Protected Landscape of the Sete Cidades Lake
One of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, it showcases the Green and Blue Lakes, which according to legend, were formed from the tears of a shepherd and a princess who shared a forbidden love. These lakes can be seen from the Vista do Rei (King’s View) Lookout, named after King D. Carlos and Queen D. Amélia to celebrate their visit to the island in 1901.
Dating back to the nineteenth century, they include the António Borges Garden, named after the greatest Azorean landscape architect, and the José do Canto Garden, which has rare collections of plants.
Ponta da Madrugada and Ponta do Sossego Lookouts
Located in the municipality of Nordeste, these are prime locations to see the sun rising.
Environmental Centre of the Azores Bullfinch
Coordinated by the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds, it promotes the preservation and rehabilitation of endemic fauna of the SPA (Special Protected Area) of the Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme, especially for the protection of the Azores Bullfinch.
Microbial Observatory of the Azores
Microbial Observatory of the Azores (OMIC) is part of the regional network of science centres, which seek to promote scientific knowledge and access to technological innovations.
Terra Nostra Park
One of the most beautiful gardens in Europe, it features a thermal swimming pool and more than 2,000 different trees.
Ribeira dos Caldeirões Park
The Ribeira dos Caldeirões Park corresponds to a landscape valuation project that aimed at using for tourist purposes a set of water mills and the whole structure of paths that existed here, seeking to create an in loco museum.
Sul Mosteiros Tidal Pools
Bounded by rock structures forming natural pools, this bathing area is located in the parish of Mosteiros on the north coast of the island of São Miguel and forms the northern boundary of the parish.
José do Canto Garden
The José do Canto Garden, with entrance from the street of the same name, is situated just north of the historic centre of Ponta Delgada and is opened to the public daily despite being a private garden.
D. Beatriz do Canto Park
The D. Beatriz do Canto Park (formerly known as the Park of Myrtles) was installed in the wet streambed of the Myrtles Stream that crosses the parish of Furnas.
Picturesque Garden/Plantations on the Azul Lake Shore
Occupying the south-western shore of the Azul Lake of Sete Cidades, in the west tip of the island, the Picturesque Garden is the remaining element of an old extensive wood.
Viewing Point of the Ponta do Sossego Garden
Part of the many viewing points of Nordeste, which are known for being carefully landscaped, the Ponta do Sossego Viewing Point is the most iconic of them all. The gardened area covers about 13,000 m2 distributed in terraces located at different altitudes.
Antero de Quental Garden - Ponta Delgada
The Antero de Quental Garden, named after the great romantic poet and thinker, has as its the centrepiece the monument in honour of this poet from São Miguel, and develops along large curved lines framed by the walls and the surrounding streets.
Garden of the University of the Azores
The Garden of the University of the Azores belongs to the University of the Azores since 1976, date of its foundation. It is installed on the outskirts of Ponta Delgada on a long narrow strip of land with about 1.5 hectares.
Antonio Borges Garden
The António Borges Garden is installed on just over 2.5 hectares of land near the urban centre of Ponta Delgada, facing the Antero de Quental Avenue to the north.
Castle of St. Blaise
Commissioned in the sixteenth century to defend the city against attacks of corsairs and pirates, the Fort of St. Blaise was the most important fortification of the city’s defence system, strategically located to the west of the narrow strip of land after which Ponta Delgada was named.
Mother of God Chapel
Dating back to the nineteenth century, this chapel was built at the site of an old defence structure of Ponta Delgada. It has a bell tower; it is surrounded by a garden, and it provides a beautiful view over the harbour. It still showcases today the remains of walls, bastions and casemates.
Building with an eclectic architecture, the monumental Ribeiragrandense Theatre was designed by Ezequiel Moreira da Silva and Rego Lima and opened in 1933. A majestic building with an interior to match, it has served as a theatre and cinema in Ribeira Grande.
Cancela do Cinzeiro Recreational Forest Reserve
The Cancela do Cinzeiro Recreational Forest Reserve, formerly known as Pedreira Forest Park, is located in an area to the west of the Tronqueira Mountain Range.
Cerrado dos Bezerros Recreational Forest Reserve
The Cerrado dos Bezerros Recreational Forest Reserve, with an area of 10 hectares sitting at an altitude of 400-500 metres, is located in the parish of Ponta Garça near regional road no. 1 on the section linking Vila Franca do Campo to Furnas.
Água Retorta Recreational Forest Reserve
The Água Retorta Recreational Forest Reserve is located in a place called Mato Simão in the parish of Água Retorta, municipality of Povoação, sits at an altitude of 390 metres and has an area of 15 hectares.
Pinhal da Paz Recreational Forest Reserve
The Pinhal da Paz Recreational Forest Reserve is a large gardened wood with 49 hectares sitting at an altitude between 240 and 330 metres and located in the parish of Fajã de Cima, right in the middle of the island between Ponta Delgada to the south and Fenais da Luz to the north.
Reserva Florestal de Recreio da Fajã do Rodrigo
Located to the northwest of the parish of the same name, the Furnas Nursery occupies an area of three hectares and sits at an altitude ranging from 220 to 300 metres.
Ribeira Quente Village
A small fishing village with traditional fishing boats and a sheltered beach.
Vila Franca do Campo Islet
A nature reserve located approximately one km away from the coast, it features a salt water inlet inside. A popular spot for visitors during the summer.
Known as Milicias Beach or Big Beach, this is one of the most famous beaches due to its volcanic features, including its dark sand, typical of the island, and the entire surroundings that are cared for. The sea is relatively calm and pleasant and the beach is easily accessed.
Normally awarded the Blue Flag, the Pópulo Beach is very popular especially during the bathing season. It is still a place of excellence for bodyboard and surf lovers.
Água d'Alto Beach
Located in a pleasant bay, the Água d'Alto Beach is considered one of the best beaches on the island of São Miguel. This beach combines key attributes such as its wide stretch of sand and the clean and calm waters of the sea.
Fogo Beach (Ribeira Quente)
The Fogo Beach is formed by a stretch of sand in a bay where there are several submarine hydrothermal vents. This makes the seawater warm, an unusual event that contributes to make this beach quite popular.
Santa Bárbara Beach
This beach features a long stretch of sand marked by the sea that, in some areas, cuts out the sand in a way that it almost appears that there are two different beaches. Water conditions are also conducive to the practice of sports like surf and bodyboard.
Lagoa Bathing Area
This set of pools situated amid splendid volcanic rocks is very popular a bathing area both with local residents and visitors.
Ponta da Ferraria
Spa and bathing site with therapeutic water springs that have been used since the fifteenth century.
Santana Astronomical Observatory
Science centre that seeks to create a privileged space for the dissemination of topics related to astronomy.
Home of the lake and parish of Furnas, the valley’s typical smell of sulphur and the boiling, smoking hot springs are secondary evidence of volcanic activity.
Nossa Senhora da Estrela Church
Church dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Estrela, with three naves and a main altar with a carved retable. The Chapel of the Wise Men, the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and the choir deserve special attention. In the sacristy of the church, there is a small museum with a wood triptych with a Flemish painting representing St. Andrew, St. Barbara and St. Catharine. Father Gaspar Fructuoso, an important historian from the sixteenth century who was a vicar here, is buried in this church.
Espirito Santo Church
Church of the old Misericordia (charitable institution), it has one of the most impressive and original baroque facades of the Azores. The church showcases the image of the Lord of the Cross, which during Lent is taken in procession through the streets of the city, stopping at small baroque chapels that correspond to the various stages of the Passion of Christ.
Nossa Senhora das Vitórias Chapel
Situated on the west shore of the Furnas Lake reflecting itself in the water, it is an impressive neo-Gothic building that is unique in the whole archipelago. The temple was built in the late nineteenth century by José do Canto (1820-1898), a renowned Azorean with a special taste for literature and botany who is buried there.
Nossa Senhora da Esperança Convent (Senhor Santo Cristo Church)
The foundation of this Convent dates from the sixteenth century and was later changed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The chapel is richly ornamented with gold carvings and tiles from the eighteenth century, produced by the factory Real Fábrica do Rato.
Franciscan convent built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The church has an impressive Baroque facade with portal flanked by columns, while inside the retable of the centre altar in gold carvings.
São Jorge Church
Considered to be a Mother Church, it was built in the fifteenth century and has undergone several renovations, the last of which dates from the eighteenth century. It has an interesting facade and carved altars. It keeps statues from the old Franciscan convent.
São José Church
Part of the Franciscan monastery adapted to be a hospital in the middle of the nineteenth century, under the name of Our Lady of the Conception. Built in the first half of the sixteenth century, it got a new facade in the eighteenth century with a porch and three rows of windows.
São Pedro Church
St. Peter's Church is a building from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which took the place of an old temple from the sixteenth century. Inside, it features a statue of orgado from the sixteenth century. The ‘medieval’ parade known as Cavalhadas that takes place every year on June 29, St. Peter’s day, culminates in this church.
São Sebastião Church
Designed mainly according to the Late Gothic style, the main facade of Manueline style stands out for the royal coat of arms and the shield with the arrows of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian. It was later changed in the eighteenth century. On the south facade, there are two busts identified as King John III and Queen Catherine of Austria.
Todos os Santos Church (Jesuit College)
The construction of this church began in the eighteenth century; however, its facade was never completed due to the expulsion of the Jesuits. From all the Baroque details, the altar, the triumphal arch and the side altarpieces stand out.
The Canário Lake occupies the area that coincides with the caldera of the crater lake of the same name.
Portas da Cidade
One of the most iconic monuments of Ponta Delgada, the Portas da Cidade (City Gates) were built in the eighteenth century next to the old quay and then transferred to the Gonçalo Velho Cabral Square during construction of the seaside Prince Henry Avenue. Composed of three arches, featuring in the middle the royal and the city’s coat of arms, these gates are the city’s postcard.
Nordeste Nursery Recreational Forest Reserve
The Nordeste Nursery Recreational Forest Reserve is located on the outskirts of the town of the same name about 180 metres above sea level and has an area of four hectares. It was one of the first centres of forest services in the Azores.
Chã da Macela Recreational Forest Reserve
Located in the south slope of the Fogo mountain range with an uphill configuration (between 350 and 550 metres), the Chã da Macela Recreational Forest Reserve covers an area with 28 hectares. The Macela Viewing Point is located at the highest point.
Museu Carlos Machado
Founded in 1876 by Carlos Maria Gomes Machado, this museum is situated in the former Santo André Convent, initially assembling collections of Azorean Natural History (zoology, botanic, geology, mineralogy). Later, the museum extended its collection, including sacred art, regional ethnography, painting, tile art, sculpture, gold and silver work and old toys.
Volcanological and Geothermal Observatory
Dissemination centre for vulcanological and geoenvironmental sciences, which among others, deals with issues related to the geodynamics of the Atlantic.
Furnas Monitoring and Research Centre
The Furnas Monitoring and Research Center (CMIF) was created with the purpose of disseminating the history and evolution of the Furnas Volcano and the intervention of the Landscape Laboratory in the protection and recovery of ecosystems in the protected landscape area.
He was the winner of the "Premio Internazionale Architettura di Pietra 2011 - XII edizione" and finalist of the SECIL prize in 2013. It was the cover of the Spanish publication "El Croquis" and a prominent target in some architecture websites. In 2016, he won the "Tour Operator of the Year for Saint Michael" in the "Holiday & Tour Specialist Awards" category of the Luxury Guide Awards.
The CMIF functions as an observatory and center of integrated knowledge dissemination, assuming, from the outset, an important role in translating scientific language into forms of dissemination of knowledge, capable of captivating visitors for a better understanding of the particularities of geodiversity, biodiversity, hydrology and culture.
It includes an auditorium for workshops and seminars and a large covered area for exhibitions which, through interactive mechanisms, accessible tools for users, multimedia platforms and guided tours, lead visitors to discover the history of the Furnas Volcano, the lagoon ecosystem and the Landscape Laboratory.
In addition, there are adjacent outdoor areas, namely snacking and contemplation areas and a large green space with a privileged view over the lagoon, where visitors can enjoy the landscape and develop leisure activities.
São Miguel is the biggest island of the archipelago, with 62.1 km in length and 15.8 km at its maximum width. More than half of the Azorean population (137.856 inhabitants in 2011) occupies an area of 744.7 sq. km. Together with Santa Maria, located 81 km away, São Miguel is part of the Eastern Group of the Azores Archipelago. With an altitude of 1,105 m, Pico da Vara is the island’s highest point located at 37°48’34’’ latitude north and 25°12’40’’ longitude west.