Are you visiting the Azores for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do on the island of São Miguel.
When I have a visitor from out of town the first place they want to see is Sete Cidades, but I also take them to Furnas – for a more local, authentic experience.
When I want to escape the tourists, my favorite place to visit is Nordeste.
If this is a romantic trip, I recommend Mosteiros during sunset or a carriage ride around Seven Cities for kissing with a view.
Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you might want to go whale and dolphin watching or visit a small farm on São Miguel where children are able to milk the cows, see how local cheese is produced and experience life as the Azorean people did long ago.
Food from the Azores of Portugal
If you are looking for typical Portuguese cuisine from the Azores, I recommend Cantinho do Cais in the Village of S. Brás. I also enjoyed dinner at Alcides Restaurant. The fish soup was flavorful and piping hot!
Another good place to go for typical Azorean cuisine is Colmeia in the sea front of the City of Ponta Delgada. Order the chef’s tasting menu with specialties such as octopus, blood sausage, local cheeses, fish and beef.
Terras the Lave is one of the regional wines that you may find in the Azores.
Looking for cheap food in the Azores? Go to Adega Regional in Ponta Delgada.
The restaurant Cais 20 in S. Roque village is the spot for late night dining in the Azores.
For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Anfiteatro restaurant in Ponta Delgada or Paladares da Quinta in Lagoa, Portugal.
São Miguel Island
When you come to São Miguel Island, get your picture taken in the “Grota do Inferno” lookout.
The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of the Volcanic Crater of Fogo.
The Village of Vila Franca do Campo offers great views and the islet of the same name, just off the coast, is the best place to watch or experience “The Red Bull Cliff Diving Event.”
On São Miguel Island, outdoor enthusiasts will want to hike, bike, horseback ride, take a horse-drawn carriage ride or go diving near the island.
Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the trails of Sanguinho or Ribiera Funda in São Miguel.
If you are a museum lover, São Miguel’s best museum is Museu Carlos Machado in Ponta Delgada, Portugal.
Looking for exciting night life? Go dancing at Dinu’s Bar or Conves for live music.
The Acoriano Orientall will keep you posted on what’s happening in the Azores Islands of Portugal.
You can tell a lot about São Miguel from visiting and watching the Festivities in Honor of “Santo Cristo Dos Milagres.”
In the spring you should attend the “Holy Ghost Celebrations.”
In the summer you should attend the “10 Fest Gastronomic Festival.”
Did you know that São Miguel is great for big game fishing? Plan a visit to the big game fishing tournament in the fall.
Come to São Miguel Island for Carnival in the winter.
Insider Tip: I’ll bet you didn’t know that São Miguel is the only place in Europe where tea is produced. Check out the often over-looked tea productions in São Miguel.
On the north coast of São Miguel you can visit Ribeira Grande, have lunch at Alabote.
What are your favorite things to do in the Azores, Portugal?
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