Things to do in
Vila Franca do Campo

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Our most recommended things to do in Vila Franca do Campo

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

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Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

2. Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

Go on a boat and embark on a snorkeling experience in the sea. Enjoy the marine life in a supervised and relaxed way.  Receive a brief explanation of the apnea basic concepts, equipment, and swimming techniques. These are theoretical and practical sessions, where safety procedures will be explained.  This activity takes place in the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Island, close to the wrecked cannons from the 16th Century.  Come and see what the underwater world has to offer you with the greatest comfort and safety.

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São Miguel East: Full-Day Tour with Lunch

3. São Miguel East: Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Following pick-up, start the drive to Furnas. Enjoy beautiful scenery along the southern coast of the island until you get to the historical town of Vila Franca do Campo. Here, reach a secluded chapel in the mountains, Senhora da Paz, to enjoy a spectacular view of the town and small island before continuing to Furnas. In Furnas, walk along geothermal fields and observe smoking volcanoes (possible to swim in thermal pools for extra fee). Watch as your lunch, the famous local cozido, is pulled from the cooking holes in the volcanic soil. In the afternoon, get to the top of the volcanic crater at the viewpoint of Pico do Ferro, which offers views of Furnas and its lake. Next, head to the northeastern side of the island to see the coast of high cliffs and waterfall of Ribeira dos Caldeirões. Make your way back to Ponta Delgada along the north coast of the island with a final stop at the breathtaking lookout of Santa Iria.

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Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

4. Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

Kick off your scuba diving experience with a small introduction session during which you will learn all about diving equipment, techniques and underwater communication. Then head out to the sea by boat, allowing a supervised and relaxed way to experience diving.  Your dive will take place at the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Islet, an island formed by a volcano crater. Explore an area close to wrecked cannons from the 16th century and see how nature incorporated them into marine life.

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Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

5. Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

Take the opportunity to see some of the sea life found in the Azores including dolphins, whales, turtles and seabirds. Before the boat trip, listen to biologists explaining the safety measures aboard, the history of the area, the local wildlife and how to respect them. Then set off! After the 3-hour whale watching tour, stop in Vila Franco do Campo to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Following lunch, board a converted traditional fishing boat and head to Vila Franca do Campo islet, a volcanic crater off the coast that encloses a natural lagoon. Take one of the provided snorkels and diving masks and see the numerous protected fish species in this natural reserve. Following the tour, transfer back to Ponta Delgada by boat or van.

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Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

6. Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

Paddle along the beautiful coastline of Vila Franca de Campo. Choose between the morning or afternoon tour and embark on a kayaking adventure suitable for families with children. The level is appropriate for beginners and experienced kayakers alike. Your professional instructor will make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable. Get geared with the necessary equipment for your kayak tour. Then, receive a safety briefing from your instructor before heading out onto the waters. This tour takes you on a 4.5 kilometer stretch along the beautiful Vila Franca do Campo Islet. During the excursion, you may take a dip into the refreshing waters and try some snorkeling.

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São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

7. São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

This tour gives you the unique opportunity to get to know São Miguel island as much as possible during a short stay. The tour will start early going in direction to Vista do Rei where you can enjoy the view over the Sete Cidades Lakes. From there the tour will take you up into the mountains to enjoy the view over the gorgeous Lagoa do Fogo. Then you will venture back down the mountains for a visit to Caldeira Velha, a protected nature reserve, where you will have the option to enjoy a bath in the warm water from a waterfall. The journey will then take you to the viewpoint of Santa Iria where you can see the gorgeous northern coast. Following the coastal views, you will visit the Gorreana tea plantation and its factory, where you can taste two different kinds of tea: black and green. The tour will continue on where you will be able to enjoy the amazing view over Furnas’ valley, and a stop will be made at Pico de Ferro’s viewpoint. Arriving in Furnas Village you will see some volcanic phenomena, known as fumaroles. You will then be able to have some lunch and eat the delicious famous Cozido das Furnas (or Furnas Stew), a gastronomic dish of Azores. After lunch, a stop in the Furnas Lake to see how the famous stew is cooked, then take a walk near the beautiful lake. Returning to Ponta Delgada and passing by Vila Franca do Campo, the first capital of São Miguel, located in the south coast, a last stop will be made at Ermida da Nossa Senhora Paz to enjoy the view to the famous Ilheú da Vila Franca. The tour will finish at your hotel or at the harbor.

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Ponta Delgada: Full-Day Furnas & Fire Lake Tour

8. Ponta Delgada: Full-Day Furnas & Fire Lake Tour

On reaching the town of Ribeira Grande, the architecture of the city will be highlighted, its Ribeira and municipal gardens, pass by the haystack (Viewpoint), location which overlooks part of the north coast of the island of Sao Miguel, the start rises to observe the Lagoa do Fogo, we will stop in the natural park of the Old Boiler, which offers visitors a relaxing stroll, having direct contact with nature, having at its disposal two eras of train waters, whose temperatures vary between 35 ° at the new epoch and 25 ° in the older era and along the cascade, followed by Lagoa do Fogo, a pond of very blue waters, surrounded by a dense and lush vegetation endemic, and the lagoon highest of the island of Sao Miguel (Situated in the Pico da Barrosa). Furnas, known for its beautiful Valley, due to its paradisiacal scenery, and a City that has a lot to offer, namely its Lagoon, Terra Nostra, the Poca da Dona Beija, Beatriz owner of the Garden, the fumaroles, springs hot and not only, as well as their delicacies cooked on volcanic soil that appears at high temperatures, allowing cooking in the same soil. When moving to the Furnas, have the opportunity to visit also the Vila Franca do Campo, highlights of Ilheu and Chapel of Our Lady of Peace, on the way from the town center of Furnas. Furnas Lagoon is a mandatory stop, due to its surroundings and natural beauty and there, the ritual removal of cooked Furnas. Follow a path to the town center, where an Inn offers numerous flavors, sensations, from its sources, its gastronomy and all its natural beauty, that mother nature offers. Furnas, through the Iron Peak Lookout is the next stop, the route where a local manufacture processes tea in the factory, and the cha Black and cha Green are a delight for lovers. The Sta Iria viewpoint, point of interesting landscape and history, which provide a nice view of the northern coast and on the three main mountains of the island of Sao Miguel, being your last stop before returning to Ponta Delgada.

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Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

9. Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

Discover the natural reserve of Ilhéu de Vila Franca, located in the south coast of São Miguel island. This small volcanic island is only situated 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) away from Vila Franca do Campo Marina. Circle around the island with a professional guide who will point out all the rare rock formations. Watch the nesting sites of the local sea birds such as the Garajau-comum (sterna hirundo). Take a peek inside the crater filled with turquoise water.

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São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

10. São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

Discover the life that lies deep in the Azores Sea from the comfort of this glass-bottom boat, with an expert crew and guide. Your adventure begins at Vila Franca do Campo Marina. A biologist will give you a briefing about the itinerary and then you can set off. Learn about the marine life, nature, and historical curiosities of Vila Franca do Campo. You can spot the unique sea life of the protected area and observe the seabirds and crustaceans that fill the islet landscape. The biologist will help you identify the species, but you can expect to see everything from colorful shoals of fish, to starfish, sea cucumbers, and underwater volcanic activity. When you want to cool off you can go for a swim and snorkel, and get closer to some of the wildlife you've been spotting.

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What people are saying about Vila Franca do Campo

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 579 reviews

Amazing experience... The marine biologist onboard was a superb guide, we saw hundreds of dolphins (including babies) and a family of sperm whales... The boat ride itself is worth the trip, was super fun!

The tour was great but you will need additional 25 Euros for entry/lunch fees. It should be made clear in the tour description. The guide was friendly and very knowledgeable.

Hugo IS the G.O.A.T! Friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. Would recommend his tour to anyone visiting.

Incredibly good! We saw dolphins and two different species of whale.

Excellent trip special with phlip رحله ممتعه وجميله خاصه مع فيلب