Things to do in
São Miguel Island

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Our most recommended things to do in São Miguel Island

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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Furnas Hot Springs Night Tour with Dinner

2. Furnas Hot Springs Night Tour with Dinner

Unwind at the hot thermal springs of an active volcano on an evening tour from Ponta Delgada. Head to the volcanic complex of Furnas in Povoação and bathe in the warm waters of Poça da Dona Beija.  Go for a guided nature walk to discover the beautiful surroundings and get plenty of opportunities to take souvenir photos of the dramatic landscapes. End the evening with a traditional stew from the region, cooked beneath the ground using the heat from the surrounding thermal springs.

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São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

3. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. Once whales have been spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline.

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Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

4. Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

Discover the diverse green vegetation, clear and fresh waterfalls and old water mills on this adventurous canyoning tour through the forest. Unless you choose the option with pickup from Ponta Delgada, your adventure starts at Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, one of the most popular natural areas in the Nordeste region.  The activity starts with you picking up your safety equipment, followed by a short walk of about 20 minutes. Once at the entry point to the stream, listen to a safety briefing.  Along the route there will be vertical challenges at waterfalls, which you will combat with the technique of abseiling. The highest waterfall is 8 meters in height. In between there are short walking sections, as well as a more playful area with a slide and jump of about 5 meters.

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São Miguel West Full-Day Tour with Lunch

5. São Miguel West Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Your guide, an expert in the history and nature of the Azores, will meet you at your accommodation at 09:00. On this 9-hour excursion you’ll head straight to Sete Cidades, enjoying amazing views of the island along the mountain road. Stop at the famous King's View, and take in the panorama appearing on many postcards of the Azores. You’ll be amazed at the beauty of smaller, little-known lakes of the area. After you visit a small town by the lake, the drive continues to the west coast of the island and the beautiful rocks of Mosteiros. In the afternoon, the itinerary starts off with a visit to Fogo Lake, the highest and most untouched of the large lakes of the Azores. Next is Caldeira Velha, a natural monument featuring lush vegetation and thermal activity. Continue to Ribeira Grande, the largest town on the north coast and see the most beautiful cliffs in São Miguel. Your last stop on the tour is a visit to pineapple greenhouses, where you’ll learn the unique techniques used in growing this fruit that’s important to the Azores. The program is a perfect introduction to the Azores, with a great mix of mountain views, lakes, coastal lookouts and insights into culture and history.

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São Miguel East & Northeast: Furnas & Nordeste Full-Day Tour

6. São Miguel East & Northeast: Furnas & Nordeste Full-Day Tour

After getting picked up from your hotel in the morning, cross the island to the north coast. Make your first stop at Samta Iria viewpoint, and head to the Tea Factory Porto Formoso. Enjoy a splendid view over the bay, a magnificent garden and a tea tasting. Head back to the road, and stop at the Pico do Ferro Lookout on top of the Furnas Volcano crater to admire the interior of the volcano, the village and the Furnas Lake. Begin your journey into the crater and stop for a hike or a dip in the botanical garden, and the Terra Nostra or Poça da Dona Beija thermal pool. Admire Furnas Lake, where Cozido das Furnas are made using the heat of the volcano. Taste this typical and famous food at a local restaurant. After lunch, hike in the area of the boilers and visit the many volcanic manifestations, taste some of the many mineral waters, or stop for a traditional liquor taste. See the Natural Park of Ribeira dos Caldeirões and its watermills, a magnificent waterfall, and the trail that winds along the river. Visit the Northeast Village, admire the Bridge of seven arches, and the Vista dos Barcos Lookout. Return to your hotel in the evening.

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Azores: São Miguel / Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

7. Azores: São Miguel / Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

Explore the impressive landscapes and amazing panoramas on a hiking trip to São Miguel. Bathe in the natural pools in the stunning Lagoon of Lagoa do Fogo. Start your trail on a short dirt road, from where you will reach a small stream (about 2 km), reaching another relatively more open area, with several springs and wide declivities, that will lead you to Lagoa do Fogo. Bathe in the Natural Pools of Lagoa / Caloura, in the cozy Thermal Baths of Caldeira Velha, or in the Grandiose Waterfall of Salto do Cabrito. Get stunning panoramic views of Lago do Fogo (on one side) and the north coast of the island of Sao Miguel (on the other) while traveling along “Cumeeira Norte”. Pass through several small streams surrounded by incredibly green and untouched forests, before reaching the characteristic pumice-stone beach of the lagoon. Enjoy a pleasant picnic lunch of regional products. 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.

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Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

8. 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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Azores: Sete Cidades Village and Lakes Half-Day Tour

9. Azores: Sete Cidades Village and Lakes Half-Day Tour

Begin your tour of Sete Cidades and the lakes of São Miguel with a visit to some pineapple greenhouses. See the plantation and production process of the Azores famous crop from start to end. Continue towards the village of Sete Cidades ("Seven Cities") stopping en route for some panoramic views of the west of the island of São Miguel. Marvel at a stunning scenery of small hills and green pastures, and see the peak of Carvão, from where both the north and south coasts of the island can be seen. Discover some of the island's smaller lakes such as the Lagoa das Empadadas, Lagoa do Canario and Lagoa de Santiago. Experience the island's most famous observation point, considered one of the "7 Natural Wonders of Portugal." Then, continue into the peaceful village of Sete Cidades, dramatically located at the bottom of a volcanic crater. Acclimatize to the serene way of life in this extraordinary place, and visit the harmonious church. Get stunning views of the fishing village of Mosteiros from the Escalvado viewpoint, from where you can admire the local summer houses, exquisite beach and natural pools created by lava formations.

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Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

10. Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

Join the ultimate swimming experience on an encounter with wild dolphins in the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Head out from the Azores in a Zodiac boat for an unforgettable adventure. This 2-hour activity is carried out in small groups and led by a qualified biologists or nature guides. Each swimming tour is preceded by a briefing in which one of the biologists explains how to swim with wild dolphins while respecting them. You’ll also learn how to enter the water and behave around the dolphins, how to use the mask and snorkel and how to get the most out of your swimming experience. Masks, snorkels and wet-suits are provided.

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Frequently asked questions about São Miguel Island

Other Sightseeing Options in São Miguel Island

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What people are saying about São Miguel Island

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,153 reviews

Great tour of the west and middle part of the island , the guide was very knowledgeable, and we visited the highlights of the Sao Miguel, the only downside was that we didn't get to swim in the thermal baths which we were under the impression that it was part of the tour, we still visited the sight though and got to see the amazing place

Excellent tour of the east side of the island, our guide Vera was amazing, knowledge and fun to be with, if possible seek her out, we visited many beautiful and interesting sights, I recommend this tour

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.

Excellent trip special with phlip رحله ممتعه وجميله خاصه مع فيلب