Things to do in Ribeira Grande

Our most recommended things to do in Ribeira Grande

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

1. São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on this guided tour by van. Discover the famous crater lakes of Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo, picturesque waterfalls, amazing cliffs, and stunning rock formations around the coast of the island. Start with a visit to Ribeira Grande, one of the most picturesque towns of the Azores, followed by a surprising view of some amazingly beautiful cliffs on the North coast. Then travel to the inner areas of the island to see the gorgeous waterfall of Salto do Cabrito, surrounded by wild vegetation. Drive to the top of Fogo Volcano to enjoy views of the most pristine and magical of the crater lakes of São Miguel. From the top of the mountain, enjoy the stunning views over a large portion of the island. After a tasty meal to restore your energy levels, head to Sete Cidades, to understand why this is considered by the postcard of the Azores. Enjoy views from two completely different perspectives over the famous twin lakes.  End the day in Mosteiros, on the western coast of the island, where the lava rocks have formed enchanting small islets and natural pools.

São Miguel West: Sete Cidades and Fogo Tour with Lunch

2. São Miguel West: Sete Cidades and Fogo Tour with Lunch

Your first stop on this full-day circuit will be at Pico do Carvão viewpoint. From here you'll be able to see the north coast (Ribeira Grande) and south of the island (Ponta Delgada) of São Miguel Island, against the backdrop of a vast expanse of volcanic cones between the incredible Sete Cidades volcano and the majestic 900-meter-high fire volcano. Continuing to one of the most emblematic viewpoints of São Miguel, in the Azores, Vista do Rei, known as the King D. Carlos and Queen D. Amélia. Time to continue your incredible all-day circuit into the massive volcanic interior of the Sete Cidades, considered one of the most incredible locations on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, amid epic paths and flanked slopes of hydrangeas. If you have never known what it is like to be inside a volcanic crater, then this is yet another reason to book this incredible full-day guided tour. Admire the Seven Cities Lagoon at a must-stop on the famous bridge that divides it, in the center of a volcanic crater. Breathe nature in the quiet parish of Sete Cidades and visit São Nicolau church. With a heart purified by nature, time to go to the Escalvado viewpoint, situated on a pyroclastic cliff, where from the top, you can admire the Monasteries and Ferraria, generated by the volcanic force of this area. Lunch break (lunch included). After lunch, time to return to head towards the second highest point of the island of São Miguel, at 900 meters, where the Pico da Barrosa viewpoint is located. From here you can see the north coast with its city of Ribeira Grande and the city of Ponta Delgada on the south coast of the island, as well as the entire amazing Lagoa do Fogo crater. Going down the north coast, the next stop will be at the Lagoa do Fogo viewpoint. Next up is the Caldeira Velha Environmental Interpretation Center for visiting or bathing in natural hot springs pools. (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense). The last stop of your full-day tour will be at the Pineapple Plantations to learn the whole process of growing pineapple in greenhouses and see for yourself why pineapple is considered the King fruit in Sao Miguel, and the Azores.

Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

3. Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Explore the volcanic landscape of the Sete Cidades, and the mountain scenery of the Lagoa do Fogo on a full-day sightseeing tour from Punta Delgada. Following a pick-up from your hotel, drive along a scenic road to the Vista do Rei viewpoint. Enjoy panoramic views of the blue and green waters of the two lakes in the crater of the Sete Cidades. Then, continue to different viewpoints before getting close to the banks of the twin lakes. Go to the Mata do Canário, and marvel at the unique flora of the natural park. Drive along the Pico do Carvão road past numerous small lakes, including the “Empadas Lakes.” Get multiple perspectives of the north and south shores of the island of São Miguel. Break for a lunch of typical Azorean food in a local restaurant in the city of Lagoa. Next, explore the city of Ribeira Grande with its unique historic center that dates from the 17th to 19th centuries. Ascend the Pico da Barrosa mountain at the end of your tour and discover the protected natural landscape of the Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). Marvel at the thermal pools, waterfalls, and different types of endangered plants of the area, before your return transfer to Ponta Delgada and a drop-off at your hotel.

From Ponta Delgada: Half-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

4. From Ponta Delgada: Half-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

Enjoy a half-day quad tour around Sete Cidades, the largest freshwater lake in the Azores, situated in the western part of the island of São Miguel. Starting from Ponta Delgada, discover the stunning landscapes of the island.   Experience the amazing view over the island at the Pico do Carvão viewpoint, with Ponta Delgada on one side, and Ribeira Grande on the other. Climb up into the mountains to see the Lagoas Empadadas, and the Serra Devassa. The mountains and lakes in this region play a very important role supplying water to the villages. Stop at Canário Lake for one of the best views of the Boca do Inferno trail.   On the way back to the city, you will see the majestic view at Vista do Rei, providing you with spectacular views of the magical blue and green colors that characterize the waters of these lakes.

Sao Miguel: Salto do Cabrito Guided Canyoning Experience

5. Sao Miguel: Salto do Cabrito Guided Canyoning Experience

Jump, slide, and rappel in beautiful canyons and natural waterfalls on this guided canyoning tour through the Salto do Cabrito canyon in Sao Miguel. Select a tour where you get to the starting point on your own or choose the option to be picked up at the activity provider's office in Ponta Delgada. Upon arriving at Salto do Cabrito, meet your guide and get set up with your well-maintained canyoning equipment. Take a short walk to the start of the canyoning trail, where you guide will provide you with a safety briefing. Rappel over 3 vertical waterfalls, with the highest waterfall being 15 meters in height. Walk through lush vegetation, pass thorugh a natural amphitheater, view the ruins of an old hydroelectric power station. Enjoy a trip with that has more technical canyoning, but still filled with adrenaline inducing moments. At the end of your experience return to the starting point of your tour.

São Miguel: Full-Day Tour to Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo

6. São Miguel: Full-Day Tour to Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo

The day begins with a pick up from your hotel or accommodation to visit a traditional pineapple plantation. See biological culture developed in greenhouses where it is possible to taste the pineapple's liquor. The journey continues on the west coast of the island, where you will enjoy the view over the newest and narrowest part of São Miguel and both coasts from the Pico de Carvão‘s viewpoint. Surrounded by the greenest vegetation, you will find in Vista do Rei's viewpoint the Sete Cidades volcanic complex. From here, you will see the famous blue and green twin lakes, as well as Santiago's lake, as viewed from the crater. A stop will be made in the picturesque Sete Cidades town where lunch will be served in a regional restaurant. In the afternoon, the tour goes along the coast enjoying the western landscape to arrive at Capelas, an ancient whaling village. Another stop at Pedras Negras‘s viewpoint to see the northern coast of the island. Continuing on the north coast, you will stop to visit the Ribeira Grande city and its historic center. As well, you will go to the Regional Liquor’s Factory and taste a variety of liquors. After that, visit Caldeira Velha, a natural reserve, to take an optional bath and enjoy the warm water from a waterfall. The last stop will be to take a look over the fantastic Lagoa do Fogo. Returning to Ponta Delgada going down by Pico da Barrosa, you will once more have the stunning view over the newest and narrowest part of the island.

São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

7. São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

This tour gives you the unique opportunity to get to know São Miguel island as much as possible during a short stay. The tour will start early going in direction to Vista do Rei where you can enjoy the view over the Sete Cidades Lakes. From there the tour will take you up into the mountains to enjoy the view over the gorgeous Lagoa do Fogo. Then you will venture back down the mountains for a visit to Caldeira Velha, a protected nature reserve, where you will have the option to enjoy a bath in the warm water from a waterfall. The journey will then take you to the viewpoint of Santa Iria where you can see the gorgeous northern coast. Following the coastal views, you will visit the Gorreana tea plantation and its factory, where you can taste two different kinds of tea: black and green. The tour will continue on where you will be able to enjoy the amazing view over Furnas’ valley, and a stop will be made at Pico de Ferro’s viewpoint. Arriving in Furnas Village you will see some volcanic phenomena, known as fumaroles. You will then be able to have some lunch and eat the delicious famous Cozido das Furnas (or Furnas Stew), a gastronomic dish of Azores. After lunch, a stop in the Furnas Lake to see how the famous stew is cooked, then take a walk near the beautiful lake. Returning to Ponta Delgada and passing by Vila Franca do Campo, the first capital of São Miguel, located in the south coast, a last stop will be made at Ermida da Nossa Senhora Paz to enjoy the view to the famous Ilheú da Vila Franca. The tour will finish at your hotel or at the harbor.

Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

8. Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

Explore the impressive landscapes and amazing panoramas on a hiking trip to São Miguel. In the area of “Lagos”, start the trail on a dirt road that will get considerably steeper for the first 3 km, at which point you will meet an irrigation channel that will lead you to Lagoa do Fogo. Wander along an easy path through the forest, where soon you will find yourself hiking inside the crater, with its massive walls of greenery all around you. Reaching the shores of this famous lake, take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch of regional products with a view. Setting off once more, continue upwards slightly for better views of the lake and then head back down to the starting point through another steep and winding trail, with views of the south coast and the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo along the way. Return to the starting point while enjoying another perspective of the south coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the bathing zone of Caloura, or Agua D’Alto Beach, where you can practice snorkeling.

Azores: Canyoning in Salto do Cabrito

9. Azores: Canyoning in Salto do Cabrito

Relax and disconnect in a beautiful setting in this morning canyoning adventure in Salto do Cabrito. Explore the natural side of São Miguel Island hiking and canyoning through lush forests and cool streams.  Meet the guide in central Ponta Delgada or arrange pick up from your accommodation and travel in an air-conditioned van 20 minutes to Salto do Cabrito. Hike 30 minutes to the stream where an experienced guide will give a security briefing and distribute all the equipment needed for the activity. Once suited and ready to go, spend a few hours exploring the pools and waterfalls. For those who dare, there will be an opportunity to finish the tour with a 4-meter jump. A zipline is also available for those who'd prefer flying to jumping.

Rabo de Peixe: Sperm Whale Sanctuary Expedition by Speedboat

10. Rabo de Peixe: Sperm Whale Sanctuary Expedition by Speedboat

Set out on a speedboat expedition to see sperm whales, the largest of the cetacean family. On this learning adventure, explore the northern coast of São Miguel and its diverse flora and fauna. Discover facts about sperm whales from marine biologists as you look for them in their protected habitat.  Your tour begins with a briefing from marine biologists at the yacht club on the northern side of the island. You'll find out about the different species you might see, learn about the whale watching history in the Azores, and understand how biologists and whale watchers respect the animals. Next, board the boat and set out for the Atlantic waters. Enjoy the beautiful coastal landscape and keep your eyes peeled for marine life. On the coast, you may see dolphins, Portuguese man-o-war, or turtles. As you enter the deeper waters of the sanctuary, stay on the lookout for sperm whales.  Finally, return to Rabo de Peixe Harbor. The team of marine biologists will tell you more about the species you just saw. Hear more about the cetaceans, their habits, and their routes to round out your tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ribeira Grande

Want to discover all there is to do in Ribeira Grande? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ribeira Grande

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 1,099 reviews

Starting our short vacation in Sao Miguel we do not imagine the real beauty of this place. The main person responsible for this revelation was our guide, Hugo Melo, from Green Vision Tours (www.greenvisiontours.com), who with his liveliness, willingness, knowledge, but above all with his love for his place, made us love his island too. The program we had agreed on was absolutely respected, and Hugo was very consistent in his services and in all his obligations and further on, making us feel like a friend. Thus our discussions extended to many other issues, which went beyond the information about the areas we visited, interchanging experiences and thoughts for our countries and socities, and for their common european future. Hugo, Thank you very much for what you showed us and taught us and we hope to meet again on your island and have your company again. Maria & Nikiforos, Greece

Absolutely brilliant tour! The amazing weather helped, but Eduardos was knowledgeable and was able to answer all bar one question the whole van tour had. We stopped off for a buffet lunch in a local restaurant of local dishes. The cheese and bread for starter mmmmmm st George cheese and smoke baked bread! Nothing was rushed and we all had a great time. Thanks eduardos for a great day!!!

Pure Azores did an amazing job - this tour was excellent. We were in Ponta Delgada for a short day - a stop on our cruise from Lisbon across the Atlantic. They tailored this tour to our needs - providing a shortened tour which matched our time on the island. Despite this, we had a wonderful tour and an excellent lunch and managed to see the highlights of the west side of Sao Miguel.

We had the best day on our tour! Edu was a wonderful guide. He was incredibly knowledgeable about Sao Miguel and he showed us the most beautiful areas! We loved everything, the lunch was excellent and so was the wine! Do not hesitate to book this tour!

Amazing quad-bike experience with spectacular views. Our guide was very friendly and helpful and also informative. Definitely worth the money! And what a beautiful island indeed!