Our Guide to Sao Miguel

" Sao Miguel is the largest island of the 9 that make up the Azores.
We have written these guides to help our guests and visitors to the Azores with some curated tips and suggestions. While we have visited each place, these are just our opinions. Should you have any feedback or places we have not discovered please do email us so we can improve the guide for future visitors.

For a historical walking tour of Ponta Delgada or a historical walk around the Solars (or large mansion houses in English) built from the riches of the citrus trade in the town of Livermento click here.

Download this guide here.

Ponta Delgada | Sete Cidades | Central / Furnas | West Coast | North Coast | Others |

PONTA DELGADA

Tourist Office The people here are friendly and love the Azores and helping tourists. If you need a place to start this is as good as any Google Maps

Praça Gonçalo Velho Cabral / Gates to the city The three arches you see in the Praça de Gonçalo Velho are part of the original (1783) gates to the city, which once stood by the old harbor wall. The statue is of the man after whom the square is named – supposedly the discoverer of both São Miguel and Santa Maria. Just opposite is the tourist information office on the main promenadeGoogle Maps

Mercado da Graça (Grace’s market) For a taste of the Azores, head to the Mercado da Graça on Rua do Mercado. This daily farmer’s market (closed on Sundays) offers a variety of traditional and exotic fruits, vegetables, and fish. Next door is the O Rei Dos Queijos, a speciality shop attached to the market that sells cheese, traditional sweet bread, and other products made throughout the Azores islands Google Maps

Avenida do Mar Ponta Delgada has a beautiful harbour, and you can walk along at both street and marina level. You will find restaurants and whale watching shops as well as coffee stalls.

Ta Gente All this walking around the city is thirsty work. Make a stop at this tapas bar. Great cocktails as well as the second best Gin & Tonic can be found here Google Maps

Intz 48 If you want the best coffee in town this is the place to go. Conveniently located right in the center of town. Also has delicious cakes and sorbetsGoogle Maps

Jardim Antonio Borges The António Borges Garden are pretty gardens with just over 2.5 hectares of outdoor space. Many exotic trees and a lake give the place a quiet and almost undiscovered feel. There is a small cafe at one of the entrances and the gardens are free to walk aroundGoogle Maps

Antero de Quental Garden This garden pays homage to Antero de Quental (1841-1892), one of the leading figures in 19th-century Portuguese literature, who was born on the island of São Miguel. It contains a monument alluding to the life and work of this famous poet. The garden is decorated with features that are typical of the “art deco” style, particularly noticeable in the railings and the design of the pathways, which lend a special atmosphere to this leisure area Google Maps

SETE CIDADES

Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Sete Cidades Lake) A favourite spot to head to for many guests is the Sete Cidades area. Here you will find beautiful hiking trails, as well as the two beautiful lakes which contain different colours due to the minerals in the ground. From the top of the vista, you can see one is green and one is blue, which according to legend, were formed from the tears of a shepherd and a princess who shared a forbidden love Google Maps
- Insider tip: Get up and check the weather. If clear, head here first. Crowds start to gather from 10:00 onwards all day. Get the photos for the ‘gram and selfies and come back for breakfast here at Solar Branco.

Monte Palace Hotel Vista do Rei is also the location for an abandoned hotel. Built in the 70s and operational for less than 2 years, this is now a popular site to get an even better perspective over the lake. You can freely explore the building as long as you’re careful with the debris (the building has had 0 maintenance). Make sure you go to the top floor for a superb open view. The hotel building has been bought by a group of investors and will open again in 2021 (the site has now some “DO NOT ENTER” signs.) Google Maps
- Insider tip: This abandoned hotel is worth a look around. Head to the side and you will see a set of steps up and a wall. Jump over and explore. BUT YOU DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!