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Sao Miguel Points of Interest

  • Convent and chapel of Our Lady of Hope, known as “Convento de Esperanca” or simply Saint Christ’s Church (Igreja do Senhor Santo Cristo), is home to the magnificent statue of “Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres” (Christ of Miracles), the patron of the largest religious festival in the Azores.
  • Sant’Ana Palace, a 19th century construction surrounded by beautiful gardens and currently the residence of the President of the Regional Government of the Azores (it is not open daily).
  • Museum Carlos Machado in Ponta Delgada, an excellent institution with permanent exhibitions.
  • Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). The hiker may reach the lake along well travelled paths.
  • Ermida da Senhora da Paz (Our Lady of Peace Chapel), an authentic Marian sanctuary constructed on a hill provides an excellent view of the village and of the islet.
  • The Ilheu (Islet) of Vila Franca do Campo, protected as a Natural Reserve, is approximately 1 km from the coastline. The “Ilheu” is also a great swimming hole.
  • Furnas lake, surrounded by a beautiful flowered shore. The area of the Caldeiras (Hot Springs) at the Furnas lake, serve as a natural kitchen. Cooking by burying pots of food in the earth is a tradition that provides a fantastic meal of mixed meats and vegetables. In the town of Furnas the “Caldeiras” (hot springs) are even more spectacular. Many openings in the earth sprout geysers of boiling hot water.
  • Terra Nostra Park, behind the hotel of the same name, is one of the most beautiful parks in Portugal and well known throughout Europe. This 18th century park consists of small lakes and streams, colorful and exotic flowers, vegetation and trees, as well as century old trees of great botanical value. The park also features a lake that works like a pool of thermal iron water where you can relax in hot water. Be prepared to pay an admission fee of around 5 euros.
  • Nordeste (Northeast), is one of the most attractive municipalities in São Miguel. The look-out points of Ponta da Madrugada, Ponta do Sossego, Salto da Farinha, and the Ponta do Estorninho (among others) are worth stopping at to admire the flowers and the amazing landscape.
  • Pico da Vara, the highest point on the island, with an altitude of 1105m, is a challenging one and a half to two hour walk along a path which offers magnificent scenery of nature in the most primitive form. Pico da Vara is considered Natural Reserve, and a previous authorization by the Regional Forestry Ministry may be required.
  • Sete Cidades twin lakes, the biggest extinct volcano crater in the Azores with 12 km perimeter.
  • Several beaches all over the island where you can swim, including Melicias (just outside Ponta Delgada, Ribeira Grande (Areal de Santa Barbara a popular surfing spot), Agua D’Alto (Agua de Pau), Vinha d’Areia (Vila Franca do Campo), Moinhos (Porto Formoso), Mosteiros, and Ribeira Quente.

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