sveriges flagga, Vacations with more room.   ad





São Miguel

São Miguel (Saint Michael) is a lush green hilly island and its called “Ilha Verde” (Green Island).  It is the largest (759 km2; 293 sq mi) and most populous island of the Azores. It has around 145,000 inhabitants, some 40,000 of which live in its largest town Ponta Delgada. Sao Miguel is a good starting point for island hopping, as it has ferry and flight connections to most other islands in the archipelago.

São Miguel is 90 km from east to west, and between 8 and 15 km wide. It is largely covered with fields and meadows in the lowlands, and laurisilva forests in the hills. Geysers and hot springs (caldeiras) are spread over the island. São Miguel has three stratovolcanoes and caldeiras: Sete Cidades, Fogo and Furnas. These beautiful volcanic masses are connected between the alignments of the cone-like mass that are made up of peaks.

sao miguel   Sao Roque church

Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores with more then fifty thousend inhabitants, is the economic and cultural center. It has a large marina, the university of the Azores and offers architectonial highlights. Of course hotels, bars and restaurants are present, but not as much as one might expect.  Also the regional government is seated in Ponta Delgada.

São Miguel diverse scenery has a lot to offer. The coast is varied with (black) sandy beaches and steeply rising cliffs. Small villages are spread through the island. The nature is beautiful, and does encourage for tours and for walks. In the summertime the landscape is full of flowers.

sete citades


São Miguel Highlights

Villages and Culture

  • Ponta Delgada: Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Portas da Cidade, Largo de Goncalo Velho Cabral, Igreja de Sao Jose, the marina, Igreja Matriz de Sao Sebastiao
  • Ribeira Grande: church of Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Estrela, city hall, library and the urban swimming pools
  • Nordeste (Northeast): city hall, turist office, botanical garden, Ponta do Arnel
  • Lagoa: churches of Igreja Matriz, Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosario and Ermida de Nossa Senhora do Cabo, the city hall, the musea Lagoa and the city ceramics.
  • Vila Franca do Campo: first main capital of Sao Miguel. Igreja da Misericordia, Igreja de Sao Pedro, City Hall, Forte do Tagarete, Ilheu de Vila Franca DO Campo, Aquapark


  • Sete Cidades: twin lakes, more info below
  • Cha da Marcela: a forest park in the distric of Lagoa
  • Pico da Vara: the highest mountain on the island (1105m)
  • Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake): beautiful vulcano lake which is often hidden by clouds
  • Lagoa de Santiago: small lake near Sete Cidades
  • Furnas: Furnas lake,  22 Caldeiras (Hot Springs ) and Terra Nostra Park: beautiful botanical park in São Miguel . It has a pool with thermal water
  • Lomda da Fazenda: Parque with endemic plan

   Sete Cidades ("Seven Cities")

Sete Cidades is one of the most beautiful natural settings in the Azores, composed of two lakes in the center of a volcanic crater about three miles across. Located on the west side of São Miguel Island, it is the most popular national park in the islands. This volcano is one of the most active in the Azores in the last 5,000 years. From Visto do Rei you will have a beautiful view over the lakes.

Looking from the edge of the crater to the lakes some 500 m (1,500 ft) below, one lake looks blue (reflecting the sky) and is called Lagoa Azul and the other appears green (reflecting the ground) and is named Lagoa Verde. According to a sete citades legend, the differently coloured lakes were created when a princess and her lover, a young shepherd. The King didn’t approve the romance of his daughter and they had to part from each other. The tears they shed at their farewell became the two lakes, with the water coloured like their eyes.

© Azoresweb 2006