3 Perfect Days in São Miguel: Your Ultimate Azores Adventure

Embark on a journey to São Miguel, where volcanic landscapes, enchanting gardens, and thermal waters promise an adventure filled with natural beauty and cultural wonders. Bonus - list of useful services and tips at the end.

Day 1: Ponta Delgada, Sete Cidades, and Piscinas da Ferraria
Morning - The Mystique of Sete Cidades

Start your journey in Ponta Delgada by getting a coffee and having a stroll around the old city centre. Travel to Sete Cidades for an exploration of its stunning volcanic crater and lakes. Rent a bike to traverse the lush trails or a kayak to paddle around the lakes. Make sure to explore the fascinating viewpoints: Miradouro da Boca do Inferno (the most famous on the island) and Vista do Rei (this is where abandoned Monte Palace Hotel is located). Alternatively you can do some hikes around the lakes, just choose the suitable one on Strava or Wikiloc.

Afternoon - Piscinas da Ferraria

At Piscinas da Ferraria, where volcanic activity warms the ocean waters, you can enjoy a unique bathing experience. Visit 1-2 hours before or after low tide for optimal conditions. This is a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the sunset, free of charge. The road is quite steep, but is completely doable on the van, there is a big parking next to the baths. You can always adjust the timeline according to the tide.
Evening - Sunset in Mosteiros

After your relaxing time at Piscinas da Ferraria, head to Mosteiros to see the sunset on the beach. This picturesque location offers stunning views as the sun dips below the horizon. There are few restaurants and beach bars to have dinner, or there is always a kitchen in our campers if you feel like cooking:)
Where to spend a night with a camper?

There are quite a few overnight parkings in Mosteiros, all our guests receive a google map with recommended places. Alternatively you can return back to the free camping of Sete Cidades or stay at Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado.

Day 2: Ilhéu de Vila Franca and Lagoa do Fogo
Morning - Visit to Ilhéu de Vila Franca

Begin your day in Vila Franca do Campo and take a short boat trip to Ilhéu de Vila Franca, a perfectly round volcanic crater filled with crystal-clear water. Known as the "Princess Ring," this idyllic islet offers excellent swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing opportunities. The islet is a protected natural reserve, home to various bird species and vibrant marine life. Plan your visit from 15 of June to 11 of October when the islet is open to visitors.

Afternoon - Hike Around Lagoa do Fogo

After returning from Ilhéu de Vila Franca, head to Lagoa do Fogo. The lake, set in a volcanic crater, is surrounded by lush forest and offers trails for all levels of hikers. The tranquil waters reflect the serene beauty of the Azores, making it a highlight of the island. If you are lucky and it’s not cloudy, you can enjoy the amazing views from Miradouro de lagoa de Fogo.

Evening - Caldeira Velha and Ribeira Grande

Don’t miss Centro de Interpretação Ambiental da Caldeira Velha - scenic nature preserve featuring lush vegetation, a waterfall & hot springs. Then you can head to Ribeira Grande area - to relax at Santa Barbara beach and find a perfect overnight spot.
Where to Spend the Night with a Camper?

There are plenty of parking spots around the Ribeira Grande area. You can drive around to find the one you like or use the Park4night app.

Day 3: The Charms of the East - Furnas and Nordeste
Morning - Tea plantations, Nordeste and Povoação Hidden Gems

Drive to Nordeste, known for its pristine landscapes. The road is curvy but offers really scenic views. On your way you can visit tea plantations of Gorreana and Porto Formoso. Make sure to come early as it’s getting really busy during the daytime. Then continue driving to Povoaçao. There are a lot of viewpoints on this road: Miradouro da Ponta do Arnel, Miradouro da Ponta do Sossego, Miradouro da Ponta Madrugada. If you like hiking, you can head to Faial da Terra to take a Trail to Cascata Salto do Prego and Salto do Cagarrão. You can search for more routes using Wikiloc and Strava apps.

Afternoon and evening - Thermal Wonders of Furnas

Head to Furnas to experience its famous hot springs. On your way you can also stop at miradouro de Pico do Ferro to have a view of the lake. In Furnas there are 2 thermal baths you can visit: the Terra Nostra Garden (closed after 16-30), which also features the beautiful garden and Poça da Dona Beija (open till late). The second one offers only the thermal baths but they are open till late in the evening.

Don’t miss the fumaroles of Furnas (park in the city), steaming vents in the earth that release geothermal heat, emitting clouds of steam and gases that infuse the area with a distinctive sulfuric aroma. You can also drink local mineral water in the park, just grab a glass or a bottle. Savor the unique "Cozido das Furnas," a local stew cooked by the heat of the earth, which offers a taste of the volcanic powers that shape this landscape.

Where to spend a night with a camper?

There is a calm parking spot in the city of Furnas to spend a night, close to everything. Alternatively you can go to miradouro de Pico do Ferro. There is also a camping in Furnas, open from July 1 to September 30 every year. Campervans can only park in the car park but can use the campsite facilities.

Useful services
Important Tips for Your Journey
Remember, wild camping is allowed under certain conditions. For more details, check out our article about camping in the Azores.

The weather can be quite unpredictable, so you might need to adjust your plans if it’s stormy. Bring clothes suitable for hot, cold, and rainy weather, and a wind and waterproof coat is strongly recommended. Be cautious when using the camper awning.

Expect to stop frequently for photos, as the scenery is breathtaking!

When driving a van through small villages, be cautious. Cars can be parked in awkward places. If the road is narrow, wait for locals to repark or help you pass safely.

Keep in mind the height of your van (3.10 meters). Never enter underground parking garages or automatic car washes. Be careful with manual car washes, as not all of them are high enough. When in doubt, it's better not to enter.

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