São Miguel Island
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended São Miguel Island Nature & Adventure

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.

Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

3. 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.

São Miguel West: Sete Cidades & Fogo 8 hours Tour & Lunch

4. São Miguel West: Sete Cidades & Fogo 8 hours Tour & Lunch

Rediscover with us the legend you once made of the Seven Cities, an incredible creation of Nature, as it was the scene of a legendary history and its romantic forbidden love, between a princess and a shepherd, who rejected by the king, made the two lovers, with their tears, formed the two lagoons, located inside the volcanic crater of Sete Cidades, where is the blue and green lagoon, with the colors of the eyes of the two lovers, as well as the quiet parish of Sete Cidades, with 800 population. 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 and very relaxing will be at 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). Visit to the Historic Center of Ribeira Grande. 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. This will undoubtedly be the best 9 hours of vacation in Sao Miguel, Azores, after a full day visit to the Seven Cities and Lagoa do Fogo (West Circuit).

Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

5. Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

After either gathering at the meeting point or being collected from your accommodation, you will make your way to Parque da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, located in the north-east part of the island. It takes around 45 minutes to drive from Ponta Delgada. The half-day tour takes approximately 3 hours. During this time you will have the possibility of doing rappels, jumps, slides and rock slides. The highest rappel will be 15 meters, with the highest jump being around 6 meters. There will be some time for the equipment distribution with the help of your guides, before you take a short hike in order to approach the stream followed by a security briefing. On average it is about a 20 to 35-minute hike, depending on the pace of the group. Throughout the full-day option you will stop for a picnic, later finishing the tour by returning back to town by car.

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

6. 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: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

7. 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.

Furnas: Night Thermal Pools & Food Experience

8. Furnas: Night Thermal Pools & Food Experience

For many years now, people have come from near and far to soak in the therapeutic hot springs of Furnas, a must do on many people's bucket list - this tour is designed to make sure you get that and so much more. This tour takes place at night when it is peaceful, and the air temperature is adequate for this kind of magical experience. After a pick up from your accommodation in Ponta del Gada, you will be taken to the iconic thermal pools, Poça da Beija. This experience will start at the end of the day until around midnight, be prepared for the best evening of your trip. Before visiting the thermal pools, you will visit a place where local cooks prepare the famous 'cozido' (stew). Your dinner will be truly memorable as you feast on a Portuguese stew cooked in pots, dipped into the floor as they cook for several hours in volcanic heat. In addition to this, you can admire the Caldeiras das Furnas, multiple boiling water and mud springs and mini-geysers. You can even try the mineral water or have a cup of local tea using the natural hot water.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

9. São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on a guided tour by van. Discover the hot springs at Furnas, the waterfall at Ribeira dos Caldeirões, as well as the remote rugged beauty of the Nordeste region. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the northern coast of the island until you get to the Santa Iria Lookout, with a spectacular, ample view of the north coast in both directions, before continuing to Furnas. Find yourself in Furnas and admire a spectacular panoramic stop to gaze over the lake and town. Descend where you will be given the choice of visiting the geothermal fields and tasting the sparkling waters, or bathing in the hot springs, for an additional fee. Next, discover a traditional way of cooking as your lunch of cozido (stew) is pulled from the warm volcanic soil. In the afternoon, continue the journey eastward, with a stop at the charming waterfall of Ribeira dos Caldeirões.  Explore Nordeste, the most unexplored and rural part of the island. Visit two amazing lookouts over the high cliffs that characterize the East coast of São Miguel, before returning to Ponta Delgada.

São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

10. São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

Discover the whale population of the Azores Islands on a boat cruise along the northern coast of São Miguel. Observe these majestic giants of the ocean in their natural habitat, at a respectful distance. Set off from the fishing village of Rabo de Peixe on the north coast of São Miguel. Explore the sea north of the island, known for its strong tides and whale population. Explore on a semi-inflatable craft, and observe the whales from a respectful distance so as to not disturb the whales. With the help of your onboard spotter, identify the whales as they breach the ocean surface. Be amazed by their grandeur and grace as the whales frolic in the ocean. See their gigantic tailfins, and hear the sound of the blowholes. As you cruise through the ocean, learn about the behavior and feeding habits of the whales with your expert crew. Afterward, return to the port in Rabo de Peixe.

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What people are saying about São Miguel Island

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,131 reviews

Philip is an amazing guide, super knowledgeable about the island's history and nature and eager to make the tour comfortable and unforgettable for his guests. There were just the 4 of us in a 4wd car and he took us to the nicest viewpoints and stopped whenever we wanted to take a picture.

Friendly, helpful, and informative guides, and the tour was in English. We saw a group of bottlenose dolphins and then sperm whales. I went as the only solo traveler on board among mostly couples and groups of three and enjoyed my time. Recommend.

Great trip - very fast fun boat, responsible guides who clearly enjoy what they do. Saw dolphins and sperms whales - and beautify scenery!

It was great, we even had some extra time so he took us to a pineapple plantion!

Stellar tour—great guide, amazing sights, and a little adrenaline!