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Experiencing São Miguel - an adventure holiday destination for every season

If you're seeking a perfect blend of outdoor adventures, exploration and relaxation, the island of São Miguel in the Azores archipelago offers a paradise waiting to be discovered on your next adventure holiday. With its lush landscapes, dramatic coastal cliffs, and rejuvenating hot springs, São Miguel provides the ideal backdrop for an unforgettable autumn break. On our 7-days adventure holiday itinerary to São Miguel suggestion, you can discover the natural beauty and tranquility of this Azorean paradise as you explore lush landscapes and soak in soothing thermal waters.

Evening view on the marina at Pont Delgada, São Miguel, the Azores, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Day 1 - Arrival in Ponta Delgada

Your adventure begins in Ponta Delgada, the capital of São Miguel. This vibrant city boasts a charming historic center where cobblestone streets wind past centuries-old buildings. Explore its colorful avenues with quaint cafes, where you can savor freshly caught seafood and traditional Azorean cuisine. Don't miss the picturesque harbor, where boats bob in crystal-clear waters against the backdrop of dramatic volcanic peaks. For the culturally inclined, the city offers a wealth of museums, galleries, and cultural events, giving you insight into the island's rich heritage.

Day 2 - Hiking at Sete Cidades

Start your adventure holiday with a day of hiking around the breathtaking Sete Cidades, one of the seven natural wonders of Portugal and indesputable scenic highlight of São Miguel and the Azores archipelago. As you set foot on the well-marked trails, you'll find yourself surrounded by a landscape straight out of a fairy tale. The hike will take you along the rim of the enormous twin calderas, the Green and Blue Lakes, each adorned with a distinct hue. The emerald green waters of one lake and the deep blue of the other create a mesmerizing contrast that is nothing short of magical.

View over Sete Cidades, São Miguel, the Azores, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays In Europe

The viewpoints that dot the trail offer unobstructed views of the lakes, surrounding volcanic cliffs, and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Don't forget to pause for a moment of contemplation at Miradouro da Boca do Inferno (Hell's Mouth Viewpoint), where you'll witness a dramatic panorama of cliffs and coastal beauty.

Return to Ponta Delgada in the evening to rest your legs and unwind in the lush parks and gardens amidst the soothing scent of blooming hydrangeas.

Day 3 - A hands-on exploration of São Miguel's culinary treasures

Set aside the outdoor adventure and step into a world of culinary delight and tradition as you embark on a journey to a charming rural Quinta. Here, amidst the timeless beauty of the Azorean countryside, you'll be welcomed with open arms to partake in a traditional cooking class.

Guided by skilled local chefs, you'll roll up your sleeves and participate in the preparation of iconic Azorean dishes, each rich in history and flavor. As you cook, you'll discover the stories and traditions woven into Azorean cuisine, gaining a deeper appreciation for the island's heritage. Once your dishes are complete, you'll savor the fruits of your labor in a picturesque setting, surrounded by the lush gardens of the Quinta.

Traditional Azorean produce, cheeses and bread, São Miguel ,the Azores, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Day 4 - Experience nature at Caldeira Velha Hot Spring and Terra Nostra Gardens

Day 4 of your adventure holiday on São Miguel takes you to the lush hinterland in central São Miguel. Nestled amidst lush, emerald-green forests, the volcanic hot spring Caldeira Velha beckons with its natural thermal pools, where you'll find relaxation and rejuvenation in the embrace of soothing mineral-rich waters, surrounded by tropical vegetation and cascading waterfalls.

In the afternoon, continue to Furnas and wander through the Terra Nostra Gardens, a botanical wonderland bursting with vibrant flora from around the world. Meander along winding paths, where each turn unveils a new tapestry of colors.

Entrance to Terra Nostra Botanical Gardens, Furnas, São Miguel, the Azores, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Day 5 - Relax in the Terra Nostra Baths and Cook your own Cozio - the volcanic way!

Embark on an extraordinary journey at the Furnas geothermal area, where you'll not only pamper your senses but also tantalize your taste buds with a one-of-a-kind Cozido tasting, a time-honored dish that simmers in the Earth's natural geothermal heat. No adventure holiday to São Miguel is complete without the participation in a one-of-a-kind Azorean cooking tradition as you will help to prepare a traditional cozido, which will then be lowered into the ground in the thermal area and cooked over the rising steam of the hot springs over up to 6 hours!

Cozidos sizzling over hot therma steam, Furnas, São Miguel, the Azores, Portugal, The Small Adventure Compant - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

While you are waiting on your hearty dinner to cook, discover the iconic rust-colored Terra Nostra Baths, inviting you to take a long dip in its mineral-rich, iron-infused waters. Returning from the bath with a slight yellow taint is all just part of the experience.

Relaxing at Terra Nostra Baths, Furnas, São Miguel, the Azores, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Your day finishes with the sumptuous dinner of your Cozido. Uncover the magic of slow-cooked meats, vegetables, and aromatic spices and the unique blend of geothermal steam. This immersive journey is an unforgettable fusion of culinary exploration and natural tranquility that can only be experienced here at Furnas on the island of São Miguel of the Azores.

Day 6 - SUP Adventure and get pampered at Terra Nostra Spa

Indulge in the ultimate day of bliss with a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Your day begins with a Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) excursion on the serene Lake Furnas. As you glide across the crystal-clear waters, you'll be mesmerized by the breathtaking views of lush forests and the soothing sounds of nature. The calm and tranquil lake is your playground, offering a sense of tranquility that's hard to match.

Stand up paddling SUP on Furnas Lake, Furnas, São Miguel, the Azores, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

After an invigorating morning on the water, it's time to unwind and pamper yourself like never before. Head to the Terra Nostra Spa, where a world of relaxation and rejuvenation awaits. Treat yourself to a luxurious treatment amidst the lush, vibrant gardens. Expert therapists will work their magic, leaving you feeling utterly revitalized.

Day 7 - Explore the Nordeste and Lagoa do Fogo

On your final full day of your adventure holiday to São Miguel, venture to São Miguel's northeastern unspoiled wilderness. A land of hidden waterfalls, where crystal-clear streams cascade over emerald cliffs, creating a scene that's almost otherworldly in its splendor.

Your journey begins in the charming town of Nordeste, a place where time seems to stand still. Stroll through cobbled streets, adorned with picturesque, colorful homes, and savor the tranquil pace of life. Then take the road winding through lush hills and dense forests, revealing panoramic vistas that stretch to the horizon.

Viewpoint São Miguel, the Azores, Portugal, The Small Adventure Company - Adventure and Family Holidays in Europe

Next, you'll descend into the heart of the earth's fury, where the "Lagos do Fogo" or Lakes of Fire await. Here, the dramatic landscape is dominated by the towering Pico do Fogo volcano, and the lakes nestled within its caldera. The vivid blue and green hues of these crater lakes contrast starkly with the rugged volcanic terrain. Return to Ponta Delgada at the end of this day.

Day 8 - Departure

The time has come to bid farewell to São Miguel as your adventure holiday comes to an end today. Depending on your flight schedule, you may have some time for last-minute shopping or to explore the beautiful streets of Ponta Delgada once more before heading to the airport.

Feeling inspired?

Contact us and discover more hidden gems and exciting adventures for your next trip to the Azores in our Azores Outdoor Adventures, Azores Family Adventures and special experiences on the Azores collections.


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