Get your Jurassic Park feeling on – Azores Sao Miguel
Somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean are the Azores. A conglomerate of beautiful islands where each one is more amazing than the other. For my first but not last trip I chose to stay on the main and biggest island of the Azores Sao Miguel because it provides the most adventures, sights and things to do than all the other smaller ones.
First of all you need to definitely check into one of the hotels that have a thermal pool in the hotel as it changed my whole trip completely because each day before and after being on the road for the day I could relax my bones in the soothing waters that make Sao Miguel and especially Furnas (where the thermal pools are) so incredible.
So my base station was at the Furnas Boutique Hotel which I loved and from there I took day trips around the island. The coolest thing is that car rental is absolutely affordable and because the island is small and the streets perfectly organized I found my way around without a GPS system.
Things to do
So the main thing to do is enjoying nature in each and every way – for example I descended into a volcano to relax on a beach or took a hike up a mountain for a brilliant view, canoeing, whale watching (I can recommend the Futurismo Adventures) or just visit some of those beautiful tiny towns for Tapas.
I am not going to go in too much detail here because then this would get unnecessary long. So here are my favorites in random order and I actually visited them all. What is more important is to sometimes just follow your instincts – if you see a corner you like stop and just take a look around. Sao Miguel and probably all islands of the Azores are still somehow untouched and not really touristy. You can actually be part of this island, its nature, culture and culinary dishes.
Lagoa do Fogo
Best places for a day hike around the lake and amazing vistas.
Caldeiras das Furnas
The sulfuric thermal pools – a sight to be seen – a bit touristy but worth it.
Poça da Dona Beija
If your hotel has no pool you could go here – I wouldn’t.
Tiny cute fisher town – for a lunch.
Cute for a drive through and a coffee and following the road it leads to Faial da Terra a town nestled between two green hills.
Freaking beautiful corner of the island with Achadinha tiny town that leads to the Achada waterfalls that are mesmerizing from there you can go to Farol da Ponta do Arnel a winding road down the cliff side that leads to a lighthouse first and if you are up for it leads to a tiny beach at the end of the road. For the really sporty people or really good drivers in tiny cars.
I hated that place. I know the area is beautiful but this was the only place that was so overcrowded therefore the design of the area reminded me of a Disneyland attraction. Everything paved and encircled which means nature under control.
Lagoa das Sete Cidades
This is my favorite spot on the island and I spent a whole day here to really get a feel for nature and there is an abandoned hotel close by worth checking out too.
Terra Nostra Park
This is a gigantic park with a whole day worth of hanging out & picnicking – especially because there is a beautiful jungle like part of the park that you can access separately and an enchanting Chapel – Nossa Senhora das Vitórias.
A black sand beach for day in the sun.
Here are some impressions of my trip – Azores Sao Miguel