SÃO MIGUEL

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

PONTA DELGADA | CITY CENTER

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!

CENTRAL / FURNAS 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!

Miradouro da Boca do Inferno While the view from Vista do Rei is inspiring, the one from Miradouro da Boca do Inferno will make your jaw drop. Have you ever felt goosebumps when arriving at a beautiful place? If so, it will probably happen here again. From up there, apart from the crazy views of the mountains and the sea in the background, two other lagoons are visible: Rasa and Santiago in a complete 360-degree nature experience. The view is wide open to the entire volcanic crater of Sete Cidades, formed 22,000 years ago Google Maps

Poça da Dona Beija This is an amazing place to enjoy the natural hot thermal baths that the island is famous for. You can do this all year round, but recommended in summer Google Maps

WEST COAST

Visit the Oldest Lighthouse in the Azores On the remote east coast of São Miguel lies Farol do Arnel, the oldest lighthouse in the Azores. It’s only open on Wednesdays, but worth visiting on other days of the week because of its stunning location. If you want to visit it and the small, attractive fishing community nearby, be aware of the extremely steep, winding road that leads there. Small cars have been known to get stuck at the bottom, without enough power to get back up again Google Maps

Views of the ocean: There are several great look out points as you drive along the coast Google Maps

NORTH COAST

Gorreana Tea Plantation While on the island of São Miguel, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the oldest, and currently the only, tea plantation in Europe. The Gorreana Tea Plantation has been in the family for five generations, cultivating tea since 1883 and currently producing about 33 tons of tea per year. During your visit, explore the grounds of the 32-acre plantation, enjoy a complimentary cup of freshly picked tea, and take a step back in time as you admire the original Marshalls machinery dating back to the 1840s Google Maps

Santa Iria A short drive down the road from the tea plantation is the Santa Iria lookout point. The views of the jagged cliffs along the north coast of the island are truly breathtaking, and it is one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset Google Maps

Praia de Santa Barbara While on the north shore, the Praia de Santa Barbara beach is well worth a visit. It can get busy during the summer, in the winter months it has some striking views (a warm jumper is recommended to guard against the Atlantic winds.)

OTHER AREAS OF INTEREST

Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo The Ilhéu of Vila Franca do Campo is one of the biggest attractions on the island. Within the volcano is a natural swimming pool, circular in its interior Between June and September you can visit by using the service between the Port of Vila Franca do Campo and Ilhéu (note you have to buy tickets in advance and they are limited in number – Book here) Google Maps
- Insider tip: Book this though us here at the hotel or book online. Tickets sell out well in advance during the summer and then you have to que from 08:00 onwards. First blat leaves at 09:30

Pineapples Arruda This is a working pineapple plantation where you can see the growing process. The fruits from the Azores are very different to the pineapples you will find elsewhere. Taking up to 2 years to grow, this is a really interesting place to visit Google Maps

Calura Beach & Agua de Pau Village Small, yet gorgeous, Calura Beach definitely warrants a visit. You can access the beach via a set of stairs and admire the rocky cliffs that surround the bay from ground level. When you’ve had your fill of sand and sea, head to the nearby village of Agua de Pau. Wander through the village admiring its colourful buildings, lush garden, and the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Anjos.

Caloura As you leave the village following the regional road, continue on to the miradouro (lookout point) that provides stunning views of the town of Caloura below. Further down the coastal road is another pull-out where fishermen park to reel in their daily catch and visitors pause to take in the coastal views.

Vila Franca do Campo & Ilhéu da Vila Franca Vila Franca do Campo was the original capital of the Azores archipelago until a violent earthquake destroyed much of the town in October 1522. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the town began to prosper again from the successes of orange plantations and pineapple production. The most notable feature of Vila Franca do Campo lies just over a half mile (1 km) off the coast. From June to September boats from the nearby marina take a limited number of visitors out to explore the island of Ilhéu.

Ponta Garça Ponta Garça is a civil parish within the municipality of Vila Franca do Campo. The church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Our Lady of Mercy) and the 20th-century Lighthouse of Ponta Garça are its two most notable attractions.


We have written these guides to help our guests and visitors to the Azores with 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.

Guests can download this guide here