Add dates
Things to do in

São Miguel Island

Our most recommended things to do in São Miguel Island

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

2. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. Once whales have been spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline.

São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

3. São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

Discover the life that lies deep in the Azores Sea from the comfort of this glass-bottom boat, with an expert crew and guide. Your adventure begins at Vila Franca do Campo Marina. A biologist will give you a briefing about the itinerary and then you can set off. Learn about the marine life, nature, and historical curiosities of Vila Franca do Campo. You can spot the unique sea life of the protected area and observe the seabirds and crustaceans that fill the islet landscape. The biologist will help you identify the species, but you can expect to see everything from colorful shoals of fish, to starfish, sea cucumbers, and underwater volcanic activity. When you want to cool off you can go for a swim and snorkel, and get closer to some of the wildlife you've been spotting.

São Miguel West: Sete Cidades and Fogo Tour with Lunch

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

First stop of this full-day circuit will be at Pico do Carvão viewpoint, from where we will 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. See for yourself the Santiago Lagoon, located in the Sierra Devassa, deep in a volcanic crater of the Sete Cidades massif, surrounded by verdant mountain cliffs and over different species of fauna and flora. 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 of the Seven Cities and the Lagoa do Fogo. 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 mts, where is located the viewpoint of Pico da Barrosa, from where 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.

Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

5. Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

Discover the diverse green vegetation, clear and fresh waterfalls and old water mills on this adventurous canyoning tour through the forest. Unless you choose the option with pickup from Ponta Delgada, your adventure starts at Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, one of the most popular natural areas in the Nordeste region.  The activity starts with you picking up your safety equipment, followed by a short walk of about 20 minutes. Once at the entry point to the stream, listen to a safety briefing.  Along the route there will be vertical challenges at waterfalls, which you will combat with the technique of abseiling. The highest waterfall is 8 meters in height. In between there are short walking sections, as well as a more playful area with a slide and jump of about 5 meters.

Sete Cidades: E-Bike Rental with GPS and Map Tour

6. Sete Cidades: E-Bike Rental with GPS and Map Tour

Discover impressive spots and wonderful panoramic views where most other vehicles cannot take you! With the freedom these self-guided E-Bike cycling tours offer, travel at your own pace and breathe the fresh air in the wonderful outdoors, passing through dirt roads, trails and parks with typical flora, fauna and geology of this region. Cycle through the quaint village and witness the local culture and traditions of this rural lifestyle. With different Itineraries to choose from, you’ll surely enjoy your ride through this emblematic location.

Lagoa do Fogo Half-Day 4WD Tour from Ponta Delgada

7. Lagoa do Fogo Half-Day 4WD Tour from Ponta Delgada

Explore one of the largest lakes in the Azores on a 3-hour tour of the Lagoa do Fogo by 4WD vehicle. After hotel pickup, first, stop at Pico da Barrosa viewpoint and enjoy panoramic views of Lagoa do Fogo. Surrounded by native trees and beautiful flowers, the lake is best accessed and appreciated by off-road vehicles, getting you to more remote and picturesque areas. During the tour, you will stop at a variety of interesting locations en route, with highlights including the Calderas of Ribeira Grande. See the fumaroles, geysers and a wonderful waterfall of the warm, iron water. Finally, visit the city of Ribeira Grande and taste local liqueurs.

From Ponta Delgada: Lagoa do Fogo & Hot Springs Private Trip

8. From Ponta Delgada: Lagoa do Fogo & Hot Springs Private Trip

Departure at 9 o'clock going straight to the local pottery factory 'Cerâmica Vieira', after that it's time to go to Lagoa do Fogo to see one of the most beautiful sights in the world. After that moment we will have a 1h stop in the hot springs of Caldeira Velha and then lunch. In the afternoon it is scheduled to stop at the only tea plantation in Europe 'Gorreana' and then 4 important stops in pinpointed viewpoints around the coast and on high land.

Vila Franca do Campo: Kayak Rental

9. Vila Franca do Campo: Kayak Rental

Paddle along the unique coastline of Vila Franca do Campo. Rent a kayak anytime you want — it's a perfect activity for the whole family. All experience levels are welcome, and all equipment is provided. The kayaks you will be renting are safe and comfortable, and very difficult to flip. This rental is valid for one hour per person.

Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

10. Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

Paddle along the beautiful coastline of Vila Franca de Campo. Choose between the morning or afternoon tour and embark on a kayaking adventure suitable for families with children. The level is appropriate for beginners and experienced kayakers alike. Your professional instructor will make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable. Get geared with the necessary equipment for your kayak tour. Then, receive a safety briefing from your instructor before heading out onto the waters. This tour takes you on a 4.5 kilometer stretch along the beautiful Vila Franca do Campo Islet. During the excursion, you may take a dip into the refreshing waters and try some snorkeling.

Frequently asked questions about São Miguel Island

What top attractions are a must-see in São Miguel Island?

Other Sightseeing Options in São Miguel Island

Want to discover all there is to do in São Miguel Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about São Miguel Island

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,575 reviews

Car rental prices were outrageous so my bf & I booked this tour instead, and it actually ended up being our favourite day in the Azores! We went to some very remote/underrated places that we would’ve have seen had we been driving ourselves because we didn’t know they existed. The whole experience is customizable depending on what’s important to you. Our guide Delfim was amazing. He was exceptionally warm and funny - we genuinely felt like we spent the day with a good friend. He was chalk full of knowledge of the history and geology of the island as well. While the private tour is more expensive than the group tours available, we felt that our experience with Delfim was well worth the extra cash as he went above & beyond to make our day incredible & we didn’t have to adhere to any strict timelines or plans. And of course, it is always nice to support a small business :-)

A truly brilliant evening and a late one getting home at just after midnight. This trip seriously surpassed my expectations. Eduardo was a super host sharing his vast knowledge and being very attentive to our group. My friend and I were blessed with a fabulous group totalling 7 from various English speaking countries and together we explored thermal pools and various volcanic landscape viewpoints of fiesty Furnas. The Cozido was a fantastic meal and vegetarians are catered for. Truly wonderful!!! Thankyou so very much INTO THE WILD team....

Eat lightly before going. Great trip in the zodiac to see dolphins and whales. Lower your expectations and just enjoy to be happy with what nature reveals to you. Great biologist on board.

A beautiful experience framed and tuned to perfection by our wonderful guide, Tomas!

Everything stated in the advertisement was true and then some!