The Azores are islands off the coast of Portugal, Sao Miguel is the biggest of 7 islands.  The Azores are not a highly traveled location but 100% worth the trip (one of my favorites).  Below are some tips to help save you time, money, and make your travels more enjoyable.  

If you are planning your next trip to Sao Miguel, you should definitely start here.  Here are some of my top tips for visiting Sao Miguel.

Stay in Ponta Delgada

Ponta Delgada Azores Travel

Ponta Delgata is the largest city and hub of the entire island; it has the most restaurants, the best nightlife and is incredibly centrally located for day trips to the rest of the island. We (…well I) made the mistake of booking us in Ponta Delgada for 3 nights, then 5 nights in Furnas.  After 1 night in Furnas, the hotel was nice enough to let us get out of our reservation and head back to Ponta Delgada.  Don’t get me wrong you should definitely check out Furnas, it has some great thermal baths and one of the coolest parks

Rent a carCar Travel

I don’t know what we would have done without a car.  It gave us so much freedom and most of the highlights of our trip were things we would never see/experienced without the car, like thermal baths, a private waterfall, and the abandoned hotel (see this post for more).  Make sure you rent a small car as the streets in the city are incredibly narrow- we had to do a 5 point turn to get out of our hotel every day!  The locals drive incredibly fast on the windy roads. Be extra careful in the mountains when going around corners, the road is often only wide enough for 1 car so be sure to honk when turning blindly! 

Eat the local foodFish Dinner Travel

Sao Miguel is an island so seafood is plentiful and as fresh as it comes- in some restaurants I could swear the fish were still flopping around.  The local cheese on the island is the die for- I still think about it regularly.  You usually get it as an appetizer in most restaurants with bread; try every kind you can get your hands on!  If you make it to Furnas give Cozido a try, it is slow cooked meat and veggie dish in volcanic holes.  If you get there for 12:30 you can watch it being taken out of the ground.  Everything we ate on this trip was incredible; if you are a foodie- go to Sao Miguel now.

Go off the beaten path

off the beaten path travel

This island although relatively small has so much to offer, most of it is not easily found.  Just go for a drive or a walk with no end point in mind.  Get lost on purpose- you will be amazed what you will find.  This island is truly something special when it comes to being in nature; caves, waterfalls, mountains, lakes, thermal baths, wildlife, fauna, Sao Miguel has it all.

Try something new

Azores Sao Miguel Travel

There is so much to do on this island, so why not give something new a try.  Some of the activities include; biking, fishing, hiking, swimming, surfing, horseback riding, scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, canyoning, golf, paragliding, whale watching, swimming with dolphins and so much more. Check out this post for the top 10 things to do in Sao Miguel.

Do you have any tip for Sao Miguel?  Do you want to visit now? Are you going to make the Azores your next trip? Leave a comment below!

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