Ponta Delgada, the capital of this autonomous region, is the gateway to the island of São Miguel, known as “Green Island” because it’s got enough rolling hills and verdant plains to excite any nature lover. Besides all the potential for hiking, biking and climbing, a tour of the island’s western region rewards any visitor with the stunning volcanic crater lakes of Sete Cidades.
The cities of Nordeste, Ribeira Grande, Vila Franca do Campo and Povoação are also worthwhile stops, while the coastline’s dramatic views take in both sheer cliffs topped with little fishing villages and sandy beaches. Another highlight is its geothermal attractions – natural hot springs with bubbling water and burping mud in the town of Furnas, or thermal pools at Terra Nostra Park, where the local “Cozido das Furnas” stew is slowly baked in a volcanic crater.
In short, nature lovers or those in search of a more unusual holiday destination are certain to adore the Azores.