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First day at Sao Miguel island
Originally the planning was to travel in stunning Portugal. We never heard about the Azores islands. As before every trip, we made preparations and read a lot of information about Portugal. In one fascinating article, we sow amazing pictures of incredibly beautiful nature. And we are nature lovers (hope that you are also). When we started to read about those places, we understood that we must make remarkable changes in our choice. We must visit this fantastic island that called Sao Miguel.
We bought our tickets from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada for four days to stay on the island (for us, it wasn’t enough) and then three more days for traveling around Lisbon (another article).
Sao Miguel island is the biggest island of the Azores islands. The island covers 760 km2 and has around 140,000 inhabitants, with 45,000 people residing in Ponta Delgada, the archipelago’s largest city.
If you have more time, we suggest visiting at list one more island, we liked the Flores Island, and we’re planning to get there in the future. You can get there by flight from Ponta Delgada.
How to get to the island?
2-2.5 hours flight from the city of Lisbon, Portugal.
How to move around the island?
The best and the easiest way is definitely to rent a car. We have rented a small car, and it was perfect. The island is tiny, from one end to the other can take you maybe 2.5 hours. The airport located 20 min drive from Ponta Delgada.
Tip: Take your rented car straight at the airport, and it will save you paying for a TAXI (20 euro).
Where to stay?
We slept in a small hotel in the city Ponta Delgada, and it was gorgeous. It was easy to get everywhere from there. Ponta Delgada located not in the middle of the island but closer to the west side of the island. It’s ok to stay all your vacation in one place since everything is nearby.
A funny and strange story before we start…
In the beginning, we wrote that the flight to the island should take 2-2.5 hours, so, in our case, it took us 4.5 hours, and we arrived at the same place that we flew from, which was Lisbon.
Don’t be panic, we will explain!
We took the flight to Ponta Delgado right on time, and everything seems to be as usual. After 2 hours, the flight captain announces that we are starting to land. After half an hour, we felt that we are starting to go up instead of down, and then we heard the terrible news. We are going back to Lisbon, yes, another 2.5 hours on the air.
So, the thing is that the Azores islands are volcanic areas, and the weather can be fickle. In fact, you can experience four seasons in one day. We had a bit of bad luck on that day, that was terrible weather for landing, a lot of clouds that you can’t see anything.
On that day, we started our journey to the Azores at 6 am (we wanted to take advantage of the day) and arrived at our hotel at Ponta Delgada after midnight). Now we have only three days left ☹.
We woke up early in the morning and took a taxi to the airport (why? Because we arrived so late to the car agency, they didn’t want to release the car unless we will pay a fine of 50 euro for being late).
Finally, we took our car and started our day. The weather at this day was still very clouded and rainy but we aren’t made of sugar 😊
Our first destination was the Furnas area. On our way, we decided to stop for a short walk to see some waterfall that we heard about. The name of the waterfall is “Salto de cabrito”, really easy excess, half an hour of walking. Please note that the waterfall isn’t really on the way to Furnas; it’s a little bit off course.
After visiting the waterfall, we drove to Furnas area. This area is very famous for the geothermal activity, multiple boiling water and mud springs, hot water spring. The town of Furnas is around 50 km away from Ponta Delgada, and it takes approximately 1 hour to drive there.
First, we stopped at Furnas lake, stretched our legs, and took a romantic walk around the lake, will passing on the beautiful and Ancient chapel called “Capela de Nossa Senhora das Vitórias.” From there, we drove to the Caldeiras das Furnas area, and there you can feel and smell the geothermal activity and to see mad pools.
If you are at Furnas, you must have the experience of eating the most famous dish in this area. Its called “COZIDO NAS CALDEIRAS” and what is extraordinary is the way it has been cooked. This cuisine is cooked in the pots dipped into the naturally boiling water of the caldeiras (hot springs) and then buried and left for several hours. In the afternoon you can enjoy the meal.
We ate at the famous restaurant – Tony’s Restaurant. We Recommend booking ahead of the meal.
After a fantastic experience at Caldeiras das Furnas we were very excited to feel the water of the hot springs. So first, we went to a beautiful botanic park that also has unique hot springs pools. This park called ” Terra Nostra.” There you can experience different kinds of thermal pools. The biggest pool there had a brown color, and that because of the high concentration of iron.
1. Don’t forget to bring with you a towel because if not you will need to rent it at the park.
2.Don’t wear your favorite swimsuit because the minerals in the hot pools can cause damage to the swimsuit.
After a great relaxation at most of the pools, we decided to try also another astounding place of hot springs. This place is much cheaper, and it’s ten minutes’ walk from the terra nostra.
“Poca da Dona Beija” is the name of the place. This place has a huge area that contains a lot of hot pools. This place is also incredible, and you can really connect to nature and relax. We think if you really want to enjoy the site you need at list 2 hours.
The two tips from above are, of course, Also relevant here!
In the end, this incredible day was full of adventures, magnificent landscapes, and relaxing. This moment was precisely the right time to enjoy a great meal that was cooked all day at the hot pods in the ground just for us (we were so hungry at this moment of the day, hahaha).
So, that was our first day at the Sao Miguel island. We spend the whole day at the Furnas area, and it was terrific. Defiantly must visit.