Discovering the Enchanting Beauty of Sao Miguel: A journey to the Heart of the Atlantic

Spread the love

One of first stops of my European journey was Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel.  Sao Miguel is part of the Azores, a group of islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  I was not familiar with the Azores and wasn’t sure of what I would encounter, but I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to spend some time there since this is one of the most beautiful places I have seen and not only would I go again, I would spend more time there. 

Sao Miguel has a rich history and culture, dating back to the 15th century when the Portuguese first discovered the Azores. The island is home to a number of historic sites and museums that offer a glimpse into its past.

One of the most important historic sites on the island is the Forte de Sao Bras, a 16th-century fortress that was once used to defend the city of Ponta Delgada from pirates and other invaders. Today, the fort is home to the Azores Military Museum, which showcases the island’s military history.

If you interested in religious history, the island is home to a number of beautiful churches and chapels. The Igreja do Santo Cristo is one of the most important churches on the island, known for its beautiful Baroque architecture and the annual Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, a religious festival that attracts thousands of visitors each year.  We were able to visit the chapel in Sete Cidades.  It is a reminder that as much as life has changed, there are times life has not changed at all.

The island is also home to a number of museums, including the Carlos Machado Museum, which showcases the island’s natural history and cultural heritage. The museum features a variety of exhibits, including fossils, minerals, and traditional Azorean crafts.  We didn’t have time for any of th museums since we wanted to spend time outdoors.

Another popular activity is whale watching. The Azores are one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins, and there are a number of tour operators on Sao Miguel that offer whale watching excursions. Visitors can see a variety of species, including sperm whales, humpback whales, and bottlenose dolphins. I am not a huge fan of whale watching if I have then opportunity to explore local history and culture, which is what we did.

For those looking for a more relaxing experience, the island is home to a number of hot springs and thermal baths. The Caldeira Velha is a beautiful natural hot spring that is surrounded by lush green forests. Visitors can soak in the warm waters and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Sao Miguel is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with a variety of activities to enjoy. One of the most popular activities is hiking, with a number of beautiful trails that offer stunning views of the island’s natural beauty. its unspoiled nature and its lush, green and magical beauty are a must see.  When we reached Sao Miguel, we took a bus up to the mountains and volcano. This is where we spent a lot of our time. 

The Sete Cidades Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails on the island, taking visitors through the stunning Sete Cidades crater. The trail offers breathtaking views of the crater’s twin lakes, as well as the surrounding forests and hills. We were able to walk on a volcano.  The town of Sete Cidades is charming and offers a glimpse into the past. I don’t think that the city has changed much over time. It is quiet, pastoral, and tranquil.

The crater lake is blue and green and the color based on how deep the lake is and how it reflects the vegetati0on.  However, more chanming is the myth associated wiht the lake.  The myth of the crater lake in San Miguel Azores is known as the legend of Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Lake of the Seven Cities). According to the legend, there were two lovers, a princess, and a shepherd who were forbidden to be together. The princess was promised to a wealthy nobleman, and the shepherd was from a poor family. The two lovers decided to meet secretly at the top of a mountain, where they prayed to the gods to allow them to be together forever. The gods heard their prayers and created two lakes, one blue and one green, where the lovers could be together. The two lakes are said to represent the eyes of the lovers, one blue and one green. The legend also says that the two lovers turned into two volcanoes, which are now known as the Sete Cidades (Seven Cities) mountains.

After an invogorating hike and time to soak in some of this incredible landscape, we took ourselves to the hotel bar in the city of Ponta Delgada.  It was time to enjoy some wine and reflect upon the day’s adventure.  While the islands are not typically known for their wine production, Sao Miguel does have a small but growing wine industry.

The volcanic soil and mild climate of the Azores make it an ideal location for wine production, and there are a number of vineyards on Sao Miguel that produce high-quality wines. The most common grape varieties grown on the island are Arinto, Verdelho, and Terrantez.

These wineries use the volcanic rocks to warm the ground from approximately 7 a.m to 9 p.m and then the rocks retain the hit during the night to keep the vine and grapes warm. Stone walls are built to protect the vines from winds. This eliminates the use of greenhouses. Another interesting factor to the flavor of the grapes is the salty sea air and the volcanic soil.

One of the most famous wineries on the island is the Pico do Refúgio winery, which is in the north of the island. The winery produces a variety of wines, including white, red, and sparkling wines, and offers tastings and tours for visitors.

Another popular winery is the Adega Açoriana winery, which is in the center of the island. The winery produces a variety of wines, including a popular Verdelho, and offers tastings and tours for visitors.

In addition to these wineries, there are a number of smaller vineyards and wineries on the island that produce high-quality wines. Many of these wineries are family-owned and offer a unique and personal experience for visitors.

After our exploration of the island, we stopped at a hotel near the harbor for a glass of local wine. We tried the Vinha Centenaria Branco from th Azores Wine Company and the Terroir Vulcanico Terrantez from Cooperativea Vitivinicola Ilha Do Pico.

While wine production is not a major industry on Sao Miguel, the island does have a growing wine industry that is worth exploring. So if you are a wine lover, be sure to visit some of the wineries on the island and sample the unique and delicious wines of Sao Miguel.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: