one of us was born in sao miguel, the other never been there. this was an obvious travel to enjoy together (and the first of many in azores). a popular song of azores is called “islands of brume” and we could testify that for the entire week being there. fortunately, at the very last day, the weather flipped (common in the archipelago weather) and for some hours we could experience some great light.
we guess that everyone who visits são miguel gets mesmerized by its luxurious greens and unclassified lagoons. nowadays, the world is discovering the azores and we found lots of tourists all around the island. hope they can respect this environment and preserve the island beauty. there are so many things to explore that everyone can trace its own path on the island and find a perfect place to stop and find how small we are in earth.
sete cidades and the view of a king
hell’s spot or a forgotten paradise
under the skin experience
fire walk with us
across the island
terra nostra garden
furnas valley or the belly of the island
before the horizon, vila franca do campo
hot tube by the atlantic at ferraria
porto formoso or silence in the north
the island is perfect for walking trails, enjoying the luxurious nature and, in many places, untouchable by the modern man. some trails are ancient and resemble old footpaths that were used by farmers, vendors or even in religious processions. all the trails are well organized and local authorities invest in keeping its safety, the official site of hiking trails in azores offers us a lot of possibilities. the route of gorreana, that we made, is an easy one to start.
a new culture
the long history of local folklore and religious traditions are a strong influence in culture and lifestyle in all archipelago. the insularity had an important impact that, for instances, was an oppressive force closing borders and moving away new horizons. lately, we could find some new inputs in the archipelago culture mainly on contemporary arts with the arquipélago contemporary arts centre at the northside of são miguel or the street art festival walk and talk than brings new forms of expression to ponta delgada and to the forgotten rural areas of the island.
most of são miguel gastronomy can be seen as quite medieval and its hard to find a place where it can is really served or even well done unless you are local. the most ancient cuisine is lost for sure – its hard to find for example “descaída”, a stew made of chicken leftovers or “sopa azeva”, a soup with tubers and spices. even so, there are others that persist and are mandatory to try: furnas stew, slow cooked over 6 or more hours, inside holes in the ground, with the volcanic heat (for example, the one made on terra nostra garden hotel); beef with garlic and local pepper (for example, the one from the farmers cooperative); pineaple with black pudding; handmade cow cheese with pepper puree; limpets on rice or grilled, and many other seafood and fresh fish. there are also others options such as the gourmet burgers from quintal dos açores or the best vegetarian restaurant we ever tried, rotas, at ponta delgada.
we spend some time at furnas lake villas, on the lakeside of lagoa das furnas; it’s a perfect place to stay and enjoy nature at itself – there are different modular apartments that offer comfort enough to rest forgetting the world outside. for a small bugdet there are some hostels; we stayed a couple of days at 3/4 hostel, quite popular at ponta delgada but a little messy, perfect to sleep and go.
rent a car
to move in the island, otherwise it would be difficult to go from one point to another. there are many agencies, even in the airport. we found auto-ramalhense to have the best prices at that time.