*Please note this post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commission I make if you decide to buy something. See my Privacy Policy for more information.*

São Miguel Itinerary For Body, Mind, and Soul is for those looking for culturally rich, friendly islands for their self healing. In it, you’ll find information about 15th century churches, beautiful spas and hot springs, unique black sand beaches, sapphire blue and emerald green lakes, fertile prairies, volcanic cones and craters, and more. Welcome to São Miguel…the largest of the Azore Islands. Find out why Sao Miguel is the best kept archipelago secret in the Mid-Atlantic. 

The chain of Islands lie approximately 1,000 miles west of Portugal. São Miguel is 40 miles (65 km) long and 9 miles (15 km) wide. It has an area of 888 square miles (1,429 km) from Lisbon.

São Miguel famously boasts a varied natural landscape of mountains, coasts, lakes, and jungles. Prepare to be amazed by dramatic sea cliff landscapes, charming and nostalgic fishing villages, green pastures and breathtaking beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, São Miguel has lake-filled calderas (large volcanic crater).

  1. By Air:

João Paulo II Airport (PDL): The main airport on Sao Miguel Island is João Paulo II Airport, located near Ponta Delgada. Visitors can fly directly into this airport from various international destinations. Many airlines offer regular flights to Ponta Delgada, making air travel a convenient option. If flying is troublesome for you, practice proactive strategies to self-heal.

  1. By Sea (Ferry):

Ferry Services: Depending on your location, you may have the option to arrive at Sao Miguel Island by ferry. Ferry services connect the Azores islands, and some routes may include Ponta Delgada. Keep in mind that ferry schedules and availability may vary, so it’s essential to check in advance.

  1. By Cruise Ship:

Cruise Arrivals: Ponta Delgada is a common port of call for cruise ships exploring the Azores. Travelers can arrive at Sao Miguel Island as part of a cruise itinerary, enjoying the scenic beauty of the archipelago. Cruise schedules may vary, so it’s advisable to check with cruise operators for specific arrival dates.

This eight day itinerary will focus on the largest island, Sao Miguel. In it, you will explore lakes, cliffs, and jungles in Sete Cidades, Mosteiros, and Caldeira Velha. You can embark on a coastal hike along the cliffs of Ponta da Madrugada, and take in the stunning ocean views. There are many opportunities for mindful healing for those of us interested in trauma recovery.

All activities in this itinerary can be experienced on a guided tour, including hotel pick up and drop off, and lunch!I personally experienced this tour and wholeheartedly recommend it. The guides were eager to please and knowledgeable and I met wonderful people.

Want to sit back and relax? One of my favorite things to do in a new country is people-watch. The amount of insight into local village life to be gained just by sitting on a public bench in the city square or on a bus is incredible. Since Ponta Delgada offers an excellent public transportation system, you can vary your observation spots in any nearby town!

Feel free to swap a day of this itinerary to go on a whale watch or swim with dolphins.

  • Arrive at Ponta Delgada Airport in Sao Miguel.
  • Check-in at a cozy guesthouse or boutique hotel in Ponta Delgada, the island’s capital.
airport Ponta Delgada
João Paulo II Airport
  • Visit the Carlos Machado Museum to learn about Azorean culture and history.
  • Explore Ponta Delgada’s historic center, including the Portas da Cidade, a beautiful city gate.
Ponta Delgada
City center, the heart of Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel
Ponta Delgada
Sao Miguel during the Festa do Divino Espirito Santo, a festival rooted in medieval traditions and celebrations, including lively parades and large feasts. As part of the tradition, soup and bread are handed out to celebrants following a procession.

  • Take a scenic drive to Furnas Valley.
  • Hike around the Furnas Lake, appreciating the lush surroundings and geothermal activity.
  • Experience a relaxing soak in the Terra Nostra Garden’s natural thermal pool.
  • Enjoy a traditional Cozido das Furnas meal, cooked underground using volcanic heat.
  • For the ultimate relaxing experience, take a tour that includes hotel transport and lunch.

  • Embark on a coastal hike along the cliffs in Flores, taking in the stunning ocean views.
  • Take up surfing or go for a swim at the popular black sand beach at Mosteiros and connect with the emerald green waters, some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
  • Visit the iconic Portuguese town of Ribeira Grande, known for its beautiful architecture and vibrant arts scene.
view Sao Miguel for body mind and soul
Spectacular views while you hike the cliffs in Flores
view from Sao Miguel
Spend the evening strolling along the Ribeira Grande harbor, enjoying the local cuisine, and taking in the ocean views.

Beach in Sao Miguel
Popular Mosteiros Beach, close to Ponta Delgada

  • Spend a day at the iconic Sete Cidades crater lakes. Although the lakes are a popular attraction, hiking around the lake is quiet, allowing time for introspection and meditation. To increase your relaxing, book a tour that includes hotel pick up and lunch!
  • In the afternoon, take in sun and sites at the unique ocean geothermal spa and hot spring in the ocean at Ponta da Ferraria.
Sao Miguel Sete Cidades
Sete Cidades crater lakes
Ocean at Ponta da Ferraria.
  • Visit Gorreana plantation, learn about its rich history and commitment to sustainable farming practices
  • End the day with waterfalls at Salto do Cabrito
Sao Miguel attraction
Gorreana has been producing tea since 1883
waterfall Sao Miguel
Watch others climb (or try it yourself) at Salto do Cabrito
  • Revisit and explore Furnas to sample the abundance of spring waters from fountains along the streets where fresh spring water runs nonstop
  • Explore the adjacent public park and charming village and take some time to check-in with your inner world.
mineral water
Sample the fresh spring water that flows from several fountains in Furnas Village
country setting for your São Miguel Itinerary For Body, Mind, and Soul
Beautiful architecture and gardens in Furnas
  • Depending on your flight schedule, take some final moments to soak in Sao Miguel’s beauty or do some last-minute souvenir shopping.
  • Depart from Ponta Delgada Airport, taking the memories of your empowering Azores adventure with you.
  • Alternatively, why not extend your trip and go see more of the Azores? I recommend this amazing 2 week itinerary to Pico, São Jorge & Faial.

Final Thoughts On São Miguel Itinerary For Body, Mind, and Soul

Sao Miguel, the largest of the Azore Islands will not disappoint, both physically and spiritually. Throughout your journey, embrace the culture, beauty, and history of this archipelago. And if you want to expand your self-healing even further, why not take your therapy on the road with you?

Related Reading: