⌚ READING TIME | 5MIN
Hey guys! Last week, I was in São Miguel island in Azores and it quickly became the best place I´ve ever visited. São Miguel is the biggest island from Azores and it’s known by “Green island”.
It was 5 days (18th to 22nd of April) non stop by car around the island, visiting all the viewpoints, lagoons, hot springs and other touristic places. I was very fascinated by the island’s nature (that’s why it’s called Green Island), for the people’s hospitality and for their culture.
After having landed in São Miguel around 7 pm, we did the car’s check-out which we had rented on Ilha Verde Rent a Car (where we found the best prices) and went directly to our AIRBNB to leave our bags. Once it was the end of the day, on the way to Cais 20 restaurant we stopped on São Roque Village beach to watch the surfers and play a little with the drone.
On the first day we decided to go west, to Sete Cidades Lagoon. Before that, we visited Quinta das 3 Cruzes where they produce pineapples. Once we arrived, we were invited to watch a short movie about its history and all the production phases. We then went inside of glass greenhouses where each one had a different phase of production. Curiosity: One pineapple takes to 2 years and a half to born and be ready for eating.
Next stop and the best of the day was Canário Lagoon, which in my opinion is the most beautiful in São Miguel.
From there, it is possible to go by foot to Boca do Inferno viewpoint where you can see the different colors of Blue Lagoon and Green Lagoon from Sete Cidades. The difference between the colors is more noticeable when it is clear sky.
Still in the west, it was possible to visit Ilha da Sabrina viewpoint and Ferraria’s Hot Springs. This Hot Springs has a pool in front of the sea where the sunset should be explendid.
After this stops, we visit others viewpoint along the regional road until we stopped at Ribeira Grande.
Hot Springs in São Miguel
You must visit the Hot Spring in São Miguel! On the 3rd day, once we went to the central part of the island, we visited Caldeira Velha Hot Spring where you can find 3 pools and 1 warm waterfall. The temperature of the pool it’s around 40ºC. I advise you to visit this hot spring, because it’s all surrounded by nature. They have two different prices, if you only want to visit it will be 6€ and if you also want to enjoy the pools it will be 8€.
Still on the same day, we went to Furnas direction where it is the famous Dona Beija hot spring. It’s a crowded place because of its schedule and price. It’s open from 7 am to 11 pm and the entrance is 4€ per person. There, you will find baskets to keep your belongings and bathrooms to have a shower. This place has 5 pools of 40ºC.
As well as Caldeira Velha, this hot springs has a lot of health benefits because of its waters’ properties.
Don’t be sad if it is raining, it will be worth it. Remember that the water’s temperature is 40ºC so you’ll probably feel hot inside. It happened to me!
Our plans after visiting the Dona Beija hotsprings was to have dinner at Tony’s restaurant, to try the typical dish Cozido das Furnas. We called to make a reservation for two and found out that the price was 20 € for both.
This is one of the most famous spots in São Miguel, for its lagoon, for the cozido dish, for the Dona Beija hotsprings and also for its not hot but boiling water where they cook the cozido. You will quickly recognize the smell of sulfur, which is not very friendly and make me think about carnival’s smelly bombs.
There are two places where you can visit the fumarolas. The most famous one is the one next to the Furnas lagoon, in which you will pay to enter but you will be able to se whre they cook the cozido and the other one, in the center of the village, for free.
Natural Sparkle Water
Real close to the Fumarolas in the center of the village, there are numerous mineral water springs, both hor and cold but that’s not it. It was were I’ve seen, for the first time in my life, natural sparkle water running and totally drinkable! This spring is called “A Nascente de Água Azeda do Bebentão”.
You can see how it looks on the photos below. Personally, I did not enjoy it very much because of its strong taste of sulphur, which is normal. I was a bit disspaoint because I was counting on something better.
However, I strongly recommend you to try it.
Terra Nostra Hot Spring
Still in Furnas, there is Terra Nostra park, with 200 years which I did not had the chance to visit. For 4€ per child and 8€ per adult, you can there enjoy the biggest natural pool with hot water, surrounded by a diversity of exotic plants and trees
After a calm and relaxing day, it was time to enjoy our last day. For that, we chose the more east part of São Miguel.
On our way, we stopped many times to check some viewpoints (see images below). We visited:
Ponta do Sossego Viewpoint
We stopped in this place to have some lunch with na amazing view. It’s a picknique spot where you can also do your own barbecue.
Faial da Terra
It is a very isolated village, surrounded by a beautiful landscape.
Arnel’s lighthouse is in the more east part of the Island. To get to the lighthouse get ready to go down a very steep road. It will be quite difficult to go up by car when coming back so I really recommend you use your legs!
Monte Palace Hotel
After visiting this part on the east side of São Miguel we went back to the other side of the island, near Sete Cidades lagoon. We still hadn’t visited Vista do Rei viewpoint and the abandoned Monte Palace hotel, which we could not miss.
The two way flight tickets from Porto to São Miguel, bought four months in advance, was around 120€ for two people, as well as, the AIRBNB for five nights.
Once in São Miguel, we rented a Nissan Micra at Ilha Verde Rent a Car (their prices are the best) which cost us 38€ for five days, with a deposit of 900€. Price / quality is ok and in my opinion the cheapest car is enough for two people to go around the island comfortable. Not only it is economic (we haven’t a full gas deposit), it has Bluetooth connection for Spotify and to make some calls, AUX cable connection and USB port.
About the dinners, which normally are the most expensive meal of the day, was never more than 30€ for both well served.
Our fixed costs were around 300€ for both. Nothing expensive, having in consideration what we’ve done, and I truly believe that you can find cheaper prices if you take some time to look for accommodation and the best fares. All the rest is variable and depends on how much each of us is willing to spend.
Um Bem Haja!