SÃO MIGUEL ,THE GREEN ISLAND OF THE AZORES
Ponta Delgada, the largest city in the archipelago
By Leila Monteiro Lins | Photos by Teresa Oliveira
Sao Miguel is the largest and most populated island of the Azores. It is known as “The Green Island”. The island covers 759 km2 and has around 150,000 inhabitants – 50,000 of them located in Ponta Delgada, the largest city in the archipelago. It has a mountainous terrain with craters from extinct volcanoes that were transformed into enormous lagoons and hot water pools.
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Furnas, in the municipality of Povoação, is home to a significant geodiversity such as a volcanic caldera with a lake fumarolic fields and various thermal springs. It is one of the largest thermal water sources in the world.
Regional Food / Cozido das Furnas: This is one of the most emblematic dishes of the island. Baked beneath the earth in the Furnas lagoon, it uses several ingredients placed in a pot that is buried next to the hot water springs. It takes five hours to cook the meal (codfish or meat) in the warm soil.
Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Seven Cities Lagoon) was voted one of the seven natural wonders of Portugal in 2010. There is a 12-km vocalnic crater to the west of Sete Lagoas with two crater lakes lying next to each other: the Green Lake and the Blue Lake.Lying inside a caldera is the idylic village of Seven Cities, with exquisite architecture, green pastures and a picturesque garden with magnificent trees, azaleas and hydrangeas. Photo by Antonio Cunha.
Caldeira Velha Caldeira Velha is a protected area classified as a Natural Monument of Sao Miguel Natural Park. This place has a thermal spring that feeds two natural pools with temperatures between 27ºC (80º F) and 38ºC (100ºF).
The Boca do Inferno viewpoint is a special one. Go up to the highest point at 1,000 metres and gaze at the breathtaking views of the Seven Cities Lagoon (Lagoa das Sete Cidades), the Canary Lagoon (Lagoa do Canário) and the Shallow Lagoon (Lagoa Rasa).
Where to Stay : Quinta de Nossa Senhora de Lourdes: www.quintalourdes.com
Hotel Vale do Navio: www.hotelvaledonavio.com
Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort: www.santabarbaraazores.com
Terra Nostra Garden Hotel: +351 296 54 90 90
Where to Eat: Caloura Bar-Esplanada: +351 296 913 283
Alcides: +351 296 629 884
Lagoa Azul: Tel: +351 916405896 +351 296915678
DISCOVER magazine’s press trip was hosted by the Azores Promotion Board.