Sao Miguel Holidays
Most adventures in the Azores begin on Sao Miguel, home to both the international airport and also some of the most extraordinary landscapes and natural environments of the archipelago. At 40 miles (65 kilometres) long and 9 miles (14 kilometres) at its widest, Sao Miguel is the largest island in the Azores. Located on the eastern side of the Azores archipelago, it is made up of 6 volcanic municipalities.
Stroll through Ponta Delgada, the island's unofficial capital with its narrow cobbled streets, period houses and range of restaurants and shops. The food and restaurants in Ponta Delgada are the best place for an introduction to Azorean cuisine - try grilled limpets with Molho Alfonso sauce, or a desert made from Sao Miguel pineapples.
The highlight of any trip to Sao Miguel is to stand on the banks of Sete Cidades. These are the biggest pair of volcanic crater lakes in the Azores, although it’s their colour that brings in BBC film crews. Separated by a thin slice of land, one lake is a glowing turquoise green while the other is a deep blue.
Head north and visit the agricultural town of Ribeira Grande, with its dramatic landscape, beautiful beaches and vast cliffs. Witness miles of fertile lands and crop fields including pot potatoes, tobacco, sugar beet, passion fruit and the only tea plantation in Europe. Visit the glistening blue crater lake at Lagoa do Fogo, situated in a volcanic crater and the highest lake in the Azores.
The relatively undiscovered north-east coast offers spectacularly high cliffs, miles of forests and woodlands, flower covered fields and mountains that seemingly stretch out into the sea. Tour the spa town of Furnas, one of the largest thermal water sources in the world, and marvel at its awe-inspiring lake bordered by bright pink azalea. Home to a thirty-acre botanical garden, enjoy fresh sweet scents from an abundance of flora and fauna. Travel south of Sao Miguel and discover the municipalities of Vila Franca do Campo and Lagoa - mountainous, agricultural areas with vast black cliffs that disappear into the ocean. Enjoy fresh pineapples, bananas and oranges that are cultivated here.
Further out to sea, enjoy spotting one of over twenty species of whales that are resident or migrate to the cool waters of the Atlantic. Swim with dolphins in their natural habitat or try your hand at some deep sea fishing.
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