São Miguel island
São Miguel is a land of lakes nestled in volcanic craters that are many kilometers wide. The most iconic one lies in Sete Cidades. This is a place filled with legends and myths, and it deserves to be seen from the Vista do Rei lookout: from there, in noble contemplation, you can see two twin lakes, the Green and the Blue, connected by a bridge. The impressive vistas continue on to Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake), which has a wilder nature. A large lake surrounded by extravagant, lush vegetation stands out in the Furnas Valley.
But the number of lakes does not stop here, since others can be found both in the Serra Devassa and in the central part of the island, including the Canário, Santiago, Éguas and Congro lakes. There will always certainly be another lake waiting to be discovered.
The magnificent Vila Islet in front of Vila Franca do Campo or of the Mosteiros Islet, glorious at sunset even when it seen from the distant Ponta do Escalvado are points of great interest, as is the Lomba do Cavaleiro lookout which overlooks the whole Caldera of Povoação and its seven slopes. The nature hot water pools are one of the most attractive features that São Miguel has to offer and include the Caldeira Velha, Terra Nostra Park or Poça da Beija a pool of crystal clear water and ferrous mud.
Others ways of enjoying the beauty of the island are by horse or bicycle. The two golf courses on the island of São Miguel, besides offering the practice of this sport, also provide a direct contact with unspoiled nature. Canoeing and other sports can be practiced on the streams. Diving, whale watching and deep sea fishing are other activities not to be missed. On the north coast of the island, there are many great spots for surfing and body boarding.
On the southern coast, beaches such as Pópulo, Vinha da Areia and Ribeira Quente invite you for a swim. If you prefer a more intimate contact with nature, the beaches of Amora, Viola, Lombo Gordo and Mosteiros among many others await for you. Amid tips of black rock, sunbathing areas and crystal clear sea, you will find natural swimming pools and ponds in various places on the island; Capelas, Calhetas and Lagoa.
At Ponta da Ferraria, mother nature takes care of heating the seawater with volcanic hot springs, offering an Atlantic Thalassotherapy in a unique natural setting.
The cuisine of São Miguel is filled with fish dishes with fresh, locally caught fish. There are also various types of seafood, and delicacies like the barnacle, a crustacean boiled in sea water. The meats com from the cattle bred in the pastures and are tender and tasty. As for appetizers, there are the famous local red, mashed peppers served with fresh cheese. The Bolo lêvedo from Furnas is a cake that is well know and may be served during any meal. As for sweets, the most famous are the Queijadas de Vila Franca do Campo. On São Miguel island there is a tradition for cultivating exotic fruits such as pineapple, annona, guavas and passion fruit, which are eaten raw or used to make liqueurs.