This Sao Miguel itinerary summary is for a 7 Day adventure full of hiking, spectacular scenery, hot springs and amazing meals.
The Travel Honey itinerary covers what to do in Sao Miguel, including awesome hiking, spectacular scenery, hot springs and amazing meals. This itinerary includes all the São Miguel highlights, including Sete Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo, and Lagoa das Furnas and many tasty restaurants. This Azores itinerary is on-the-go in that there is usually at least one hike or active pursuit every day, but if you want a slower-paced trip, you can take more siestas and spend more time in the hot springs!
Download the full Travel Honey Sao Miguel 7 day itinerary to receive ALL the details for our favorite way to spend 7 days on Sao Miguel island (content below is a summary). The itinerary comes with an interactive Google Map and bonus regional guide provides you with everything to see, do and eat in each part of Sao Miguel!
And in case you want more information, you can check out our free Azores advice here, purchase the Travel Honey Sao Miguel Hotel and Lodging Guide here or simply ask us to plan your trip so you can explore the Azores islands like an expert!
Sao Miguel Itinerary Overview
Sao Miguel Itinerary – Day 1
Arrive in the main city, Ponta Delgada, and explore! Many visitors arrive on a red-eye, so we’ve included a couple breakfast places that open early. Most hotels will allow you to pay for breakfast even if you didn’t book the night before, and they will allow you check you in early if they have space. The map is a great way to wander Ponta Delgada, just click on the itinerary markers as you go to see what’s around you.
Sao Miguel Itinerary – Day 2
Day 2 is for Sete Cidades (the famous must-see double crater lakes) on the west side of the island. We’ve included our two favorite viewpoints, two optional hikes and things to see as you travel towards the west coast. Check the webcam before you go to Sete Cidades, it’s not worth visiting the viewpoints if it’s fogged in. Sete Cidades is also the name of the town in the valley below the lakes, which is worth stopping for if you have time. In the summer, the road between the two viewpoints and down to the town is lined with hydrangeas. We’ve included lunch options in Sete Cidades and Mosteiros (on the west coast where there are less touristy food options than in Sete Cidades). The west coast also has Termas da Ferraria, the amazing hot spring in the ocean. It’s still cool to see if you don’t go in – but if you’re game for a dip, check the tide and plan the rest of the day based on that, because you can only go at low tide. For transport, note that it’s about a 30 min drive from Ponta Delgada to the Miradouro da Vista do Rei viewpoint of Sete Cidades, and another 10 minutes to the town of Sete Cidades. It’s another 15 minutes to Termas da Ferraria then 40 minutes if you go straight back on the coast (add another 10 if you go back through Sete Cidades).
Sao Miguel Itinerary – Day 3
Head to Lagoa do Fogo, another crater lake that is often foggy – check the webcam and consider doing this visit whenever Lagoa do Fogo is clear! There’s a cool hot spring near Lagoa do Fogo, but if you’re trying to decide on one hot spring to do, the ones in Furnas are better in our opinion. If it’s hot out, you can head to a beach. For optional physical activities there’s the Quatro fábricas da Luz hike on the south coast and there’s also a hike you can do from the viewpoint down to the actual lake of Lagoa do Fogo. There are two ways to drive to Lagoa do Fogo from Ponta Delgada: north to Ribeira Grande then south or past Lagoa and then north. For transport, it’s about a 30 min drive from Ponta Delgada to Lagoa do Fogo and about 10 minutes to the Caldeira Velha hot spring. The Quatro Fabricas da Luz hike is about 25 min from Ponta Delgada and about 30 min drive from Lagoa do Fogo. Ribeira Granda is about a 15 min drive north of Lagoa do Fogo.
Sao Miguel Itinerary – Day 4
There are many amazing hikes along the north coast. If you’re not into a hike, check the Travel Honey regional guide for amazing viewpoints along the north coast to the east of Ribeira Grande. We suggest lunch on Santa Barbara beach, which is still enjoyable in all weather. Or head a little further up the coast to Praia dos Moinhos. If it’s not beach weather, wander around the town of Ribeira Grande or finish up any activities you missed on previous days in Ponta Delgada or at the Caldeira Velha hot springs if you missed them before. Our two favorite hikes along the north coast start about 40 minutes from Ponta Delgada.
Sao Miguel Itinerary – Day 5
Head to Furnas, which is quieter and quainter than Ponta Delgada. The town is on an active volcano, so the highlights are: hot springs, cozido (a stew baked in the ground!) and Lagoa das Furnas (a crater lake). You can either head north towards Ribeira Grande then down to Furnas, or along the south coast and then north, they’re about equidistant. Both the Terra Nostra Hotel and Furnas Boutique Hotels have amazing restaurants, but otherwise the restaurant choice is somewhat limited. There are three awesome hot springs, one at each of those hotels and Poca da Dona Beija. Both the Terra Nostra and Poca da Dona Beija are public, so they can get a lot busier on the weekend. There are two options for a hike. The “Grená – Pico do Ferro – PRC22SMI” hike starts from the viewpoint of Lagoa das Furnas (Pico do Ferro). “Lagoa das Furnas – PRC6SMI” is more of a flat walk that just goes around Lagoa das Furnas. Try to see the viewpoint of Lagoa das Furnas when the sun is out, you can see the green of the lake better. Also, go early or late if you can, because there can be tour busses. In terms of transport, Furnas is about 40 minutes from Ponta Delgada and 25 minutes from Ribeira Grande.
Sao Miguel Itinerary – Day 6
There are two waterfall options for this day listed in the itinerary. Option 1 is the South Coast. You can also keep driving up the coast to Nordeste, stopping at viewpoints and circle back along the north coast. They are no must sees, and it’s 3+ hours of driving, but you’ll be able to see a lot of the island in addition to the South Coast waterfall. Option 2 is on the North Coast, you’ll hike through the forest then can swim under this waterfall (you can skip the hike if you like). There’s also a hot spring at the end of this hike. For transport, Povoção is about an hour from Ponta Delgada. Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande is about 30 minutes from Ponta Delgada.
Sao Miguel Itinerary – Day 7
On your final day, we suggest visiting the tea plantations, because it’s easy to do after you check out of your hotel and doesn’t require showering like a hike or swim. It’s also a good option if the weather is bad. You can also head back to the beach or do more hiking. For transport, the tea plantations are about a 30 minute drive from Ponta Delgada.
To see the details about each activity, restaurant and hotel, along with nitty-gritty logistics tips, download the full Sao Miguel 7 day itinerary here. Happy travels! ✈️