Categorized | Travel

Island of Sao Miguel, Azores

Posted on 27 March 2012

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Sao Miguel island is usually the first that most travellers see on landing at Ponta Delgada, the capital city of Azores archipelago. This is the operational base of the local airline SATA, and Ponta Delgada is the largest town in the group. Full of 18th-century history, it has everything to keep traveller and his family interested as they explore some of the areas, such as Caldeira das Sete Cidades – a gigantic, extinct crater, with an area of about 40 square kilometres, with two lakes joined by a causeway bridge. One lake is an emerald green, the other a deep blue. As well as being unusual it is full of fish, all freshwater species, with the carp shoals taking bread, and the perch, reputed to weigh over 5 lbs, falling to a spinner. There are also other species including pike. The waters, nearly always sheltered from any wind by the high crater walls, reflect the beautiful hydrangeas and ruches, making the whole crater a suntrap when the sun is high. According to legend, one of the seven cities of Atlantis was submerged in this crater.

Other interesting sites on the Sao Miguel island is Riberia Grande, a tea plantation area with a black lava plateau, and hot sulphurous springs. Lagoa da Fogo on the way to Valley of Furnas is an immense extinct crater containing a lake filled with crystal clear water while Pico do Ferro will surprise you with an area of steaming springs, waterfalls, lush vegetation and palm trees. The thermal spa water is of great value in the shape of the many geysers, fumaroles and medicinal mud. There is also a large hot natural water swimming pool, and various walks around the same area. Sao Miguel probably has the most tourist attractions of all the islands and at least a couple of days is needed to really take them all in.

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