São Miguel, The Azores
August 2013. We flew to the Portuguese island of São Miguel, one of the nine islands in the Açores. After some problems with the aircraft, we landed at Ponta Delgada airport at about 2 am. The first thing that struck us was the lovely temperature and we immediately knew that we would like the climate. In summer it is about 22 degrees around the clock.
We spent our days driving all over the island in our rental. It was a very tired old Mercedes. While you're driving around, don't miss the "Miradouros" that are scattered along the roads! A miradouro is a viewpoint next to the roads, very much like little parks with lovely views and free firewood for the barbecue.
There are a lot of lovely viewpoints all over the island. We drove across the highlands to watch the inland lakes and the ocean by the horizon. An absolute highlight was our hike to the waterfall Salto do Prego! It's a lovely place to visit and it's well worth the exhausting hike. If you prefer a bit more accessible waterfalls you can find them right next to the road. At one place, Caldeira Velha, you'll even be able to take a bath in a hot spring waterfall. On the eastern coast there is a hot spring in the ocean, Termas da Ferraria. When you have walked over the sharp volcanic rocks it's almost mandatory to take a bath and let the cold waves cover you, and then feel the heat of the water make you warm when it rushes back out in the ocean.
Another thing not to miss is the dolphins around the island. We took a whale watching tour from the Ponta Delgada harbour, and could enjoy the company of different dolphin species and even the tail of a sperm whale. The experience was fantastic!
Below you'll find a selection of photos from our trip to São Miguel.