• Menu
  • Menu
Entspannen auf der Azoreninsel Sao Miguel, Bild: peresanz / shutterstock

Sao Miguel – the largest island in the Azores

The beautiful island of Sao Miguel is located west of the European mainland in the Atlantic Ocean. It belongs to the archipelago of the Azores and is the largest of these 9 islands with about 750 square kilometers.

Sao Miguel, like all Azores islands, belongs to Portuguese territory, but is part of the autonomous region of the Azores. São Miguel is divided into six districts: Lagoa, Nordeste, Vila Franca do Campo, Ribeira Grande, Povoacao and Ponta Delgada. The latter district is also the name of the capital of Sao Miguel.

History of Sao Miguel

After this paradisiacal island was discovered between 1427 and 1431, it was opened up by Gonçalo Velho Cabral around 1440. The first settlers all came from Portugal, but they were followed by Jewish settlers, as well as French and English. In the following years, the economy and population of Sao Miguel grew.

But in October 1522, a momentous earthquake destroyed the then capital Vila Franca do Campo, and in 1546 the city rights were handed over to today’s capital Ponta Delgada.

In the centuries that followed, Sao Miguel experienced repeated economic booms, for example through the export of oranges, pineapples, tea, tobacco and African hemp, which is needed for the production of CBD.

Nowadays, many Azorese live mainly from tourism.

Geological features

Sao Miguel
View of Sao Miguel, Image: Homo Cosmicos / shutterstock

Even today, there is active volcanism on Sao Miguel, which manifests itself, for example, in the Furnas Valley in the form of sulphurous and iron-rich thermal springs. About 10,000 years ago, volcanism joined the once 2 divided island together. The western part consists mainly of the collapse crater Sete Cidades, the eastern part of the Serra Agua de Pau massif. This wonderful geology can be explored on various hiking trails in the hinterland.

See also  The most beautiful sights in Zagreb

Special features of Sao Miguel

Culture, food and experiences, Sao Miguel is rich in all of these, so what can’t you miss?
The cuisine is mainly characterized by fish dishes, the Azorese give their fish dishes a special touch through special preparation and exotic spices. Another highlight is the pineapple, it is an export hit of Sao Miguel and therefore always fresh.
Furthermore, the Azores are the optimal place for whale watching, so close to whale watching is hardly possible in any other place. The Azores island is also a true paradise for water sports enthusiasts, thanks to warm water temperatures and great waves!

Sights and great places in Sao Miguel

  • Cape Ponte do Arnel, São Miguel
    Cape Ponte do Arnel, Sao Miguel, Image: Ana del Castillo / shutterstock

    Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde: the blue and green lagoons at Sete Cidades are a real feast for the eyes, especially from above! Even if you are a bit comfortable, you can enjoy the great view at the viewpoint Vista do Rei, which is located directly on the road. Between the two lagoons there is also a bridge that you can walk over. The great view is definitely worth it!

  • Cape Ponta do Arnel: south of Nordeste, at a small fishing port, is the beautiful Cape Ponta do Arnel with a lighthouse. From there, the blue sky flows into the steel-blue sea – it’s breathtakingly beautiful. The cute little fishing village also invites you to dream.
  • Old town of Nordeste: The small town of Nordeste is located in the northeast of the island of Sao Miguel. Above all, however, it impresses with its pretty little old town, but also with the Ponte de Sete Arcos. As the name suggests, it consists of seven arches and runs directly towards the central square of the city.
  • Black beach: probably the most beautiful but also the longest beach on the whole island is the Praia de Santa Bárbara. The black beach is not only visually impressive, but the roaring waves also attract surfers. It is not for nothing that international surfing competitions take place here. The great beach is rounded off by a beach bar.
  • Ponta Delgada: the capital of Sao Miguel is really a beautiful town! Walks along the harbour promenade or through the old town or a visit to the Forte de São Brás – Ponta Delgada castle offers many possibilities. The old town offers various sights such as churches, monasteries, squares, gates and the town hall!
    If you want to relax a little while walking through a park, then we recommend the Gentlemen Gardens, which are various gardens and parks.
    There you can find plants from a wide variety of regions and countries, but also ponds, grottos and bridges.
  • Piscina da Boca da Ribeira: in the Ribeira da Guilherme river valley in the north of Sao Miguel lies the seawater swimming pool Piscina da Boca da Ribeira. The pleasant waters of the Atlantic invite you to linger and relax!