This Portuguese archipelago lies in the middle of the Atlantic and counts nine islands. The main island is Sao Miguel. Here’s a 6 days itinerary of Sao Miguel. If you are planning to stay longer, no worries ! We give you extra amazing places to discover at the end of the article.

A vibrant garden in the middle of the Atlantic. It is no coincidence that the island of São Miguel in the Azores archipelago is called “Green Island“.

Practical infos

🕰️ When to go? There’s no winter in the Azores so all seasons are good. The weather can play tricks on you any month of the year. The warmest temperatures in the Azores are from June to September.

🏝️ Archipelago of 9 islands: Sao Miguel, Pico, Terceira, Horta, Corvo, Flores, Graciosa, Sao Jorge and Santa Maria. In summer, you can sail between them by ferry. In winter, you can only fly!

✈️ To get to Sao Miguel, you’ll need to make a stopover in Portugal.

👕 The climate in the Azores is both temperate and humid. Remember to take longer, warmer clothes, as the evening wind quickly turns cool. Good walking shoes and a impermeable coat are essential !

🚘 Getting around : the easiest way is by car. We picked the company Auto Lima and paid 200€ for 6 days.

💵 Budget : restaurants can be expensive, we recommend small cafés for the price but also for a better feeling with the locals.

- 6 days itinerary -

Before we start, you’ll find a summary of this itinerary here, which you can download onto your phone and take with you wherever you go.

Day 1 : Sete Cidades and surroundings, between volcanoes and lakes 

Miradouro Boca do Inferno, the must-see spot on the island. After parking in the parking lot, head for the Lagoa do Canário for your first stop. The tranquility of this lake is astonishing. Then take the path back towards the Miradouro (approx. 1km walk). If there’s no mist, you can admire the Sete Cidades caldera, with its magnificent Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul.

Lagoa do Santiago : on the way down to the village of Sete Cidades, don’t miss the opportunity to stop off at the Miradouro de Lagoa de Santiago.

Lagoa das Sete Cidades : at the very bottom of the mountain, you can enjoy the two lakes. Separated by a bridge, when the sun shines we can see two lakes of two different colors. There’s no shortage of things to do here: hiking, biking, water sports – why not admire the lakes from every angle 😉 The Church of Sao Nicolau is also worth a stop. It is located in the center of the village.

Miradouro do Visto do Rei : it doesn’t get much higher than this! It’s easily accessible from the parking lot. The view is superb, and if you’re a fan of Urbex, you’ll be spoilt with the Monte Palace, an abandoned hotel. If you’ve got a drone, now’s the time to get it out!

If you want to extend your day in this area, we recommend Termas Ferraria, where the rocks have formed a natural swimming pool, which is heated by the volcano. It is free, and there are showers and changing rooms. Be careful with the weather and the wind tho!
Mosteiros, the coastline of this small village is magnificent! Located on the west side of the island, this is the place to go to enjoy a magnificent sunset.

Day 2 : Ribeira Grande & Santa Barbara – Cha Gorreana – Ribeira dos caldeirões

Ribeira Grande is a cute little town, ideal for a stroll and breakfast. The black-sand beach of Santa Barbara is right next door. The place to be for surfers.

The Cha Gorreana tea plantation is the oldest and largest tea plantation of Europe. Since 1883 it has remained in the same family since its creation. The visit is totally free, as is the tea tasting. The tea fields are reminiscent of Bali’s rice paddies.
Fact: This is also where you’ll taste the world’s only pesticide-, herbicide- and fungicide-free tea. The region is free of bacteria and parasites, making it the purest tea in the world.

Ribeira dos caldeirões : the main waterfall is magnificent and accessible directly from the parking lot! As you continue your walk, you’ll come across a number of other waterfalls and hiking trails. It’s a very pleasant place where the weather is often very fine, even if the rest of the island is cloudy.

Day 3 :  Poço Azul – Caldera Velha – Lagoa do Fogo

Poço Azul : Poço Azul is located in Achadinha. There are 3 hikes to reach this magnificent waterfall. We took the shortest trail (1.3km). To get there, park in the center of Achadinha, it’s very well signposted.
Tips: Your best chance of seeing the blue lagoon is on a sunny day.

Caldera Velha: Time to chill !!! To get to the waterfall and hot springs of Caldeira Velha, it’s imperative to book your visit on their website. Access costs 3€, but if you want to swim, you’ll need a full ticket (8€ per person). The surrounding is really pretty, tropical atmosphere guaranteed!

Lagoa do Fogo : simply considered the most beautiful lake in São Miguel, you can admire it from the miradouro. If you feel like it, you can take a walk around the lake.

Day 4 : Ponta Delgada – Pineapple Plantation Arruda – Furnas

Ponta Delgada : I’d simply recommend a stroll through the town center, to get a first impression of the architecture typical of this Azores island. Discover the flavors and colors of the Azores at the mercado da Graça.

Pineapple Plantation A Arruda : Located in Fajã de Baixo (less than 5 kilometers from Ponta Delgada), the greenhouses are free to visit and you can even sample pineapple liqueur in the store.

Lagoa de Furnas, located in an ancient volcanic crater, is clearly my favorite place! Here you’ll find the chapel of Nossa Senhora Das Victorias, the Casa da Lagoa and the Mata-Jardim José do Canto garden. Take the time to stroll around and admire the beauty of this place. If you’d like to get a bird’s eye view of the lake, the Miradouro du Pico do Ferro is the place to go.

The town of Furnas : there are 2 hot-spring bathing spots in Furnas : Poça da Dona Beija and Terra Nostra. The second one has an incredible botanical garden, but to my opinion, the admission is a bit expensive.

Day 5 : Cascada das Lombadas – Lagoa do Congro, hiking day !

Cascada das Lombadas : this great waterfall at the valley of Lombadas is near Ribeira Grande. A little back at the road, in a sharp curve, there is a parking for one car. From here a very steep and dangerous path (not an official trail) leads to Cascatas das Lombadas. I sent the drone from there because the trail was really slippery due to the rain. 

Lagoa do Congro : Nestled in a lush forest, once you arrive at the lake you’re immersed in an all-green landscape! The walk to the lake is short but slippery. Tips : I recommend good shoes! The trail down is about 700m long and it takes about 15 minutes to arrive at the lake through the enchanted forest.

It is only a few kilometers away from the city of Vila Franca so if you have some time, you can pay a visit to this cute city.

Day 6 : Farol do Arnel – Miradouro da Ponta da Sossego & Madrugada – Grená Park

On the east coast, we simply drove along the coastline. On the way, we stopped at the Arnel lighthouse. I recommend you to park on the upper part of the parking lot and walk down! Then you can stop at the miradouro da Ponta da Sossego (ideal for sunrise) & Madrugada. There are gardens where you can stroll and the view is superb.

Grená : before leaving, we absolutely wanted to visit this park. So we returned to Furnas. Right before the entrance of the park, you can see volcanic phenomena like geysers, gas coming out of the earth and pools of boiling water. It’s super cool, but stinks like rotten eggs 🫢.
This is also the place where you can discover the local dish: cozido. It’s a kind of Portuguese-style stew that cooks for 8 hours underground.
What you gonna find in the park? Waterfalls, centenary trees, a magical and historical house in the middle of the property, breathtaking views to the Furnas Lake. It is just amazing!!!!
(10€ for an entry – Free for children up to 5 years old / Plan minimum 2 hours).

A few more places to extend your stay :
  • There are many waterfalls in the center and east of the island. I recommend Salto Do Prego. Other nearby waterfalls include Salto do Cagarrão and Ribeira do Faial da Terra.
  • Vila Franca do Campo : a seaside town, this is where you can book boat trips or diving outings on the islet. The Azores are one of the world’s most beautiful whale sanctuaries. In particular, there are blue whales. Don’t miss the town’s must-see miradouro da Nossa Senhora da Paz, with its magnificent chapel!

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy plane tickets, which is kind of the same thing.

Hope you enjoyed this article as much as we did writing it! Feel free to check our Instagram for more pictures @jojo_wanderlust_ 😉

Happy travel! J&T