I’ve finally visited the Azores, the only region in my country that I had never put my feet on. I’d been hearing great things, so I decided that it was about time to tick it off my wish list.

São Miguel

​​I picked São Miguel, the main island in the Azores (there are nine in total), for my nine-day holiday. The idea was to take it easy, do some sightseeing, absorb the nature, and above all to relax. I don’t like to rush from one place to another, I’m a slow traveller by nature.

Lagoon of the Seven Cities is nature at its best. It’s made of two small lakes – a blue lake and a green lake – that are connected by a narrow strait, situated in the crater of a dormant volcano.

This is the Lagoon of Fire. When I arrived here it was so foggy that I couldn’t see a thing, then all of a sudden the deep fog started to lift and revealed the most beautiful lagoon ever. Magic happens. 🙂

Parque Terranostra is a botanical garden with a volcanic pool located in the Furnas valley. I swam in this copper coloured, mineral filled pool while it was 30 degrees outside and 40 degrees inside. I melted but felt rejuvenated afterwards.

Caloura is a picturesque fishing village with a natural swimming pool. Before splashing around in these warm waters, I had a great lunch at the Caloura bar which is the white house behind me in the photo. Both the shrimps and the Boca Negra (Blackbelly rosefish), a local fish known for its tasty crab-like meat, were delicious.

"Santa Barbara Beach immediately became one of my favourite beaches."

Santa Barbara Beach immediately became one of my favourite beaches. Every day, either before or after my ventures around the island I would end up there. The setting is gorgeous, the waves are great for surfing and the water is an inviting 24 degrees. With a relaxed vibe, no crowds, and the most beautiful sunsets, I was a happy Jo.

Just in front lives the Santa Barbara Beach Resort (on our Watchlist) which has a very nice beach bar.

Nature absorption

"Driving around the island was a delight for my eyes."

Photo credit (left): Quinta dos Peixes Falantes

I stayed at Quinta dos Peixes Falantes because I wanted to be in Ribeira Grande (north coast of São Miguel Island), and it’s just a 10 minute drive from Santa Barbara beach. I had a wonderfully relaxing stay in this well-designed studio that was equipped with everything I needed. Thank you so much, Ana and Fernando, for being such lovely hosts.​​

Traditional food, traditional restaurants.

The rice from Mariserra, pictured above, was sooo yummy. I could order one right now. Out of all the restaurants I tried, the following stood out the most: Bar Caloura in Caloura , Mariserra in Ponta Delgada, Restaurante da Associação Agricola de São Miguel in Ribeira Grande, A Tasca in Ponta Delgada.

I’m hoping to return soon with Sofia to explore all the other islands and share all our insights with you, including of course all the cool places to stay in the Azores.

​​​​
Wishing you all fantastic trips! ​​​
x Jo

Where to stay in São Miguel

Quinta dos Peixes Falantes in Ribeira Grande, features two well equipped studios and two 1-bedroom houses with access to a private garden and swimming-pool.

Pico do Refúgio is located on the north coast of the island of São Miguel, Pico do Refúgio is a mansion that dates to the beginning of the 17th century. Offering traditional-style houses with contemporary design, sea views and an outdoor swimming pool.

We love Pink House Azores, a restored old barn turned into a design boutique accommodation, 7-min drive from the historical centre of São Miguel. There’s a seasonal outdoor pool.

Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort is a modern and exotic eco-villas in Ribeira Grande, north coast of São Miguel Island, with direct access to the beach, a beach bar, a swimming pool and a wellness centre.

Furnas Boutique Hotel in Vale das Furnas, home to the largest concentration of thermal waters in Europe. Featuring swimming pools and a Spa & Wellness centre.

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