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

2. 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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Furnas Hot Springs Night Tour with Dinner

3. 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

4. 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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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: Full-Day Tour with Lunch

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

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

8. 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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From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

9. From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

Set off on a 3-hour whale-watching excursion to see some of the most magnificent marine mammals in the Azores. You’ll be on the lookout for mink whales, dolphins, turtles and more. The marine biologist on board will provide historical information and commentary. Begin with a briefing by a biologist, who will explain how local people have converted whale hunting to whale watching in the Azores. You’ll also receive information about safety, rules of observation and respect for the animals and an overview of what may be sighted during the tour. Leaving from the Ponta Delgada harbor, you’ll sail in style out onto the Atlantic. Qualified biologists and nature guides will provide detailed explanations and collect scientific data during the tour. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean between Portugal and North America, the Azores are a permanent home or point of passage for more than a third of the world’s whale and dolphin species. Sperm whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Risso’s dolphins are present around the Archipelago of the Azores throughout the year. Other species visit or pass by during specific seasons so that the sightings vary considerably during the year — and often from day to day! Summer months are the best time to see Atlantic spotted dolphins, pilot whales and striped dolphins, whereas the spring months are the time to see migrating baleen whales such as blue whales, fin whales and sei whales. Although nature offers no guarantees, whales and dolphins are regularly seen during the tours, along with turtles, seabirds and other marine life.

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Sete Cidades: Half-Day ATV Quad Tour

10. Sete Cidades: Half-Day ATV Quad Tour

The tour starts at our meeting point on the North Cost of São Miguel Island, where you will set off on your adventure. See breathtaking views of both the lakes and the sea. Drive along roads that offer great excitement and adrenaline. Visit Lagoa das Sete Cidades, the north ridge of the Sete Cidades crater, Miradouro e Lagoa do Canário, Vista do Rei, and the south ridge of the Sete Cidades crater. 

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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