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Sao Miguel, Azores itinerary

Sao Miguel features some pretty amazing landscape and has some of the the most scenic hiking trails you can find! This island in the Atlantic Ocean is perfect for exploring and hiking some of the best trails in the Azores. Although there is plenty to see along the coast, hiking in Sao Miguel is the best way to experience the amazing views including ocean views, waterfalls, lakes, and even volcano craters. After spending 5 days in Sao Miguel hiking and exploring last summer, we’ve complied the top hiking trails in Sao Miguel, Azores you won’t want to miss!

Click here for a 5 day Sao Miguel Itinerary.

 

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

Helpful Tips: Don’t let the distance of Azores deter you from visiting. Sao Miguel is a budget friendly vacation. We booked our last trip to the Azores through Azores Getaway. They offer some amazing deals that include your airfare and hotel and usually a few tours. We were able to get our entire package for less than a flight booked on our own!

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Hiking Sao Miguel Azores

1
Salto de Prego My favorite waterfall in Sao Miguel! This moderate level waterfall hike is just under 3 miles roundtrip. The trailhead is located in Faial da Terra on the east side of Sao Miguel. It is a 1.5 hour drive from Ponta Delgada and a 35 minute drive from Furnas. Although a steep climb to the waterfall, the trail is very beautiful and the reward is beautiful. I recommend taking your time and enjoy the well-marked and maintained trail. Once you get to the waterfall, take a dip! I recommend hiking shoes and bringing your water shoes to avoid the slippery rocks & microfiber towel to dry off. Take the trail above the falls to explore the stream and a great view over the waterfall. On the way down visit the abandoned village of Sanguinho, at the end of the path. This waterfall would be a great place for a picnic as well.

Distance: 2.8 miles out and back (4.5 km)
Difficulty: Moderate (steep inclines)
Time: 2 hours
Recommended Gear: Hiking boots, swim suit, watershoes & microfiber towel

2
Lagoa do Fogo There are actually 2 different options on this hike. The longer 11km circular version takes you around the lake, while the other version just takes you down to the shoreline. We opted for the shorter version because we had other stops on our itinerary that day. There is a parking area at the Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo which is where you will find the trail descending down the shoreline. The trail is very steep with some switchbacks and steps and towards the end you have to climb down a ladder. The trail condition can depend on the weather recently so make sure you wear good sturdy shoes. Once at the shoreline, you can explore and really decide when you want to turn back at any point. We spent an hour exploring and admiring the crater lake. The climb back up to the top is the most difficult part of the trail, but stop along the way to catch your breathe and admire the views.

TIP: The weather can be very foggy at Lagoa do Fogo, so I’d save the hike for a nice sunny day as the lake really has a beautiful blue when the sun is shining.

Distance: 1.5 miles out and back (2.6 km)
Difficulty: Moderate (steep inclines)
Time: 1.5 hours (depends on how long you want to walk along shoreline)
Recommended Gear: Hiking shoes, sunscreen

Sao Miguel, Azores

Salto De Prego

Sao Miguel

Lagoa do Fogo

3
Lagoa do Congro This area is not as traveled as other locations in Sao Miguel, but only 20 minutes from Furnas, so it can be off the beaten path. This short hike takes you to a beautiful secluded green lake surrounded by lush forests. Look closer and you will see some small waterfalls! It only takes about 15 minutes to walk down to the enchanting lake. We relaxed on a rock at the waters edge and admired the enchanting area. We have read that this location is weather dependent and because you access it on a dirt road. With this in mind, plan your visit only if its been dry and obviously not raining that day. Also wear good shoes with traction because it can get muddy and slippery on the way back up.

TIP: I recommend doing the hike early if you want some time in nature by yourself. The earlier you hike to Lagoa Do Congro, the more likely you are to enjoy the experience in solitude.

Distance:  Unknown, although it only took us about 15 minutes down to lake
Difficulty:  Easy
Time: 1.5 hour
Recommended Gear: Hiking shoes

hiking in Sao Miguel

Lagoa do Congro

4
Boca de Inferno Boca de Inferno is the most famous viewpoint in Azores. The trail distance of 1.5 miles roundtrip is from the road. We parked and walked to the trailhead but you can drive the road and there is a parking lot at the trailhead. I thought the walk along the road was pleasant and you can detour and view the Lagoa do Canário along the way back. I would only pass the extra walking and park at the trailhead if you are pressed for time. Boca de Inferno is a small hike from this parking lot.

TIP: If you get up to the viewpoint and it’s cloudy just be patient and clouds will eventually break! It can also get windy so bring a jacket.

Distance: 1.5 miles out and back (2.4 km)
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1 hour (but plan on staying longer to admire view)
Recommended Gear: Sturdy shoes, wind jacket, drone

boca de inferno

View from Boca de Inferno

Sao Miguel, Azores

Lagoa do Fogo

5
Cha Gorreana There is actually a 2 mile roundtrip hike through the tea fields on the Cha Gorreana Tea Plantation, but the hike I am suggesting I can't seem to find any information on. When we arrived to the plantation, we thought we were heading out for the Cha Gorreana hike, however we took the wrong path. Instead of following the correct route (hey, I blame it on the jetlag!) we ended up following a trail that lead us under the road through a tunnel (see the picture below). From there, the hike was spectacular! Although the hike was only 1/2 mile long it followed what seems to be a water source for the tea fields. The area was full of fragrant flowers and old buildings that must of been used in the past for the plantation. The path ends with a small waterfall. Afterwards we did roam around a portion of the actual plantation trail to check out the fields and admire the ocean view. Make sure you also check out the tea plantation and sample some local green and black teas!
Cha Gorreana Hiking

Distance: 1 mile roundtrip (add additional 2 miles if you want to do the actual Cha Gorreana hike)
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1 hour (add additional 1.5 for Cha Gorreana hike)
Recommended Gear: hiking shoes, sunscreen, water bottle

Sao Miguel Azores hiking

Tunnel under bridge

Azores hikes

Old Tea Plantation Buildings

I really enjoyed hiking in Sao Miguel as it is really the best way to experience the beauty of this island. I hope these help you when planning your trip to the Azores.

For a complete Sao Miguel Guide and ways to save money head here. Also if you are planning a trip to the Azores, we recommend adding an few extra days and visiting Terceira.

-Nicholle

Hiking in Azores
Top Hikes in Sao Miguel

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