My 3 favourite hikes on São Miguel (the Azores)

Which hikes shouldn’t you miss while being on São Miguel? The main island of the Azores offers beautiful hiking routes, nature, and lakes. I share my favourite hikes and give tips on how to reach them

Lagoa do Fogo on the Azores

The Azores are a Portuguese group of nine islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The main island is São Miguel with its capital Ponta Delgada.

Lagoa do Fogo

The Azores are a popular spot for swimming, whale watching, and of course hiking. In general, you can hike all year long but the best time to do so is from June to October. During these months there are the fewest rainy days. In addition, you can see the famous hydrangea flowers, especially between June and the beginning of August.

1)      Download an offline map or bring a paper map with you to stay on track along the way. If you have trouble reading the map or just have a lousy orientation, you can also use GPS. But then you should bring a fully charged power bank to recharge your cell phone. Both, GPS but also taking photos and videos (the landscape is really
stunning) drains your battery quickly.

2)      Make sure to bring enough water (a rule of thumb is around 1 litre for 2 hours) and some provisions for all hikes because there will be no places to buy food on the way.

3)      Bring a rain jacket! The weather in the Azores can change quickly and it is always good to have some extra protection against rain and wind

Public transport

If you want to use public transport make sure to check the timetables beforehand and try to plan your hikes according to the departure times of the bus. Especially in the shoulder season, there are sometimes only leaving around three buses a day, depending on the place you want to go to. Alternatively, you can also use a taxi to eighter bring you to or take you from the hiking spots. Usually, the taxi drivers have fixed prices on the most common routes as between Sete Cidades and Ponta Delgada.

Lagoa do Fogo
Hike from Mata do Canário to Sete Cidades

Sete Cidades | PR 04 SMI | 11.8 km (7.33 miles) | 3 hours | medium

Two-story aqueduct

The hike is starting at a parking slot (37° 49’ 54.27’’ N | 25° 45’ 10.79’’ W) which is only accessible by car or the yellow bus (Hop-on-hop off-bus, only during the high season) but not by public transport. You can also use a taxi to bring you to the starting point. I paid 15 € (16 US) from Ponta Delgada. After just a few metres, you will leave the streets and cars behind you to enjoy the silence of nature. One of the first highlights is the two-story aqueduct to the right side which is more than 100 years old.

The first incline follows in the direction of Pico da Cruz with a height of 845 m (2772 feet). Around one hour later, you will find the viewing point Miradouro da Cumeeira to have a great look over Lagoa Azul. If you continue to follow the trail, you can decide to end the way in Sete Cidades or continue to the viewing point of Miradouro do Vista do Rei (see hike number 3). 

I actually read the trail is really popular in summer (I was in late autumn) so be aware of other tourists. You should probably try to start your hike a little earlier.   

Here you can find the flyer on the homepage of visitazores.

Hike to Lagoa do Fogo

Lagoa do Fogo | PRC 02 SMI | 11 km (6.84 miles) | 4 hours | medium

The starting point is in Pico which is only accessible by car and starts at a parking lot. If you want to go there by public transport, you can take the bus between Ponta Delgada and Vila Franca and get off at the bus stop Água d’Alto. From here you have to walk up to the starting point of the hike, which will add approximately 4.2 km (2.61 miles) to the hike.  

Be aware that many seagulls live around the hiking trail. Especially during the breeding season in April and May, the birds can try to chase off hikers. I never heard of an actual attack, but the seagulls were really loud and flying low. But the view is totally worth the extra thrill. Lagoa do Fogo is the highlight of the hiking trail.

Since this trail is popular during the high season in summer, so you should start early in the morning to enjoy your hike.

Here you can find the flyer on the homepage of visitazores.

Street up to Lagoa do Fogo

❗️ Tip: If you come from Ribeira Grande and follow the serpentine up to the parking slot, you can also hike down to the lake and walk around it. But there is no public transport, you will need to take a car or taxi to get there. I paid 20 € (22 US) for a taxi from Ribeira Grande. 

Hike from the Viewing Point Vista do Rei to Sete Cidades

Sete Cidades | PR 03 SMI | 7.7 km (4.78 miles) | 2 hours | easy

The hike starts at the viewing point of Vista do Rei which is accessible by car. In case you want to use public transport, you can take the bus to Sete Cidades and turn your hike into a circular route. This extends the hike to a total of about 12 km (7.46 miles).

The path follows the crater ridge: On the right side you can see Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul as well as Caldeira Seca, on the left side you have the ocean and west coast. 

The hike ends in Sete Cidades from where you can take the public bus back to Ponta Delgada.

Here you can find the flyer on the homepage of visitazores.

You have read the blog post My 3 favourite hikes on São Miguel (Azores) on My Travel Journal-Blog.

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