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Things to do in Ribeira Grande

Our most recommended things to do in Ribeira Grande

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

1. São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on this guided tour by van. Discover the famous crater lakes of Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo, picturesque waterfalls, amazing cliffs, and stunning rock formations around the coast of the island. Start with a visit to Ribeira Grande, one of the most picturesque towns of the Azores, followed by a surprising view of some amazingly beautiful cliffs on the North coast. Then travel to the inner areas of the island to see the gorgeous waterfall of Salto do Cabrito, surrounded by wild vegetation. Drive to the top of Fogo Volcano to enjoy views of the most pristine and magical of the crater lakes of São Miguel. From the top of the mountain, enjoy the stunning views over a large portion of the island. After a tasty meal to restore your energy levels, head to Sete Cidades, to understand why this is considered by the postcard of the Azores. Enjoy views from two completely different perspectives over the famous twin lakes.  End the day in Mosteiros, on the western coast of the island, where the lava rocks have formed enchanting small islets and natural pools.

From Ponta Delgada: Half-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

2. From Ponta Delgada: Half-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

Enjoy a half-day quad tour around Sete Cidades, the largest freshwater lake in the Azores, situated in the western part of the island of São Miguel. Starting from Ponta Delgada, discover the stunning landscapes of the island.   Experience the amazing view over the island at the Pico do Carvão viewpoint, with Ponta Delgada on one side, and Ribeira Grande on the other. Climb up into the mountains to see the Lagoas Empadadas, and the Serra Devassa. The mountains and lakes in this region play a very important role supplying water to the villages. Stop at Canário Lake for one of the best views of the Boca do Inferno trail.   On the way back to the city, you will see the majestic view at Vista do Rei, providing you with spectacular views of the magical blue and green colors that characterize the waters of these lakes.

São Miguel: Full-Day Tour to Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo

3. São Miguel: Full-Day Tour to Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo

The day begins with a pick up from your hotel or accommodation to visit a traditional pineapple plantation. See biological culture developed in greenhouses where it is possible to taste the pineapple's liquor. The journey continues on the west coast of the island, where you will enjoy the view over the newest and narrowest part of São Miguel and both coasts from the Pico de Carvão‘s viewpoint. Surrounded by the greenest vegetation, you will find in Vista do Rei's viewpoint the Sete Cidades volcanic complex. From here, you will see the famous blue and green twin lakes, as well as Santiago's lake, as viewed from the crater. A stop will be made in the picturesque Sete Cidades town where lunch will be served in a regional restaurant. In the afternoon, the tour goes along the coast enjoying the western landscape to arrive at Capelas, an ancient whaling village. Another stop at Pedras Negras‘s viewpoint to see the northern coast of the island. Continuing on the north coast, you will stop to visit the Ribeira Grande city and its historic center. As well, you will go to the Regional Liquor’s Factory and taste a variety of liquors. After that, visit Caldeira Velha, a natural reserve, to take an optional bath and enjoy the warm water from a waterfall. The last stop will be to take a look over the fantastic Lagoa do Fogo. Returning to Ponta Delgada going down by Pico da Barrosa, you will once more have the stunning view over the newest and narrowest part of the island.

Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

4. Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

Explore the impressive landscapes and amazing panoramas on a hiking trip to São Miguel. In the area of “Lagos”, start the trail on a dirt road that will get considerably steeper for the first 3 km, at which point you will meet an irrigation channel that will lead you to Lagoa do Fogo. Wander along an easy path through the forest, where soon you will find yourself hiking inside the crater, with its massive walls of greenery all around you. Reaching the shores of this famous lake, take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch of regional products with a view. Setting off once more, continue upwards slightly for better views of the lake and then head back down to the starting point through another steep and winding trail, with views of the south coast and the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo along the way. Return to the starting point while enjoying another perspective of the south coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the bathing zone of Caloura, or Agua D’Alto Beach, where you can practice snorkeling.

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

5. 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.

Sao Miguel: Salto do Cabrito Guided Canyoning Experience

6. Sao Miguel: Salto do Cabrito Guided Canyoning Experience

Jump, slide, and rappel in beautiful canyons and natural waterfalls on this guided canyoning tour through the Salto do Cabrito canyon in Sao Miguel. Select a tour where you get to the starting point on your own or choose the option to be picked up at the activity provider's office in Ponta Delgada. Upon arriving at Salto do Cabrito, meet your guide and get set up with your well-maintained canyoning equipment. Take a short walk to the start of the canyoning trail, where you guide will provide you with a safety briefing. Rappel over 3 vertical waterfalls, with the highest waterfall being 15 meters in height. Walk through lush vegetation, pass thorugh a natural amphitheater, view the ruins of an old hydroelectric power station. Enjoy a trip with that has more technical canyoning, but still filled with adrenaline inducing moments. At the end of your experience return to the starting point of your tour.

Sete Cidades: Guided E-bike Cycling Tour

7. Sete Cidades: Guided E-bike Cycling Tour

At the starting point, we will spend around 15 minutes to give you a quick safety briefing, a demonstration on how to use your e-bike and all its’ functions and hand out your equipment. Once you are all set up, we are ready to go on this adventure and have lots of fun together! To start, we’ll head over the bridge dividing the Blue and the Green lakes, and enjoy the lakeside view going to the Peninsula and the peaceful picnic area of Baía do Silencio (“Bay of Silence“). Heading back to the bridge along easy dirt tracks, get ready for a long and steep ascent on the main road, along which you can stop at the viewpoints of Lagoa de Santiago (“Santiago Lagoon“) and Cerrado das Freiras (“Nuns Haven”). Continuing onwards and upwards, till finally reaching the Viewpoint of Vista do Rei (“Kings’ View“) for a magnificent view of the Blue and Green Lakes below. Then, a more adventurous trail lies ahead taking you along Cumeeira Pequena (“Small Summit Rim“) on a graveled road. Passing Lomba do Vasco Viewpoint we’ll finish the tour going down through the heart of the village of Sete Cidades, passing by the Parish Church of São Nicolau, leading us back to the start point.

From Ponta Delgada: Lagoa do Fogo & Hot Springs Day Trip

8. From Ponta Delgada: Lagoa do Fogo & Hot Springs Day Trip

Explore the beauty of the Lagoa do Fogo crater lake on this day trip from Ponta Delgada. Search for local treasures at a pottery factory, have free time to enjoy the Caldeira Velha Hot Springs, visit a local tea plantation, and capture pictures of the coast from points with sweeping views.  Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation Ponta Delgada in the morning and board an airconditioned van. Sit back and relax on the drive to a local pottery factory. View a colorful assortment of pots, cups, tiles, and plates at the Cerâmica Vieira pottery factory.  Travel to the Lagoa do Fogo crater lake that is nestled into the Água de Pau Massif stratovolcano. Take in its verdant shores and turquoise waters. Head to the hot springs of Caldeira Velha for an hour of free time where you can purchase a ticket to soak in the waters of the hot springs. Get some recommendations on where to purchase lunch from your guide before taking a meal break. After lunch make a stop at Gorreana, the only tea plantation in Europe. Admire the lush green layered crops before continuing to 4 viewpoints where you can take pictures of the highlands and the coast. 

Azores: Canyoning in Salto do Cabrito

9. Azores: Canyoning in Salto do Cabrito

Relax and disconnect in a beautiful setting on a morning canyoning adventure in Salto do Cabrito. Explore the natural side of São Miguel Island hiking and canyoning through lush forests and cool streams.  Meet your guide in central Ponta Delgada or choose to be picked up directly from your accommodation. Travel by air-conditioned van for 20 minutes to Salto do Cabrito. Start with a 30-minute hike to the stream where your guide will give a security briefing and distribute all the equipment needed for the activity. Once suited and ready to go, spend a few hours exploring the pools and waterfalls. Wade down the river and reach several waterfalls where you'll abseil or zip-line down a deep canyon surrounded by the amazing nature of this volcanic area. The highest rappel can reach up to 16 meters and, unlike other canyons, there won’t be any required jumps. To end the adventure, opt for a 4-meter jump at the last waterfall. A zipline is also available for those who'd prefer flying to jumping. Note: It is recommended that you are in good physical shape as this tour includes climbing a steep “staircase”, walking on unstable terrain, muddy slopes, and small uphill and downhill scrambles. However, you don’t need to know how to swim. The safety of our clients of is of our utmost priority and so do not recommend this activity for persons weighing more than 120kg.

Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

10. Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Explore the volcanic landscape of the Sete Cidades, and the mountain scenery of the Lagoa do Fogo on a full-day sightseeing tour from Punta Delgada. Following a pick-up from your hotel, drive along a scenic road to the Vista do Rei viewpoint. Enjoy panoramic views of the blue and green waters of the two lakes in the crater of the Sete Cidades. Then, continue to different viewpoints before getting close to the banks of the twin lakes. Go to the Mata do Canário, and marvel at the unique flora of the natural park. Drive along the Pico do Carvão road past numerous small lakes, including the “Empadas Lakes.” Get multiple perspectives of the north and south shores of the island of São Miguel. Break for a lunch of typical Azorean food in a local restaurant in the city of Lagoa. Next, explore the city of Ribeira Grande with its unique historic center that dates from the 17th to 19th centuries. Ascend the Pico da Barrosa mountain at the end of your tour and discover the protected natural landscape of the Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). Marvel at the thermal pools, waterfalls, and different types of endangered plants of the area, before your return transfer to Ponta Delgada and a drop-off at your hotel.

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What people are saying about Ribeira Grande

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 1,177 reviews

First things first, we would like to thank our guide, Vera, for this amazing experience! She is very smart, funny and kind person and we were lucky to have here by our side during this trip, 10/10 ❤️ However, if we could rate this tour 4,5 stars, we would just because the agenda. The thing is thermal bathtubs: the location we went to on the first day was magnificent, but the second day..we didn't enjoy it that much. We would 100% recommend to take this tour, however we suggest to switching east and west part in order to not lose this sparkle, you know

Our tour of the west side of São Miguel island with João was fantastic! We lucked out with terrific weather following the previous day's heavy storm and were able to see all of the sights with João's expert read of the clouds and timing. It was so great to hear about the island's history and current self-sustaining and sustainability practices from a born-and-bred local. The small group was fantastic and felt like the perfect size. João was extremely knowledgeable, an excellent driver, and a great photographer to boot! It was a magical day!

It was really fantastic tour in ponta delgada. Our guide was a lot of information send to me. He recommanded really nice photo zone. portugal music is good too~ :)

Very entertaining guide. Saw lots of things that we would never have found on our own.

This tour was a wonderful introduction to the island!