OVERVIEW OF SAO MIGUEL: When we were planning our trip to Portugal, my mother-in-law and I decided to include the Azores so we went a few days early with the girls and met my husband later in Portugal. My aunt was born here and she spoke so highly of it we wanted to experience it ourselves. We took an overnight flight (which I never sleep), checked into our hotel, took a nap, then went out to explore the city. The city turned out to be just as beautiful as she had described. The town we stayed in, Ponta Delgada, was a safe waterfront town filled with restaurants, shops, and lovely churches. Our favorite day was when we rented a driver and got to see all the amazing parts of this island. I had never hired a driver but I would highly suggest it because we would never had found some of the hidden gems that he showed us. The people of Sao Miguel were so kind and welcoming and it is a very family-friendly island.
TERRE NOSTRA GARDENS: (Located in Furnas Village) This well-maintained garden is best known for the thermal pools you can swim in. Built in 1780, they don’t look very incising with their mustard soupy water, but people swear by their ability to heal health problems such as —–. The garden has many gorgeous areas and we strolled through exploring the different caves, bridges, and ponds filled with ducks and swans. You could easily spend half a day here.
- April 1- September 20- 10:00-7:00
- October 1- January 31- 10:00-5:00
- February 1- March 31- 10:00-5:30
- Cost: Adults 6€ Children 3€
- If you choose to swim in the thermal pools, you may want to wear a dark colored bathing suit since it may stain.
NOSSA SENHORA DA PAZ: (Located in Vila Franca do Campo) This unforgettable church, built in 1764, sits on the top of a hill and its most impressive quality are its stairs. Make sure you climb to the top for some breathtaking views of the water as well as the countryside but be prepared to climb about 100 steps to do so. The steps are divided into small landings and you could take in the view from different levels.
PORTAS DA CIDADE (Doors to the City): This landmark welcomes visitors into the town of Ponta Delgada. The arches, with a lovely church in the background opens up to a town square containing restaurants and some small shops. The black and white stone gives the town a clean look.
THE ISLAND: The views as you go around the island are the most majestic I’ve ever seen. Just when you think you’ve seen the best one, you are in awe of the next. Take in the beauty of the island, eat some amazing Portuguese food, have some local wine, and enjoy all that Sao Miguel has to offer. I would love to go back and spend a week there because there is so much to see on this gorgeous island.