The island of São Miguel, Azores, is situated in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, five flight hours east of Toronto or Boston and two hours west of Lisbon. It is the largest of the nine Azorean islands and several airlines have regular direct flights to its airport at Ponta Delgada – some of them, daily.
The Azores is spared the hotel skyscrapers and all-Inclusive-clubs that so blight many tourist destinations. The island’s spectacular landscapes have thus been kept intact.
The moderate climate, free from frost or drought, together with the incredibly fertile soil nurtures a wonderful diversity of vegetation. Depending on the elevation around the island, the landscapes are reminiscent of Irish and Mediterranean coastlines, Asian jungle, Alpine foothills, British Columbia`s Ancient Forest or even the Scottish Highlands.
It is therefore hardly surprising that São Miguel is home to almost twice the number of black pied cattle as it is to people.
It is also the only place in Europe, where black and green tea is commercially grown and processed.
A holiday in São Miguel offers a myriad hiking trails and drives through varied stunningly beautiful landscapes with endless photo opportunities and picnic spots sporting built in barbeques and gorgeous surrounds. The Atlantic winds freshen and clean the air.
A visitor can enjoy a lazy afternoon in the several hot spring pools, enjoy the beauty and colour of the botanical gardens and parks – homes to trees and plants from all over the world. Or take a cruise and see dolphins, or enjoy diving, swimming or snorkelling from one of the many Atlantic pools and beaches. Or just watch the waves thundering against the spectacular cliffs. If you are a birder, São Miguel is home to the rare »Priolo« – a bullfinch found nowhere else in the world.
São Miguel offers a wide range of excellent, inexpensive restaurants. Whether your taste runs to steak or fish, all tastes are catered for. For something different, enjoy a Portuguese meal, slow-cooked in the volcanic pits.
From our own experience we recommend to stay at least for two weeks for relishing the overwhelming beauty of São Miguel.