SAO MIGUEL - THE AZORES
SAO MIGUEL STATISTICS
- Sao Miguel is part of the eastern group, along with Santa Maria.
- Sao Miguel, being 65 km long, 14 km at its widest, with a total land area of 746 sq. km is the largest island in the Azores archipelago.
- Situated within the eastern part of the island is the highest point Pico da Vara, which reaches 1080m, and dominates a wild, largly forested and under-populated area of the island.
- With approximately 130, 000 inhabitants accounting for 54% of the population of the archipelago, Sao Miguel is the most populated island in the Azores.
- Sao Miguel is home to the only commercially used tea plantations in Europe.
- Sao Miguel is known as the Green Island due to its vegetation.
- Sao Miguel has the most visible display of volcanic activity, with hot pools and fumaroles being seen in a number of areas around the island.
- This volcanic activity is harnessed by a geothermal station and the energy produced accounts for approximately 10% of the island's electricity supply.
SAO MIGUEL HIGHLIGHTS
- Sao Miguel is the largest and most touristic island of the Azores. With it though comes some of the most stunning scenery found anywhere in the archipelago.
- The crater lakes of Sete Cidades, Lagoa das Furnas and Lagoa do Fogo are a must see.
- The Caldeira das Sete Cidades, which is home to the famous twin coloured lakes is the gemstone attraction of the Azores. The landscape and scenery are breathtaking.
- At Lagoa das Furnas, you can see the special local dish, Cozido being cooked underground.
- The settlement of Furnas has more than twenty thermal springs running through the village.
- Terra Nostra Garden in Furnas with its geothermal swimming area.
- Visit one of the two tea plantations, Gorreana or Porto Formoso and try out the various blends and flavours.
We spent a week exploring Sao Miguel and can happily say that this island is a perfect introduction to the Azores. It has a wealth of history, natural beauty, activity and relaxation. Check out our Sao Miguel story and our recommended things to do on this amazing island.
Two of the "must tries" of the island are cozido, a dish made of potatoes, meat and vegetables, and bolos levedos (sweet bread), which are prepared in the volcanic hot soil at Furnas. The hot springs at Furnas are one of the major natural attractions of the island, together with the Sete Cidades double crater and Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake), with its mystic shimmering waters.
Beach lovers will find an array of more or less sandy beaches on Sao Miguel, which are so incredibly rare in the Azores. Activities are plentyful, ranging from any type of watersports to horseback riding, hiking, golf, tennis and paragliding.