This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in São Miguel Island. To help you make friends with São Miguel Island before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
São Miguel Island is the biggest island of the archipelago of Azores in Portugal and has a very good climate that is very inviting for tourism all year -- the temperatures varies between fourteen and twenty-six degrees Celsius. Ponta Delgada, the capital of the island, is where most people live. São Miguel is well known for its cuisine, exotic fruits (pineapple and passionfruit -- used also to make amazing liqueurs) and beautiful landscapes (green fields full of sheep, lakes located in the craters of old volcanoes, and an amazing shore where you can practice a lot of water activities including surf, whale watching, and fishing).
São Miguel has a lot of outdoor activities to offer -- there are a lot of walking trails, one of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful contrasts of landscapes (green fields and volcanic areas with lakes and craters); as well there are lots of water activities like canoeing, fishing, diving, whale watching, and surf and body boarding (the best waves are off the north coast).
You cannot miss eating the typical dish in Azores, "Cozido das furnas," a dish cooked with the heat coming out of the earth (it takes around five hours to be ready). You can also choose from a variety of fish dishes, well known for their freshness. For dessert, you can have the famous "queijadas" (custards) from Vila Franca do Campo -- a delight for your stomach.
If you have more than a few days of vacation, it's worth visiting the other islands in the archipelago -- Terceira, Santa Maria, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, Graciosa, Flores, and Corvo. You can visit the other islands by boat, but in summer (high season), check the schedules and book in advance.
There aren't so many hostels in São Miguel, so it's better to book your accommodation in advance. São Miguel's hostels are normally cheap, clean, and quiet places; mostly, the hostels in São Miguel are really small places run by a family, so expect a friendly, helpful reception and a nice stay!
Written by local enthusiast for São Miguel Island hostelsGrace