Highlights of this tour
- Viewpoint Pico do Carvão
- Vista do Rei
- Viewpoint Lagoa de Santiago
- Sete Cidades
- Cidade de Ribeira Grande
- Caldeira Velha
- Viewpoint Lagoa do Fogo
This full-day accessible island tour starts at the cruise terminal in Ponta Delgada. From here, together with your private English speaking driver guide, you make your way to your first stop: Pico do Carvão. This viewpoint lies at 649 meters altitude, which provides you with spectacular views. The green landscape that you will see here, stretches from the North to the Southside of the Island. Furthermore, you can see the surrounding lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. The beautiful scenery will take your breath away!
Your next two highlights are only a 15-minute ride up North and will bring you closer to the lakes. The first viewpoint here is Vista do Rei. In 1901 the Portuguese Royal Family, D. Carlos and Queen D. Amélia, visited this look-out. Watch over the magical lakes encircled by lush vegetation as you are overwhelmed by the beauty of nature. From here, we continue to the next so-called ‘Miradouro,’ or viewpoint da Lagoa de Santiago.
The village of Sete Cidades is located in a crater composed of two adjoining lakes. It is known as being one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the island of São Miguel. And we could not agree more. Did you know that the two lakes differ in color? Hence their names: Lagoa Verde, or ‘Green Lake,’ and Lagoa Azul, or ‘Blue Lake.’
Next, it is time to head to the North end of the island. Enjoy the scenery on the 15-minute drive before arriving in Ribeira Grande. This old town is a popular highlight on the island. It is a lovely village built along the banks of the Ribeira Grande river that flows directly into the sea. The old town’s architecture dates from the 17th and 18th centuries. Wander around the narrow streets while learning fascinating facts about its rich history. Interesting are the facades of the many churches that you will find in Ribeira Grande.
The next highlight on this tour is Caldeira Velha. It is a nature reserve located on the North Slope of the Fogo Volcano. Expect a hidden forest with thick vegetation, characterized by intense green colors. Caldeira Velha is a small waterfall that is heated by the volcano. The warm water that runs down is collected in natural baths. It contains a lot of natural iron, which is considered to entail several health benefits. Unfortunately, the bath itself is not accessible.
The last stop before returning to Ponta Delgada is a viewpoint over Lagoa do Fogo or Lake Fire. This lake is the highest crater lake that you will find on the Island of São Miguel. Take your time to take pictures, and most of all, enjoy the wonders of nature. From here, it is only a half an hour drive back to the cruise terminal or your accommodation in Ponta Delgada.
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