Lomba de São Pedro is located in the calm northeastern
part of the island, where the main livelihood is
There, at the steep coast between Maia and Nordeste, you
will find various hiking trails, which fortunately are
mostly spared from hordes of tourists.
The highest peak of São Miguel - Pico da Vara - is
very close, as well as the natural reserve around the
raised moor Planalto dos Graminhais, the hot
springs of Furnas and many sensational lookouts (Miradouros),
which are not completely listed in the tourist maps -
like, for instance, the waterfall of Lomba de São Pedro.
This is just a 15-20 minutes hike from the accomodation.
Although the island is rather small (length 65 km / 40.4
a hired car is vital, if you want to
enjoy the natural wonders of São Miguel. It is
recommended to book it as early as possible, best along
with the flight, because it is very expensive to hire a
car on arrival. Some airlines offer hired cars for a
reasonable price when booked in combination with the
flight. Otherwise you will find it on websites like e.g. rentalcars.com.
There are public means of transport available, but those
connect villages and cities and not viewpoints and
SUV or 4WD cars are not needed, the streets are well
elaborated. A satnav is useless, because most street
names are not regsitered correctly. Google Maps, for
example, doesn`t even know Lomba de São Pedro, yet. We
recommend to take along the road map of São Miguel at
the airport. Just ask for it at the rental car counter.
There are several coastal hiking trails in close
proximity to Lomba de São Pedro. One of them starts
directly at the Casa Sillanova. A lot of new trails have
been created lately, especially in the northeastern
region. Those are not yet listed in pertinent hiking
guides. See more at
There are various bathing bays around the island. Water
temperatures are comfortable from May/June up to
November, but low waves will be seen mainly in July and
August. Air temperature will be even in summer not over
21-25°C (70-77°F), but direct sunlight and humidity will
make you feel a distinctively higher temperature (>30°C
/ 86°F). UV-light irraditaion is always very high, even
when it is a little cloudy. Sun milk with high sun
protection factor is obligatory, as well as thongs (hot!).
Especially in August (school vacation), all beaches are
well-attended. On a cloudless summer day you will
hardly find a parking lot at e.g. Porto Formoso beach in
The closest unattended beach is approx. 5 minutes by car (Praia da Viola in Lomba da Maia).
The next one is protected from surge waves in Maia (<10 min),
where you also can find natural rock basins for
Naturais). The next beach with bar/café is Praia Porto Formoso (15 min).
At the south side of the island are various beaches, e.g
in Ribeira Quente
(30 min) or Água de Alto (40 min). In Nordeste
(15 min) is a nice natural water pool, which is
independent from surge. Furthermore indoor and outdoor
swimming pools and city beaches in Ribeira Grande
(25 min). Furnas (20 min) allows all-year bathing in hot
pools (39°C / 102°F), Ferraria (ca. 70 min) even in the
sea (low tide only).
Commonly, vacationers are on the road all day
long, so it is consequential to buy food and other stuff
en route. Big supermarkets outside the capital are
situated in Ribeira Grande, distance 25 km (15.5 mi),
which takes approx. 25 minutes to drive. There`s a small
discounter in Lomba da Fazenda (15 min direction Nordeste),
some shops in Maia (<10 min), one in Lomba da Maia (7 min) und
a little shop in Fenais da Ajuda (4
min), which, by the way, is not more expensive than the
big ones. There is also a combined mini-market without
self-service and café/bar
in Lomba de São Pedro.
Mini-markets can be found in almost every village, but
those are not widely assorted. Fresh fish and meat will
not be available. Moreover, Lomba de São Pedro is
approached by delivery trucks for bread, vegetables and
fish, which call attention to themselves every day.
Fresh fish and meat is preferably bought in Ribeira Grande.
Either at the supermarket »Continente« or even
better at the fish shop and the central butcher (Talho Central).
Over the way of those is a well assorted greencrocery,
offering cheap seasonal/regional products. An overview
including maps is
If needed, we have space in our freezer or can take
something along when we go shopping.
Azorean cuisine is plain and hearty. Even though
inexpensive and always available, fish is not eaten very
frequently, except for Bacalhau (dried cod)
stew. Shellfish is not in place, except for Lapas (limpets)
and sometimes Lulas
(squid) resp. Polvo (octopus). After all, there
are no conches to be found at the beach. If fish is only
part of the menu of a standard restaurant, it`s often
fried through and dry. Due to that, it`s better to go to
a designated fish restaurant, or - which is even better
- prepare it on your own, e.g. on the barbecue in the
patio of the Casa Sillanova.
Typical snacks are Bifana (pork chops) and
(beef), which are served inside a small bread (no pão)
or on a plate (no prato) with french fries and
rice. The meat is typically marinated with the
ubiquitous sweet pepper sauce (ground sweet pepper + salt).
Moreover, you will find
(pork ribs resp.pork belly), Costoleta do Novilho (young
bull`s chop - very good!) and
Hamburguer (if you order
»no prato«, it`s a patty without bread, but
french fries and rice). The culinary art is commonly a
matter of price.
A low-price Hamburguer in a snack bar will mostly
be instant meat from the freezer.
Azoreans use to go out for lunch, only, from 12 am till 2 or 3 pm. That
is why there are not too many authentic restaurants or Cantinhas,
which serve dinner. These are usually more expensive.
With increasing frequency you can find buffet
restaurants, in which you can try typical »micelense«
food for less than 10 Euro. Lunch only, of course, but it pays,
because it`s the same food that people cook at home. Azorean families use to go out for lunch on Sunday, so
it`s recommended to do a reservation for that day of the
Some restaurants nearby without intending to be
exhaustive. Travel times are driving times:
Salga (3 min):
Moagem is a pizza parlor (lunch
up to dinner), directly at the entrance to the village.
Heavy pizza topping »Azorean« style, real good
and very cheap as well.
Achadinha (5 min):
Os Melos. buffet lunch (reservation
for the weekend recommended!) every day, in-season also
dinner à la carte. Very reasonably buffet price, hearty
and good. The adjacent
Poço Azul offers buffet
lunch and à la carte dinner as well.
Lomba da Maia (7 min):
O Cordeirinho. Very good
restaurant for a resonable price. Reservations for
dinner recommended. If you go for lunch, ask for the
Prato do Dia (daily dish), which is not listed on
the menu. Plain, typical food, but decidedly good
Maia (10 min):
O Sagitário. Good restaurant for grilled fish,
lunch and dinner. A little bit expensive, but worth it
and a nice seaview-terrace to sit.
São Brás (10 min):
Cantinho do Cais.
Designated fish restaurant, open for lunch and dinner,
reservation strictly recommended. Apparently, it`s
meanwhile listed in guidebooks, so that some dishes have
become disproportionately expensive.
Furnas (15 min): There are
several restaurants, open
for lunch and dinner.
Lomba da Fazenda (15 min):
Casa de Pasto O
Cardoso. Very good budget
local dishes, lunch only. Reservation is not necessarily
needed, but recommended in summer.
Nordeste (20 min):
Quite good buffet restaurant, lunch and dinner.
Ribeira Grande (25 min):
Bar and lunchroom with real authentic home cooking. Loud,
cheap, no English menu but damned fine.
you find an excerpt of a menu with translation.
O Ildeberto -
Residencial Ribeira Grande
is some minutes by foot from the center - opposite to a
- and offers a very good daily lunch (and dessert)
buffet (12 am - 3 pm) an. A snack bar with excellent value
for money, which almost could be a restaurant, is named
Carlos Feire. Connoisseurs
of cakes and desserts should plan to visit
A Merenda and try Pão de Deus
(god`s bread). Very good fish at a slightly higher price
level is served for lunch and dinner at the restaurant
Moreover, there are some more restaurants,
which are open in the evening (e.g. Alabote,
O Silva, Monte Verde). Look up
Santana (Rabo de Peixe) (30 min):
Restaurante Assoçiação Agricola.
The best steakhouse of the island,
always open. Reservation for dinner recommended. Not
cheap, but worth it. You might also try our favourite
dessert: Pudim de Chá.
Rabo de Peixe (35 min):
O Pescador. Designated
lunch and dinner, reservation useful.
Botequim Açoriano. is a
restaurant with good fish, dinner and lunch, reservation
Lagoa (40 min):
Restaurante Borda d'Agua.
Designated fish restaurant, lunch and dinner, highly
priced. Reservation in-season necessary.
Ponta Garça (40 min):
Scorpion Café. It's an insider`s tip for lunch
and dinner. A bar/café with small dining room in the
back and excellent home cooked dishes. Big portions,
good taste and low prices.
legal notice - Notícia