (last eruption occurred in 1563).
There are several trails you can do around the lake.
a place of great tranquility and beauty
It is hard to describe how quiet it is.….still dazzled.
The valley of Furnas is a true paradise with its beautiful ﬂower-lined lake.
This place is literally steaming from volcanic activity.
We’re sitting within the crater of a spent volcano.
the bubbling fumaroles
Locals take advantage of the high temperature of the soil. “Cozido das Furnas” is a traditional dish cooked by the geysers of Furnas.
Terra Nostra Garden guarantees to make your stay a truly memorable one with its impressive naturally warm thermal pool and Caldeiras (hot springs), serpentine canal, grottoes, lush avenues and trails lined with trees from around the world.
Poça da Dona Beija is one of the best “hotspot” in the parish of Furnas.
There are several small pools provided by natural hot iron rich water which is known for its therapeutic qualities. Late night bath under the stars is a must have!
Almost without noticing it, we are surrounded by dark green terraces. Azores is the only region in Europe which produces and sells tea. The tea plant was introduced on the island in 1750 and its industrial production started in 1878 with an arrival of Chinese tea master. Around the period of WWII the number of tea plantations reached its maximum, 62 producers and 16 factories. Nowadays there are only 2.
Gorreana Largest and oldest tea plantation: founded in 1883. The only one which is continuously family operated.
The manufacturing process are based on traditional knowledge accumulated over more than a century. It has kept original factory structure and still generates its own electrical power for its operations. Modernized only in the essential to keep up with times.
It takes 6 years to reach the size of a tea plant for production after the initial planting. The longevity of the plant can be up prolonged by 90 years.
The tea harvest begins annually in March and lasts throughout the summer season, sometimes until October.
Traditional tea: only the terminal buds, first (“Orange pekoe”), second (“Pekoe”) and third leaves (“Broken leaf”) are utilized for manufacturing of tea.
Smother and less strong than those of other regions. This quality is compounded by the fact that it is not treated with chemicals since the region is free of any disease or pest.
Don’t forget to take a tour and taste it!
Porto Formoso is the other tea factory with a museum and guided tours.
Nordeste region is the best kept secret on the island: waterfalls, flowing streams, charming scenic overlooks, sheer cliffs, high mountains, deep valleys, and views of the incredible coastline, peninsulas jutting out into the sea, white little fishing villages.
Vila Franco do Compo was the island’s first capital.
Vila Franca Islet is a volcanic shell. This perfectly round lagoon forms a natural swimming pool.
The Azores are not necessarily a beach destination, but there are few ones for swimming or surfing.
Never in my life have I heard such silence. The only thing around you is the sound of nature in a wonderful detailed, changing vegetation. It’s so surreal! I needed to get use to everyday surprises. Truly magical ones. I didn’t want to get out. (2 weeks definitely not enough). Needless to say, we missed a few hidden secrets too… So while you are visiting, please respect your surroundings and nature’s balance to preserve it in this way. ...
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