Overview

Introduction

The Green Island - Sao Miguel, located on the eastern side of the archipelago, is by far the largest of the nine islands. It is made up of six volcanic complexes and municipalities.

To the west, Ponta Delgada, the main town and port has preserved its historical beauty. It is a delight to explore the narrow cobbled streets bordered by very well preserved period houses.Ponta Delgada is the hub for all public transportation and tours, and as such is an ideal base from which to explore the island whilst having all local amenities in reach. 

Within this municipality of Ponta Delgada are the Sete Cidades, an extinct volcano crater of 40 sq. km, within which are two magnificent lakes, one deep blue colour and the other emerald green. The best view over the lakes can be enjoyed from Vista do Rei. For the more active, a 13km walk, desending from the top of the crater to the village of Sete Cidades, offers wonderful panoramas of the lakes, countryside and ocean.

To the north lies the agricultural town of Ribeira Grande, surrounded by fertile lands yielding crops which include potatoes, tobacco, sugar beet, passion fruit and tea (one of the few places in Europe where it is grown). The black shingle beach of Ribeira Grande is a haven for surfers and has Blue Flag status. Here, too, is the dramatic lake of fire “Lagoa do Fogo” and delightful beaches nestling under high cliffs.

The north-east coast is a relatively undiscovered region with spectacular high cliffs plunging from high, flower covered plateaux, fields and wooded mountains into the sea. This is the home of the rare Azorean Bullfinch (Priolo) and the highest peak on the island, Pico do Vara.

The municipality of Povoacao is in the south-east. Here are the most beautiful gardens in the Azores. The spa town of Furnas, one of the largest thermal water sources in the world, with its beautiful azalea bordered lake, is home to a 30 acre botanical garden of great international importance. Everywhere, from April to early summer, hedgerows of azaleas and hydrangeas abound.

To the south, the municipalities of Vila Franca do Campo (the town was the island’s first capital) and Lagoa are mountainous and agricultural farming areas with black cliffs disappearing into the ocean. Here pineapples, bananas, oranges and vines are cultivated. Off the coast of Vila Franca is the Ilheu da Vila, a nature reserve and a popular spot for swimming (Blue Flag status).

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About Sao Miguel

Area: 747 sq. km
Length: 65 km (41 miles)
Width: 15 km (10 miles)
Population: 132,000 inhabitants
Capital: Ponta Delgada

Highlights

Blue Flag beaches and natural swimming pools
12 beaches and marinas on Sao Miguel have achieved Blue Flag status.

Cozido a Caldeiras
It is a tradition, still observed by the locals, to slowly cook food by underground vapours at the Furnas hotsprings. The meal, consisting of a variety of meats and vegetables, is served daily at the Hotel Terra Nostra Garden – pre-booking recommended.

Pineapples
Visit the pineapple plantation in Fajã de Baixo and taste the delicious pineapple liquer and boiled sweets. Or, simply order fresh pineapple for dessert – highly recommended!

Termas da Ferraria, Rua Ilha Sabrina (Ginetes)
Located on the southwest coast of São Miguel, the Termas da Ferraria Spa was opened in August 2010. Choose from a Vichy shower, a variety of treatments or use of the thermal Spa, Jacuzzi, thermal swimming pool, sauna and Turkish bath. Reservations can be made locally either direct with the Spa or through our local agent.

Festivals

  • Carnival (Ponta Delgada) 12 February
  • Festa Sr dos Enfermos (the streets of Furnas are covered with azaleas for the procession) – April
  • Festa Sr Santo Cristo dos Milagres (Ponta Delgada) – 02-09 May
  • Festas de Sao Joao da Vila (Vila Franca do Campo) – 24 June
  • Cavalhadas de Sao Pedro (Ribeira Grande) – 29 June
  • Espirito Santo – 7 weeks after Easter

Note: Dates subject to change

Activities

Azorean Rural Experience (Ginetes) - Half Day  

This half-day experience centres on a traditional family-run farm in the village of Ginetes and provides an insight to the history, culture and lifestyles of rural farming communities on São Miguel. 
 
Take a scenic ride (by minibus) through Ginetes to the viewpoint of Escalvado, from where there is a splendid panorama over the western coast and the parish of Mosteiros. Make a nice walk to ‘Fonte do Sapateiro’ (1km – easy walk). Return to the farm where you can try your hand at making corn or wheat bread and learn all about the local handicrafts. 
 
Price is £38 per adult and £21 per child (6-11yrs) - No transfers included
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Quinta das Raiadas
  • Departs: Every Thursday
  •  Half Day: 3 hours 15 minutes (09:30 to 12:45) – lunch not included but can be added at a supplement on request
  •  Meet beside the church in Ginetes at 09:30 (free parking at Quinta das Raiadas)
  •  If transfers are included from Ponta Delgada, pick-up from hotel at 08:30
  •  Pick-up from hotels outside Ponta Delgada possible at a supplement on request
  •  Children aged 2-5yrs go free when accompanied by two adults
  •  Minimum 6 and maximum 12 people

 
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Azorean Rural Experience (Ginetes) - Full Day

This full-day experience centres on a traditional family-run farm in the village of Ginetes and provides an insight to the history, culture and lifestyles of rural farming communities on São Miguel. 
 
Take a scenic ride (by minibus) through Ginetes to the viewpoint of Escalvado, from where there is a splendid panorama over the western coast and the parish of Mosteiros; and to the Sabrina Islet viewpoint. Return to the farm for a guided tour where you can try your hand at milking a cow, making corn or wheat bread and learn all about the local handicrafts. After lunch, visit to the lighthouse viewpoint and then relax at the thermal Spa at Ferraria.
 
Price is £72 per adult and £38 per child (6-11yrs) - No transfers included
 
Notes 

  • Excursion provider: Quinta das Raiadas
  • Departs: Every Friday
  • Full Day: 7 hours (09:30 to 16:30) - a 3-course lunch is included with soft drinks
  • Meet beside the church in Ginetes at 09:30 (free parking at Quinta das Raiadas) 
  • If transfers are included from Ponta Delgada, pick-up from hotel at 08:30
  • Pick-up from hotels outside Ponta Delgada possible at a supplement on request
  • Children aged 2-5yrs go free when accompanied by two adults
  • Spa includes a Sauna, Jacuzzi, Turkish bath, indoor pool and outdoor thermal pool (sea water c.38ºC) – so don’t forget your bathing suit 
  • Minimum 6 and maximum 12 people

The Azorean Rural Experience will highlight aspects of the Azores that are not to be missed.

Bike Tour (Sete Cidades) and Rock Climbing (Ferraria)

Enjoy a morning mountain bike ride near Sete Cidades Lake followed by an afternoon session of rock climbing and a relaxing thermal bath at Ferraria – in a natural rock pool heated by hot springs.   
 

09:00 - Meet at Picos de Aventura's base in Ponta Delgada. Transfer to Sete Cidades for the beginning of the tour.
              Collect your mountain bike and cycle along trails through beautiful landscapes of dense and exuberant vegetation with views of the lakes and even the ocean. 
12:00 - Lunch (picnic) included. 
13:30 - Rock Climbing and thermal bath at Ferraria (classified as a natural monument).
15:30 - Return to Ponta Delgada (arrival around 16:30).

 
Price is £66 per adult and £33 per child (6-11yrs)
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura
  • Departs: Wednesdays
  • Duration: 7½ hours
  • Bike trails are selected depending o n each person’s fitness level and technique
  • Minimum number 4 people - subject to change or cancellation
  • Safety equipment provided: Helmets, bike repair kit and harness
  • Equipment required: Comfortable warm clothing including long trousers (for climbing) and extra t-shirt and/or sweater, running shoes, swim suit, towel, light rain jacket, backpack, hat,sunglasses, sun lotion, water, snack and a camera
  • Recommended Equipment: MTB Gloves, hydration bag, clip shoes and pedals, cat feet (climbing shoes) and  a magnesium bag.


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Bike Tour (Sete Cidades) and SPA (Ferraria)


Enjoy a morning mountain bike ride near Sete Cidades Lake followed by an afternoon of relaxing at the thermal Spa at Ferraria. 

09:00 - Meet at Picos de Aventura's base in Ponta Delgada. Transfer to Sete Cidades for the beginning of the tour.
              Collect your mountain bike and cycle along trails through beautiful landscapes of dense and exuberant vegetation with views of the lakes and even the ocean.
12:00 - Lunch (picnic) included. 
13:30 - SPA Experience in Ferraria. Spa Experience includes a Sauna, Jacuzzi, Turkish bath, indoor pool and outdoor thermal pool (sea water c.38ºC).
15:30 - Return to Ponta Delgada (arrival around 16:30).
 

Price is £80 per adult and £40 per child (6-11yrs)  

 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura
  • Departs: Wednesdays
  • Duration: 7½ hours
  • Bike trails are selected depending on each person’s fitnesslevel and technique
  • Minimum number 4 people - subject to change or cancellation
  • Safety equipment provided: Helmets, bike repair kit and harness
  •  Equipment required: Comfortable warm clothing including extra t-shirt and/or sweater, running shoes, swimsuit, towel, light rain jacket, backpack, hat, sunglasses, sun lotion, water, snack and a camera
  • Recommended Equipment: MTB Gloves, hydration bag, clip shoes and pedals.

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Bike Tour and Botanical Garden Visit (Furnas)

Hop on a mountain bike and pedal along volcanic trails through beautiful landscapes of dense vegetation, lakes and even the ocean. After lunch, enjoy a walk through Furnas botanical gardens.  
 

09:00 - Meet at Picos de Aventura's base in Ponta Delgada.
Transfer to Furnas for the beginning of the tour.
              Collect your mountain bike and cycle along trails through beautiful landscapes of dense and exuberant vegetation with views of the lake en route. 
12:00 - Cozido lunch in a local restaurant included. Opportunity to taste the traditional dish of the Azores, consisting of a variety of meats and vegetables, slowly cooked by underground vapours at Furnas hot springs. 
13:30 - Visit the Terra Nostra Park. This is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens of the 18th century, where you can find species of flora from different regions of the world.
             After a brief guided tour of the botanical gardens, there is an opportunity to bathe in thermal waters in the outdoor pool. 
15:30 - Return to Ponta Delgada via the North coast (arrival around 16:30).


 Price is £56 per adult and £28 per child (6-11yrs)  

 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura
  • Departs: Saturdays
  • Duration: 7½ hours
  • Bike trails are selected depending on each person’s fitness level and technique
  • Minimum number 4 people - subject to change or cancellation
  • Safety equipment provided: Bike helmet and repair kit
  • Equipment required: Comfortable warm clothing including extra t-shirt and/or sweater, trainers, swim     suit, towel, light rain jacket, backpack, hat, sun lotion, water, snack and a camera
  • Recommended Equipment: MTB Gloves, hydration bag, clip shoes and pedals

Birdwatching

This tour will appeal to beginners and long-time bird enthusiasts alike. Escorted by an ornithologist, you will observe birds and learn about their behaviour and diet all within a magnificent landscape. 
 
The Azores islands are an excellent destination for birdwatching. Here, you can find two of Europe’s rarest birds: The Azores Bullfinch, Pyrrhula murina, endemic to a small area of São Miguel and the Mosteiro’s storm-petrel, Oceanodroma monteiroi, breeding on the two islets south of Graciosa Island.
 
Other species seen here are the Atlantic Canary, Serinus canaria, an exclusive species from Macaronesia, as well as several subspecies such as the Common Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs moreletti, the São Miguel Goldcrest, Regulus regulus azoricus, the Azores Woodpigeon, Columba palumbus azorica, and the Buzzard, Buteo buteo rothschildi.
 
Currently, the Azores holds the largest colony of Cory’s Shearwater, Calonectris diomedia borealis, and one of the largest colonies of Roseate tern, Sterna dougallii, worldwide. Altogether, the archipelago has over 30 bird species which nest, and also, due to the islands central position in the Atlantic Ocean you may also observe migratory birds coming from America and Eurasia.
 
The number of species seen in the islands is close to 400, including a few which are extremely rare and even some which have been newly sighted in the Western Paleartic.
 
Price is £170 per taxi 
 
Notes


  • Excursion provider: Gerbybirding Azores
  • Pick-up from hotels in Ponta Delgada at 08:30 (return 17:00)
  • Pick-up from hotels outside Ponta Delgada at a supplement on request
  • Departs: Daily (avoid weekends as too many people around the lake)
  • Minimum 2 and maximum 8 people – subject to change or cancellation
  • Suitable for all – recommended for children aged 8yrs and over
  • Included: 9-seater minibus, English speaking guide, picnic and lunch
  • Best time to observe resident and migrating birds is between Sep-May
  • If clients want to see the Priôlo (Azores Bullfinch) please request this at the time of booking

Canoeing - Take a canoe out on Furnas Lake and revel in the sheer magnitude of being in a sleeping volcano surrounded by green lush slopes and hot springs. It is also possible to visit the thermal hot springs where the local stew ‘Cozido’ is cooked underground in large pots. 

10:00 or 14:00 – Meet at the parking area (west) at Furnas Lake.Transfers not included. 

Note: Transfer to and from Furnas can be arranged at a supplement on request
 
Price is £28 per adult and £14 per child (6-11yrs) without transfers
 

Notes

  • Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura
  • Departs:Daily
  • Duration: 2 hour
  • Canoes are large enough for two adults and a child under 10yrs
  • Minimum number 4 people and maximum 18 - subject to change or cancellation
  • Safety equipment provided: Paddle vest
  • Equipment required: Comfortable warm clothing including extra t-shirt and/or sweater, trainers or casual footwear that  can get wet, swim suit (Furnas thermal pool – optional), towel, light rain jacket, backpack, hat, sun lotion, strengthening food/water and a camera
  • Recommended Equipment: Lycra shirt, neoprene gloves and shoes and a waterproof bag (for smart phone and camera) 

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Canoeing and Bike Tour (Furnas) - Take a canoe out on Furnas Lake and revel in the sheer magnitude of being in a sleeping volcano surrounded by green lush slopes and hot springs. After lunch, hop on a mountain bike and pedal along volcanic trails through beautiful landscapes of dense vegetation, lakes and even the ocean. 
 

09:00 - Meet at Picos de Aventura's base in Ponta Delgada. Transfer to Furnas Lake for 10:00am start on a canoe. 
12:00 - Lunch in a local restaurant included
13:30 - Mountain biking in Furnas. Collect your mountain bike and cycle along trails through beautiful landscapes of dense and exuberant vegetation with views of the lake en route.
15:45 – Return to Ponta Delgada (arrival around 16:30).

 
Price is £66 per adult and £33 per child (6-11yrs) 
 
Notes:

  • Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura
  • Departs: Saturdays
  • Duration: 7½ hours
  • Canoes are large enough for two adults and a child under 10yrs
  • Bike trails are selected depending on each person’s fitness level and technique
  • Minimum number 4 people - subject to change or cancellation  Safety equipment provided: Bike helmet and repair kit and paddle vest (canoeing)
  • Equipment required: Comfortable warm clothing including extra t-shirt and/or sweater, trainers or casual footwear that can get wet, swim suit, towel, light rain jacket, backpack, hat, sun lotion, strengthening food/water and a camera
  • Recommended Equipment: MTB Gloves, hydration bag, clip shoes and pedals, lycra shirt, neoprene shoes, waterproof bag (for smart phone and camera) 

 
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Canoeing and Botanical Garden Visit (Furnas) - Take a canoe out on Furnas Lake and revel in the sheer magnitude of being in a sleeping volcano surrounded by green lush slopes and hot springs. After lunch, enjoy a walk through Furnas botanical gardens.

09:00 - Meet at Picos de Aventura's base in Ponta Delgada. Transfer to Furnas Lake for 10:00am start on a canoe.
12:00 - Cozido lunch in a local restaurant included. Opportunity to taste the traditional dish of the Azores, consisting of a variety of meats and vegetables, slowly cooked by underground vapours at Furnas hot springs.
13:30 - Visit the Terra Nostra Park. This is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens of the 18th century, where you can find species of flora from different regions of the world.  After a brief guided tour of the botanical gardens, there is an opportunity   to bathe in thermal waters in the outdoor pool.
15:45 - Return to Ponta Delgada via the North coast (arrival around 16:30).

Price is £56 per adult and £28 per child (6-11yrs)  
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura
  • Departs: Saturdays
  • Duration: 7½ hours
  • Canoe are large enough for two adults and a child under 10yrs
  • Minimum number 4 people otherwise subject to change or cancellation
  • Safety equipment provided: Paddle vest (canoeing)
  • Equipment required: Swim suit, waterproof footwear, towel, sun lotion, hat, sunglasses, windbreaker jacket, change of     clothes to wear after the activity, backpack, water and snack.
  • Recommended Equipment: Lycra shirt, neoprene gloves and shoes and a waterproof bag (for smart phone and camera) .

Coasteering

Coasteering is a combination of swimming, climbing and jumping in some of the most spectacular scenery of cliffs and waterfalls on the island of São Miguel. The volcanic island coastline hides areas that few ever get to see. This adventure involves scrambling and traversing the tide line, snorkelling and swimming, climbing or cliff jumping into salty water.
 
Price is £76 per person (Half Day)
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Azorean Active Blueberry
  • Departs: Daily 
  • Pick-up from all properties in Ponta Delgada at 09:00
  • Duration: 4 hours (c.2 hours on the coastline)
  • Suitable for children aged 6 years and upwards
  • Level of difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Central south coast
  • Safety Equipment: neoprene wetsuit and socks, coasteering shoes, helmet, personal flotation devices (PFD)     and group safety equipment
  • Equipment required: Towel, swim suit, hair-bands and a bottle of water.

Canyoning

Canyoning is an exciting combination of walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling and swimming in some of the most spectacular scenery of cliffs on the island of São Miguel. It has become a very popular extreme sport with fans all over the world and provides a unique experience in the middle of nature and at the same time moments of pure adrenaline. 
 
Price is £66 per adult (Half Day) or £96 (Full Day)

 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Azorean Active Blueberry
  • Pick-up from all properties in Ponta Delgada at 09:00 
  • Departs:Daily
  • Half Day: 4 hours (including 2 hours in the canyon) – Level of difficult (easy)
  • Full Day: 7 hours (including 4 hours in the canyon) - Level of difficult (medium)
  • Location: Nordeste (northeast) or Ribeira Grande (north)
  • Suitable for children aged 6 years and upwards
  • Minimum 2 people - subject to change or cancellation
  • Equipment included: Neoprene wetsuit and socks, canyoning shoes, helmet and harness
  • Equipment required: Towel, swim suit, shoes that can get wet – preferably mountain boots or running shoes, hair-    bands, warm clothing and a bottle of water

Diving

Enjoy an unforgettable adventure filled with caves, volcanic drop-offs, underwater arches and an abundance of both Atlantic and Tropical fish life – parrot fish, groupers, sting and eagle rays, moray and conger eels, barracudas, amberjacks, turtles and dolphins. A fully equipped PADI dive centre is based in Ponta Delgada.
 
Price for 2 dives from £76 per person (own equipment)

Price for 4 dives from £146 per person (own equipment)
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Azorean Active Blueberry
  • Departure from Ponta Delgada at 09:00
  • Daily activity (01Jan-31Oct)  
  • Equipment can be hired locally if required
  • Suitable for all - from complete beginner to the most experienced, with boat dives.
  • Dives include a 12 litre steel tank (200 BAR), weight belt, dive master guidance and boat transportation to and  from the dive sites within a 6-mile radius
  • Minimum age of 16yrs applies to all PADI programmes except for the Junior Open Water course which is 10yrs
  • Medical certificates confirming fitness to dive is required for the Discover Scuba Diving, Licence Scuba Diver and Licence Open Water Diver courses – prices on request
  • There are also PADI dive shops in Ponta Delgada

Fishing from São Miguel

The Azores are one of the world’s best locations for sport fishing. 
 
Big Game Fishing

If you really want an exciting experience in the Azores try Big Game Fishing. There are two seasons and two types of fishing. One is for Tuna fishing that normally starts in May and ends in June but it can vary depending on water temperatures. Then Marlin fishing starts in June and goes to the end of September.
 
Price is £512 per boat (Half Day) or £910 (Full Day) – May-Sept
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Seazores
  • Daily departures from Ponta Delgada - meet at Portas do Mar harbour (Ponta Delgada) at 08:30 or 15:00
  • Half day (4 hours) departs at 08:30 or 15:00
  • Full day (8-hours) departs at 08:30
  • Boat: 2012 Yamaha 23-foot (7m) with Yamaha engine 150hp
  • Level: Medium/Hard
  • Minimum 1 person and maximum 4
  • Tuna (Bigeye, Albacore, Yellowfin or Bluefin) between May-Jun; Marlin (Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Spearfish, Dorado and Wahoo) between Jun-Sep
  • Price includes: 2 crew members, all fishing gear, fishing licence, drinks (soft drinks and water) and  sandwiches on board

Coastal Fishing

Coastal fishing can be done all the year round although the best season is between May and January. Depending on the time of the year you can expect to catch Yellowmouth Barracuda, Parrotfish, Greater Amberjack, Barred Hogfish, White Seabream and Bluefish. 
 
Price is £341 per boat for 4 people (Half Day) or £569 (Full Day) – all year
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Seazores
  • Daily departures from Ponta Delgada - meet at Portas do Mar marina (Ponta Delgada) at 08:30 or 15:0 Note: Seazores kiosk is called ‘GetOut! Outdoors’ and is located in front of the entry gate that gives access to the boats at Portas do Mar marina)
  • Half Day: 4 hours - departs at 08:30 or 14:30
  • Full Day: 8-hours - departs at 08:30
  • Boat: 2012 Yamaha 23-foot (7m) with Yamaha engine 150hp. Sail out 30-500m from shore. 
  • Level: Easy
  • Maximum 4
  • Price includes: 2 crew members, all fishing gear, fishing licence, drinks (soft drinks and water) and  sandwiches on board

 

Rock Climbing (Ferraria)

The challenge of natural rock climbing requires coordination, strength and agility. The wall has several areas with different degrees of difficulty which means that this activity is suitable for experienced climbers or beginners.
 
10:00 or 14:00 – Meet in front of the Spa at Ferraria. Transfers not included.

Note: Transfer to and from Ferraria (26km from Ponta Delgada) can be arranged at a supplement on request
 
Price is £38 per person 
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura
  • Departs: Wednesdays
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Suitable for children (6yrs upwards) - 6-18yrs must by accompanied by parents
  • Minimum 4 people and maximum 10 – subject to change or cancellation
  • Safety equipment provided: Helmet and harness
  • Equipment required: Comfortable warm clothing including long trousers (for climbing) and extra t-shirt and/or sweater, trainers, swim suit, towel, light rain jacket, backpack, hat, sun lotion, water, snack and a camera
  • Recommended Equipment: Cat feet (climbing shoes) and a magnesium bag.

Swimming with Dolphins

Swim with dolphins in the blue Atlantic waters around São Miguel Island. The four species of dolphin that are regularly sighted here are Common, Bottlenose, Risso and Atlantic Spotted.
 
Price is £66 per adult and £33 per child (6-11yrs) – all year Picos de Aventura from Ponta Delgada
 
Price is £85 per person (01Jun-30Sep)


Terra Azul from Vila Franca do Campo - recommended if staying in Caloura, Vila Franca do Campo or Furnas
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura (Ponta Delgada base) or Terra Azul (Vila Franca do Campo base)
  • Meeting point for Picos de Aventura is the whaling base in Ponta Delgada departing at 08:30 (daily) or     13:00 (daily)
  • Meeting point for Terra Azul is the whaling base in Vila Franca do Campo departing at 08:30 (daily) or 12:30 (daily)
  • Duration: 2-3 hour trip (in the water for c.10-minutes) with a short briefing by the skipper (c.15-minutes)
  • Two people allowed in the water at a time (only free diving permitted)
  • Contact with the dolphins is not permitted
  • Minimum 2 crew members on board at all times. The final decision to dive rests with the skipper on the day
  • Maximum of 6 people per boat (including crew members) from Ponta Delgada, and 10 people per boat       (including crew members) from Vila Franca do Campo
  • Minimum child age is 6 years (accompanied by a parent or guardian)
  • Location is c.10 miles from shore
  • Wetsuits and snorkelling life vest (without fins or tube) are provided
  • Guests can hire the whole boat for a private excursion at a supplement on request
  • Pre-booking in July and August is recommended

 
Important: For experienced, confident swimmers only

 Sailing Yacht

Azoresailing welcomes you to the fascinating world of yachting and offers you the opportunity to visit the beautiful archipelago in a unique way. Charter a yacht and sail through the crystal waters of the Azores with a fully equipped and crewed sail boat for an unforgettable experience.  
 
One Day Sailing

09:00 Departure from the marina of Vila Franca do Campo. Sail (8 hours) along the south coast of São Miguel, stopping at one of the many magical bays for a refreshing swim. 17:00 Arrive back at the marina of Vila Franca do Campo.
 
Price is £102 per person (based on minimum 6 people)
 

Half Day Sailing - First Sailing Experience 09:00 or 14:00 Departure from the marina of Vila Franca do Campo. Sail (4 hours) along the south coast of São Miguel. 13:00 or 18:00 Arrive back at the marina of Vila Franca do Campo.
 
Price is £76 per person (based on minimum 6 people)

 
Formigas Islets 09:00 Departure from the marina of Vila Franca do Campo. Visit the Natural Reserve of the ‘Formigas Islets’, located about 40 nautical miles off the coast of São Miguel. Located 43km northeast of Santa Maria and southeast of São Miguel, the islets are of special biological interest and an expansive (35.42 km²) natural reserve.  23:00 Arrive back at the marina of Vila Franca do Campo.
 
Price is £215 per person (based on minimum 6 people)

 
Weekend at Santa Maria Friday: 20:00 Departure from the marina of Vila Franca do Campo   Saturday: Free day to visit the island of Santa Maria  Sunday: Return to São Miguel
 
Price is £322 per person (based on minimum 6 people)


Notes


  • Excursion provider: Azoresailing 
  • Departs: Daily (all year) 
  • Meeting point at the Marina at Vila Franca do Campo
  • Insurance for passengers is included in the price
  • The boat, a Dufour 40, has 3 double cabins for guests and 2 small cabins for the crew. One guest cabin has private bathroom. There is a kitchenette for guests to prepare meals and a shared bathroom 
  • Overall length: 12.32 m/40'50"
  • Hull length: 12.06 m/39'70"
  • Max beam: 3.90 m/12'10"
  • Empty weight: 7,800 - 7,900 kg / 17,380 - 17,160 lbs
  • Draft: 1.65 - 2.10 m/5'5" - 6'11"
  • Sail surface: 89 m² /885 ft²
  • Water capacity: 330 L/87 gl
  • Fuel capacity: 160 L/42 gl
  • Versions: 2 / 3 cabins and saloon
  • CE certification: cat. A

Jeep Tours

Enjoy an unforgettable drive along the islands’ best trails. Driving through trees and pastures often overlooking the Atlantic Ocean you will discover places and landscapes of rare beauty not often encountered by the average tourist. During the trip there will be several stops with time to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
 
Nordeste (Monday full day)

Take a tour to Nordeste on the eastern coast of Sao Miguel, known as the greenest part of the island.

¦ Ponta do Cintrão ¦ Santa Iria viewpoint ¦ Ribeira dos Caldeirões ¦ Serra da Tronqueira ¦ Salto do Cavalo 
 
Price is £71 per person
 
Lagoa do Fogo (Tuesday Half Day)

Visit the central area of the island and the vast volcanic complex of Lagoa do Fogo.

¦ Baleeiros viewpoint ¦ Caldeira Vehla ¦ Lagoa do Fogo ¦ Lagoa village ¦ Ponta Delgada 
 
Price is £34 per person
 
Sete Cidades (Wednesday Full Day)

Visit the unique sights on São Miguel’s west coast.

¦ Carvão viewpoint ¦ Lakes of Empadadas ¦ Sete Cidades Lake ¦ Vista do Rei viewpoint ¦ Mosteiros ¦ Escalvado viewpoint ¦ Ferraria ¦ Ponta Delgada
 
Price is £66 per person
 
Furnas (Friday Full Day)


See the mystic Furnas valley and surrounding area with its amazing volcanic formations.

¦ Caloura ¦ Vila Franca do Campo ¦ Castelo Branco ¦ Furnas Lake ¦ Pico do Ferro ¦ Ribeira Grande ¦ Ponta Delgada 
 
Price is £66 per person
 
Notes

  •  Excursion provider: Trilhos da Natureza Acores
  •  Pick up from all hotels in Ponta Delgada at 09:15
  •  Pick-up from hotels outside of Ponta Delgada at a supplement on request
  •  No child reductions
  •  Minimum 2 people
  •  Escorted by an English speaking driver/guide
  •  Full day tours (7 hours) including lunch
  •  Half day tours (3½ hours)
  •  Itineraries are subject to change.

 

Guided Walks

The islands of the Azores, with their mild climate (day time temperature ranging from 14-22 degrees), are the most wonderful islands for walking. Our suggested walks incorporate some of the best scenic walks on the island. 
 
Monday – Pico da Vara

This 7.3km trail begins in Graminhais, a platform on the north rim of the largest caldera on the island. Set in a protected and sensitive area in terms of biodiversity, you might see an endangered species, the Azorean bullfinch. After the stop on the highest point of the island, time to decent and appreciate a cedar forest. Grade 2/3 (Medium/Difficult)

¦ Depart Ponta Delgada at 09:00 and return at 17:00
 
Tuesday – Rota da Agua

This 7.3km circular route begins in the picnic area of Remédios, Lagoa municipality. The trail has several tunnels along its length, therefore it is advisable to bring a torch. The trail passes an ancient aqueduct, in the shape of a tunnel and crosses several aqueducts that used to supply the ancient Alcohol Factory of Lagoa and nowadays supplies water to the municipality. Grade 1 (Easy)

¦ Depart Ponta Delgada at 09:00 and return at 17:00
 
Wednesday – Lagoa do Fogo

This 12km (4-5-hour) walk takes place in the south central area of São Miguel and includes a route along a levada. The high point is at Lagoa do Fogo, located at 575m, which is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Azores. Grade 2 (Medium)

¦ Depart Ponta Delgada at 09:00 and return at 17:00
 
Thursday – Ribeira Funda / Furnas

This 7.5km (3-hour) walk takes you to the north coast of São Miguel. Beginning in Lomba da Maia, the trail passes along contrasting landscapes of dense vegetation, running streams, old typical watermills and open areas allowing for amazing ocean views. You will also head down towards Praia da Viola beach where there will be an opportunity to swim. Grade 2 (Medium)

¦ Depart Ponta Delgada at 09:00 and return at 17:00
 
Friday - Cumeeiras

This 12km (4-5-hour) walk takes place in the west of São Miguel. On the walk you will see some exotic and native species of Azorean ?ora. Part of the trail follows the water line of the caldeira of Sete Cidades, around the twin lakes known as Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul. Enjoy amazing panoramic views of the North and West coast of the island. Grade 1 (Easy)

¦ Depart Ponta Delgada at 09:30 and return at 17:00
 
Saturday – Sete Cidades

This 7km (3-4-hours) walk is on the western side of the island in an area known for its beauty and its legends. The day starts at the Vista do Rei viewpoint and ends by the lake of Sete Cidades with some brief stops en route. Enjoy amazing panoramic views of the North and West coast with a stop at the Santiago Lake viewpoint.  Grade 1 (Easy)

¦ Depart Ponta Delgada at 09:30 and return at 17:00
 
Sunday – Faial da Terra

This 4km (1.5-hour) walk takes place in the southeast of the island, in Faial da Terra. The trail is lined by exotic and luxurious vegetation. During the walk you will stop by the beautiful waterfall of Salto do Prego where it is possible to take a swim.  Grade 2 (Medium) ¦ Depart Ponta Delgada at 09:00 and return at 17:00
 
Price for each walk is £56 per person (adult) and £42 per child (up to 10yrs) 
 

Notes

  • Excursion provider: Geofun
  • Meeting point in Ponta Delgada (in front of the Tourist Office) at 09:00 (Mon-Thurs and Sun walks) or 09:30 (Fri- Sat walks). If staying in hotels outside Ponta Delgada a pick-up from your hotel is available on request (no charge)
  • Guided walks with English speaking guide and picnic lunches included 
  • Minimum 2 people and maximum 8
  • Recommended: Comfortable clothing, walking boots, swimming suit, towel, rain jacket, sun lotion, binoculars and a camera.

 


Golf

Tee-off on one of two golf courses on São Miguel: Furnas, 4km from the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, Furnas Lake Apartments and Quinta da Mó; or Batalha, a 20-minute drive (12km) from Ponta Delgada.
 
Price is £44 per person for green fees (9 holes) all year and £69 per person (18 holes)

 
Furnas golf course is located in the mountains (500m above sea level) with beautiful lakes, fairways surrounded by large trees and undulating greenways ¦ 46 hectare golf course ¦ Course length is 6232m maximum ¦ 18 holes ¦ Par 70 ¦ Required handicap: 28 Men / 36 Women ¦ Clubhouse with bar, restaurant, small pro-shop, TV room and complimentary WiFi ¦ Two putting greens, a practice tee and chipping and pitching area.
 
Batalha golf course is a beautifully landscaped course with challenging fairways and greens overlooking the ocean ¦ 100 hectare golf course ¦ Course length is 6574m maximum ¦ 27 holes ¦ Par 72 ¦ Required handicap: 28 Men / 36 Women ¦ Clubhouse with bar, restaurant (golfers only), pro-shop, TV room and complimentary WiFi ¦ Driving range, a putting green and chipping and pitching green.
 

  • Excursion provider: Melo 
  • Obligatory to wear soft spike shoes on both courses.  Shirts must have collar and sleeves.  Jeans and tracksuits     cannot be worn.
  • Clubs and carts can be hired locally

 

Guided Island Tours

Sunvil is able to pre-book the following guided minibus tours on São Miguel. 
 
Furnas (Monday - Full Day)

¦ Lagoa ¦ Caloura viewpoint ¦ Vila Franca ¦ Furnas ¦ Santa Iria viewpoint 
 
Morning departure along the south road towards Lagoa and Caloura viewpoint. Stop at Vila Franca (first capital of the island) for a short coffee break. Arrive at the valley of Furnas and visit the lake, hot springs and the natural ovens where meals are cooked by underground vapours. After lunch walk through the Terra Nostra Botanical Garden – opportunity to swim in a natural hot water pool, and visit the mineral water springs. Drive to the north coast and visit a tea plantation – one of the few in Europe, and then continue on to Santa Iria viewpoint. Return to Ponta Delgada.
 
Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo (Wednesday - Full Day)


¦ Fajã de Baixo pineapple plantations ¦ Vista do Rei viewpoint ¦ Sete Cidades Lake ¦ Carvão viewpoint ¦ Ribeira Grande ¦ Caldeira Velha ¦ Lagoa do Fogo viewpoint
 
Depart for Fajã de Baixo to visit the pineapple plantations, and continue on to the Vista do Rei viewpoint. Descend to the valley floor of Sete Cidades, passing by the green and blue lakes. Visit the Carvão Lake and then stop for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, proceed to Ribeira Grande with a brief stop in the town. Then continue in the direction of Caldeira Velha with its magnificent view of Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake), at an altitude of 900m. Return to Ponta Delgada.
 
Nordeste (Friday - Full Day)

¦ Santa Iria viewpoint ¦ Ribeira dos Caldeirões ¦ Nordeste ¦ Forest Park of Cinzeiro - Interpretation Centre of the Azorean Bullfinch ¦ Ponta da Madrugada viewpoint ¦ Povoação ¦ Furnas
 
Morning departure towards the eastern part of the island with a stop at the Santa Iria viewpoint and its scenic north coast panorama. Continue along the north coast, stopping at the Ribeira dos Caldeirões with one of the few remaining water mills on the island and its magnificent waterfall. Next is Nordeste and a brief visit to this quaint village. Continue on to the Forest Park of Cinzeiro and visit the Environmental Interpretation Centre of the Azorean Bullfinch (Priolo) – the only endemic bird of the Azores. Stop for a pleasant picnic in the forest park. Return by the east coast with stops at Ponta da Madrugada viewpoint and the town of Povoação. A short stop at the crater lake of Furnas is included for the magnificent view and also to stretch your legs before returning to Ponta Delgada.
 
Price (Monday & Wednesday) is £64 per adult and £32 per child (2-12yrs)

Price (Friday) is £70 per adult and £35 per child (2-12yrs)

 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Melo
  • Pick-up from hotels in Ponta Delgada: 08:50 (Marina Atlântico Hotel), 09:00 Vila Nova Hotel or 09:10 São Miguel Park Hotel - return to Ponta Delgada at 17:00
  • Transfers from hotels outside of Ponta Delgada at a supplement on request
  • Lunch and entrance fees to museums and parks included
  • Minimum 6 people
  • Itineraries are subject to change.

 

Private Taxi Tours

Sunvil is able to pre-book the following private taxi tours on São Miguel with English speaking driver. Tours can also be tailor-made to suit the individual requirements of our clients, please telephone us for a quotation.
 
Lagoa do Fogo (Half Day)

Depart to Ribeira Grande with a brief stop. Then continue by the mountain road towards Lagoa do Fogo, at an altitude of 900m, where you will have a magnificent view of the island. Continue southwards to the village of Lagoa, and visit a traditional ceramic factory (closed on weekends). Return to Ponta Delgada.
 
Price is £92 per taxi 
 

Sete Cidades (Half Day) Depart to Sete Cidades Lake by the mountain road. After visiting the lakes, you will stop at the ‘Vista do Rei’ belvedere from where there is a panoramic view over the lakes and the surrounding area. Return to Ponta Delgada, stopping en route at a pineapple plantation. 
 
Price is £92 per taxi
 
Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo (Full Day) Depart for Fajã de Baixo to visit the pineapple plantations and then proceed to Sete Cidades Lake by the mountain road. Stop at the ‘Vista do Rei’ belvedere from where there is a panoramic view over the lakes and the surrounding area before descending down to the valley floor of the crater lakes to take a leisurely walk along the shores of the green and blue lakes. Then take the north coastal road to Ribeira Grande (brief stop). Continue in the direction of Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake), at an altitude of 900m, with a stop at Caldeira Velha. Return to Ponta Delgada.

 Price is £176 per taxi
 
Furnas (Full Day) Depart to the village of Furnas by the south road, stopping at the town of Vila Franca do Campo en route. In Furnas you will have time to visit the beautiful 30-acre botanical gardens and hot springs before continuing north, visiting a tea plantation and the Santa Iria viewpoint en route. Return to Ponta Delgada.
 
Price is £170 per taxi
 
Nordeste (Full Day) Head north, passing by typical villages along the coast and stopping at viewpoints for stunning panoramas of the northeast area of the island, until you arrive at the village of Nordeste. Return via Àgua Retorta, Povoação (the pioneer village of the island), through the valley of Furnas and along the south coast to Ponta Delgada.
 
Price is £190 per taxi
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Melo
  • Pick-up from hotels in Ponta Delgada at 09:00
  • Transfers from hotels outside of Ponta Delgada are at a supplement on request
  • Prices are based on a maximum of 3 people per taxi
  • Full day (7 hours) or Half day (3 hours 30 minutes)
  • Not included: Lunch and entrance fees to museums and parks
  • A qualified English speaking guide can be provided at a supplement on request
  • Itineraries are subject to change

 Geological History Tour

Experience the fabulous Geological History Tour of São Miguel, expertly escorted by an enthusiastic English speaking geologist. A unique insight into these stunning green islands which will give you a new and clear perspective of just how these diverse landscapes were formed. See, touch and learn the secrets of this volcanic archipelago in a fun and entertaining day trip around the island.
 
Price is £70 per adult and £45 per child (8-11yrs)
 
Notes

  • Excursion provider: Geofun
  • Departs: Fridays
  • Meeting point in Ponta Delgada (in front of the Tourist Office) at 09:30 (return 17:00)
  • Minimum 2 people and maximum 12
  • Suitable for children aged 8yrs upwards
  • Optional extra: Caving – not suitable for those with walking difficulties
  • Included: 10-seater Jeep Defender or 9/12-seater minibus, picnic lunch, safety equipment (caving option) and pick-up from and to all hotels outside Ponta Delgada (excluding Nordeste).

 

Whale and Dolphin Watching Trips

A mere glimpse of a dorsal fin can have you beaming for hours. So why not hop on a Zodiac or Catamaran in search of cetacean activity – 24 of the planet’s 80 species of whales and dolphins have been sighted off the coast of the Azores. 

By Zodiac (rib boat)

Price is £52 per adult and £26 per child (4-11yrs) – all year

From Ponta Delgada with Picos de Aventura
 
Price is £53 per adult and £27 per child (4-11yrs) – all year

From Ponta Delgada with Futurismo
 
Price is £56 per adult and £44 per child (4-10yrs) – all year

From Vila Franca do Campo with Terra Azul – recommended if staying in Caloura or Furnas 

Notes for Zodiacs (rib boats)


  • Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura (Ponta Delgada base), Terra Azul (Vila Franca do Campo base) or Futurismo (whaling base no.26)
  • Picos de Aventura: Meeting point is Portas do Mar Marina (whaling base) in Ponta Delgada departing daily at 08:30 or 13:00
  • Terra Azul: Meeting point is the whaling base in Vila Franca do Campo departing daily at 08:30 or 12:30 
  • Futurismo: Meeting point is Portas do Mar Marina (no.26) in Ponta Delgada departing daily at 08:30 or 12:30 
  • Duration: 2-3 hour excursion with a pre tour briefing (c.10 minutes) by a marine biologist
  • Zodiac boats (small, rigid hull inflatables carrying up to 24 people) are used
  • Minimum child age is 4 years (accompanied by a parent or guardian)
  • We cannot guarantee that you will see a cetacean but it is unlikely that you should be so unlucky
  • Pre-booking in July and August is recommended
  • Recommend that you take a raincoat, cap or hair-band, sun cream, trousers (rather than a skirt), flat shoes and a bottle of water
  • *Note (Picos de Aventura only): Should you be unlucky enough not to see any whales and/or dolphins on your excursion, then you can book another day with the local supplier (free of charge and dependent on availability) or claim back a full refund which Sunvil will provide on your return to the UK
  • Important: Children aged 3yrs or under, pregnant women or any person suffering from back problems are not allowed on the Zodiac boats  

 
By Catamaran

Price is £53 per adult, £27 per child (6-12yrs) and Free for children aged 5 years or under – all year

From Ponta Delgada with Futurismo  

Notes for Catamarans - Futurismo

  • Excursion provider: Futurismo (Ponta Delgada base)
  • Meeting point is Portas do Mar Marina (no.26) in Ponta Delgada departing daily at 08:30 or 12:30 (Nov-Mar) and 09:00 or 13:30 (Apr-Oct)
  • Duration: 2-3 hour excursion with a pre tour briefing (c.10 minutes) by a marine biologist
  • Two Catamarans - Cetus (max. capacity 77 people) and 4 Ventos (max. capacity 65 people), are used and both have toilets onboard
  • Children aged 5 years or under go free of charge
  • We cannot guarantee that you will see a cetacean but it is unlikely that you should be so unlucky
  • Pre-booking in July and August is recommended
  • Recommend that you take a raincoat, sun cream, flat shoes and a bottle of water  

 
By Catamaran

Price is £53 per adult, £27 per child (6-12yrs) and Free for children aged 5 years or under – Apr-Oct

From Ponta Delgada with Picos de Aventura  

Notes for Catamarans - Picos de Aventura

Excursion provider: Picos de Aventura (Ponta Delgada base)
Meeting point is Portas do Mar Marina (whaling base) in Ponta Delgada departing daily at 08:30 or 13:00
Duration: 2-3 hour excursion with a pre tour briefing (c.10 minutes) by a marine biologist
 One Catamaran - max. capacity is 100 people is used and have toilets onboard. Adapted for clients with reduced  mobility
Children aged 5 years or under go free of charge
We cannot guarantee that you will see a cetacean but it is unlikely that you should be so unlucky
Pre-booking in July and August is recommended
Recommend that you take a raincoat, sun cream, flat shoes and a bottle of water

Sete Cidades, Sao Miguel

The Sete Cidades Lake was voted as one of ‘The 7 natural wonders of Portugal’, (2010).

Our local agent recommends seafood restaurants:

- Garajau in Ribeira Quente
- Cantinho do Cais (closed on Tuesdays) in São Brás
- O Silva in Ribeira Grande

The Sunvil Discovery Team never return to the UK, from the Azores, without a box of Queijadas de Vila Franca. The Queijadas de Vila Franca (Sao Miguel) is a traditional pastry whose recipe was refined by local nuns. If you have a sweet tooth, we cannot recommend them highly enough.

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Angela Feeney
Angela Feeney
Best time to go
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Time Difference

GMT - 1 hour

Currency

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Language

Portuguese

Average flight times

4 hours 5 minutes

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our The Azores expert

Rosanna Melaragni
Rosanna Melaragni

Rosanna is the head of our Discovery Department which covers tailor made holidays to Portugal and the Azores, Italy and Sicily, Scandinavia and the new programme to Spain. She is our longest serving member of staff having joined in 1994 after completing an honours degree in French and Italian and subsequently working for a tour operator in Yorkshire. She is responsible for brochure writing, contracting accommodation, programme costing, computer inputting and generally troubleshoots where necessary. She has global knowledge of our tailor made programme.

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Humpback whale, Sao Miguel

Sao Miguel

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

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