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São Miguel tours: 10 amazing guided tours for 2021

Are you looking for some of the best São Miguel tours? Then you have come to the right place. 

São Miguel Island is the largest island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores, a series of nine islands. São Miguel is famous for its large stretches of lush green land, majestic cliffs, sparkling lakes and beaches, and more.

There’s so much to do that you may want to book a guided tour to ensure that you can relax and let someone else worry about the logistics.

Here are some of the best guided tours you’ll be able to book in São Miguel:

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In a hurry? Our picks for the best tours in São Miguel

Overview of the best São Miguel tours

Here’s a comparison table of all the São Miguel tours that we cover in this post. Read on for a short description of all tours.

Best day tours from São Miguel

Duration Highlights Price
São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

Full day tour

  • Sete Cidades
  • Lagoa do Fogo
  • Gorreana tea plantation
  • Caldeira Velha hot springs
  • Taste Furnas Stew

$85.11 / €69.93

São Miguel West full-day tour with lunch

Full day tour

  • Sete Cidades
  • Lagoa do Fogo
  • Caldeira Velha
  • Pineapple greenhouse

$79.03 / €64.93

São Miguel East full-day tour with lunch

Full day tour

  • Furnas
  • Vila Franca do Campo and Senhora da Paz chapel
  • Taste Furnas Stew
  • Viewpoint Pico do Ferro
  • Ribeira dos Caldeirões waterfall
  • Lookout Santa Iria

$79.03 / €64.93

Furnas hot springs night tour with dinner

5 hours

  • Guided nature walk
  • Viewing point of Lagoa do Fogo
  • Bathe in the Poça da Dona Beija hot springs
  • Wath the caldeiras at night

$79.03 / €64.93

Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo Tour with Hot Springs

8 hours

  • Sete Cidades
  • Visit a pineapple plantation
  • Vista do rei viewpoint
  • Grota do Inferno
  • Sete Cidades
  • Lagoa do Fogo
  • Caldeira Velha
  • Salto do Cabrito waterfall
  • Santa Barbara beach

$72.95 / €59.93

Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

8 hours

  • Visit a traditional pottery
  • Villa Franca do Campo
  • Taste Cozido
  • Enjoy the view from Pico do Fero
  • Visit the Gorreana tea plantation and factory

$72.95 / €59.93

Full-Day Furnas Azores 4×4 Tour from Ponta Delgada

Full day tour

  • Discover São Miguel in a 4×4
  • See the islet of Vila Franca
  • Visit the geysers and lake of Furnas
  • If you want you can try the typical cozido dish

$72.34 / €59.43

From Ponta Delgada: Azores Northeast Full-Day Tour

8 hours

  • Visit the rugged Nordeste
  • Visit a few amazing viewpoints
  • Visit Ribeira do Caldeiroes
  • Visit the first Village of Sao Miguel

$91.19 / €74.91

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

3 hours

The chance of seeing dolphins and whales with a zodiac boat

$66.97 / €55

From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

3 hours

The chance of seeing dolphins and whales with a catamaran

$73.05 / €60

Best day tours from São Miguel

Sete cidades Sao miguel Azores Portugal
The iconic view of Sete Cidades on São Miguel island

São Miguel Island: Full day all-in-one tour

Highlights

The São Miguel Island full All-in-One Tour is the perfect way to experience the best of what the island has to offer all within 8.5 hours.

São Miguel is a beautiful destination for hiking, food, culture, and more.

You’ll start your tour by heading to viewpoints for the Sete Cidades Lakes and the Lagoa do Fogo. The Lagoa do Fogo is a stunning crater lake that you can see from higher up in the mountains.

You’ll visit the Caldeira Velha nature reserve where you will have the chance to bathe in hot water. You will also taste fresh tea at the Gorreana tea plantation, and try some traditional Azorean food at Furnas Village.

Your meal of Furnas Stew is included in the price of your tour ticket, it’s a traditional meat and vegetable dish. You can watch it being cooked in underground boilers with heat from the volcano.

From here, you’ll be able to see other aspects of São Miguel before you are dropped off at the harbor or your hotel.

Don’t forget your swimsuit and a towel if you want to enjoy the hot springs!

Includes

  • Pick-up and drop-off from your hotel in Ponta Delgada
  • Entrance Fees
  • A meal of Furnas Stew

Pros and cons

  • You can see the highlights of São Miguel in one day which makes it a great tour for those short on time
  • Your entrance fees are taken care of
  • English or Portuguese tour guide who can answer your questions as you go
  • Small group limited to 15 participants
  • For some people the tour might feel a bit rushed since you visit a lot in a short amount of time
  • Not wheelchair friendly

Conclusion

This tour is perfect for visitors of all ages and demographics.

If you don’t have the time to research and plan your short trip to São Miguel, this tour will show you all of the can’t-miss destinations.

The tour guides are also knowledgeable and make the tour fun and entertaining.

This is an excellent tour but if you’re able to reserve two days to explore the beautiful island of São Miguel we would encourage you to check-out the next two tours.

The combination of the East and West tour takes you to the same sights, as well as some extra, but it will feel less rushed because it is spread out over 2 days.  You will spend less time on the tour bus and will have more time to enjoy the enjoy at the many stops.

 

Price

$85.11 / €69.93

Check prices and availability:
São Miguel tour

Mosteiros Sao Miguel Azores Portugal
The Mosteiros rocks

São Miguel West full-day tour with lunch

Highlights

This guided tour offers the incredible opportunity to learn about local history and the most beautiful natural landmarks with the help of an expert guide.

If you are here for a short trip, this is the perfect way to make sure you aren’t missing any of the highlights on the West side of the island such as the view of Sete Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo, the hot springs of Caldeira Velha, etc.

One of the most unique stops on the tour is at a pineapple greenhouse.

Pineapples are a crucial crop to the people of the Azores and you can learn more about the fruit and how it is efficiently grown.

Even if you are staying for a while, it’s a great introduction to the best of what the beautiful island has to offer.

Includes

  • Lunch of traditional Azorean food, dessert, and coffee and a drink to pair with your lunch,
  • All entrance fees
  • A bottle of water
  • Pick-up and drop off within 5 km of Ponta Delgada city center

Pros and cons

  • You can see many highlights of São Miguel in one day which makes it a great tour for those short on time
  • Your entrance fees are taken care of
  • The tour is led by a knowledgeable tour guide who can answer your questions as you go
  • The guide speaks Portuguese and English
  • You get to enjoy a delicious full lunch paired with a drink and followed by dessert!
  • Small group limited to 15 participants
  • Not wheelchair friendly

Conclusion

This tour is perfect for visitors of all ages and demographics.

You can learn about the history and culture of the island from a knowledgeable, humorous, and friendly tour guide.

Price

$79.03 / €64.93

Check prices and availability:
São Miguel West Tour

The Nossa Senhora Da Paz chapel on São Miguel Island
The beautiful chapel of Nossa Senhora Da Paz also offers an amazing view over the island

São Miguel East full-day tour with lunch

Highlights

This guided tour takes you on a trip through the east side of São Miguel.

You’ll enjoy the stunning coastlines and beautiful lush environment as well as some of the island’s fascinating history.

The historic town of Vila Franca do Campo is one of the most interesting stops. You can learn about the history of the Azorean people and the Portuguese who came here in the 14th century.

Next you will visit the geothermal fields along the lake where you will see how your lunch is cooked in the traditional way in cooking holes in the volcanic soil.

The Furnas Stew that you have for lunch, is a dish made with meat and vegetables.

You will also be able to experience some beautiful views of coastal cliffs and powerful waterfalls such as the Ribeira dos Caldeirões. along the way.

The guide will be able to answer your questions and make sure your questions are getting answered along the way!

Includes

  • Lunch of traditional Azorean food
  • A drink to pair with your lunch
  • Dessert & Coffee
  • A bottle of water
  • Pick-up and drop off within 5 kilometers of Ponta Delgada city center
  • Note that the entrance to the thermal pools isn’t included in the tour price.

Pros and cons

  • English and Portuguese speaking guide
  • The tour is led by a knowledgeable tour guide who can answer your questions as you go
  • You get to enjoy a delicious full lunch paired with a drink and followed by dessert!
  • Small groups limited to 15 participants
  • Although most of your needs will be taken care of when you take this tour, you will need to bring €6 if you want to bathe in the thermal pools
  • Not suitable for wheelchairs

Conclusion

This tour is perfect for visitors of all ages and demographics.

If you don’t have the time to research and plan your short trip to São Miguel, this tour will show you all of the can’t-miss destinations on the Eastern side of the island.

The tour guides are also knowledgeable and make the tour fun and entertaining.

Price

$79.03 / €64.93

Check prices and availability:
São Miguel East tour

Best São Miguel hot springs tours

Saõ Miguel is famous for it’s hot springs.

Here we share the best tours that visit the hot springs.

The second pool in the Poça da Dona Beija hot springs
The Poça da Dona Beija hot springs

Furnas hot springs night tour with dinner

Highlights

The Furnas Hot Springs Night Tour with Dinner is a delightful evening experience where you can benefit from the healing waters of the Poça da Dona Beija before indulging in some typical Azores fare.

The guided nature walk in the Furnas Volcano complex will allow you to see some beautiful sights and learn more about the history of the area.

You’ll also be able to taste the local traditional Furnas Stew, a dish made with meat and vegetables that are cooked in holes in the ground using the heat from the volcanic soil.

The walking tour will take you to the area where your meal is prepared.

You’ll want to bring a swimsuit on this tour so you can enjoy the hot springs!

Includes

  • Scheduled pick up and drop off
  • All entrance fees
  • A local expert guide and driver
  • Guided nature walk
  • Dinner
  • Pick-up from your hotel or Airbnb in Ponta Delgada

Pros and cons

  • The nature walk can be customized depending on the needs of the group
  • Portuguese and English speaking guide
  • Small group limited to 15 participants
  • There is nothing negative to say about this tour

Conclusion

This is an amazing evening tour that takes you to a lot of highlights around Furnas.

Guests also love the tour guides and find them friendly and knowledgeable.

This is a perfect evening trip if you love bathing in a hot spring and want to combine it with a traditional Azorean dinner.

Price

$79.03 / €64.93

Check prices and availability:
Furnas hot springs night tour with dinner

Lagoa do fogo Azores, Portugal
Sunset over Lagoa do Fogo

Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo Tour with Hot Springs

Highlights

Your tour of the Sete Cidades Lakes and the Lagoa do Fogo will start in Ponta Delgada.

Early-risers who would like to enjoy the sunrise will be picked-up at 7 AM, the others join the tour around 9 AM.

The highlights of this tour are the amazing vistas on Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo, a stunning crater lake that you can see from higher up in the mountains.

You’ll be also visit a pineapple plantation. Pineapples are one of the staple crops of the Azores and the fruit is important to the people here.

Lunch is in the charming town of Lagoa das Sete Cidades. From there, you’ll head on to explore Ribeira Grande.

There are waterfalls and a stop at the Caldeira Velha hot springs where you have to option to take a dip in the hot springs.

At last you will visit the beautiful Santa Barbara beach before heading back to your hotel.

You’ll want to bring a swimsuit on this tour so you can enjoy the hot springs!

Includes

  • Pick-up in Ponta Delgada
  • Lunch

Pros and cons

  • The guide speaks Portuguese and English
  • The tour is led by a knowledgeable tour guide who can answer your questions as you go
  • The groups are limited to 15 participants
  • You can communicate any dietary restrictions to the guide beforehand so they can accommodate them where possible
  • There is a small amount of hiking and walking so if you are a wheelchair user or are unable to walk or stand for long periods you might find it challenging

Conclusion

This tour gets a lot of positive reviews and we completely understand why.

It is a perfect opportunity to marvel at the beauty of São Miguel and bathe in a hot spring.

The tour guides are experts not only on the nature and history of the island but on how to make the tour the best experience for you.

They will ensure that it is paced well and that you are having a great time!

Price

$72.95 / €59.93

Best São Miguel tours: Furnas

The area around Furnas has a lot to offer. From steaming geysers to hot springs, wonderful hikes and more.

Here we share the best guided tours around Furnas.

Cha Gorreana, a traditional tea plantation on the Azores
Cha Gorreana, Azores’ tea plantation

Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

Highlights

This full-day Furnas Valley tour will circle the complete island to take you to several of the historically and culturally significant sites in the area. Along the way you will be able to enjoy the dramatic coastline.

One highlight is the stop at the historic capital Vila Franca do Campo.

This São Miguel tour will also visit the Gorreana tea plantation which is one of Europe’s few tea plantations. There is also a factory located here to process the tea and you can learn about the process and taste some of the final products as well!

For lunch, you will have the famous Furnas Stew, a dish made with meat and vegetables that are cooked with the heat from the volcanic soil. The tour will take you to the lakeside where you can see how it is being cooked in the traditional way.

São Miguel is beautiful, and there are lush forests, dramatic cliffside coastlines, and beautiful flowers everywhere. Previous travelers mention that they were impresses by the number of impressive scenic overlooks this tour offered.

Includes

  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off in Ponta Delgada
  • It is also possible to be picked up in the Cruise ship terminal of Ponta Delgada

Pros and cons

  • The guide speaks Portuguese, English, French and Spanish
  • The tour is led by a knowledgeable tour guide who can answer your questions as you go
  • The chance to taste the specialty dish Cozida ( vegetarian option are available on request)
  • If you want to be picked-up from outside the Ponta Delgada area, you will need to pay an extra fee of €20 per person

Conclusion

Guests loved this tour and the tour guides who are very friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. You will learn a lot about the history and cultural traditions of the Azores.

This is a great tour for those that want to visit the Furnas area but aren’t interested in bathing in the hot springs.

Price

$72.95 / €59.93

Check prices and availability:
Furnas volcano and tea plantation tour

Boiling hot springs at the caldeiras das Furnas
Boiling hot springs at the caldeiras das Furnas

Full-Day Furnas Azores 4×4 Tour from Ponta Delgada

Highlights

You’ll be able to explore São Miguel by 4×4 vehicle and see some of the island’s impressive landscapes, mainly situated around Furnas Azores.

On this tour, the journey is part of the experience.

You can learn about the history of the area and about the geological features that were formed due to volcanic activity in the region.

There are incredible geysers, healing hot springs, picturesque calderas, and fumaroles, which are openings in the ground near a volcano where sulphuric gas is emitted.

You’ll also have the chance to eat some Furnas Stew, a dish made with meat and vegetables that are cooked with the heat from the volcano.

You can also watch it being cooked in the traditional way and eat it at a traditional restaurant.

Includes

  • Tour guide
  • Insurance
  • Transportation in a 4×4

Pros and cons

  • The tour is led by a knowledgeable tour guide who can answer your questions as you go
  • Small groups
  • You will see a lot of the island in a short time (the tour lasts 9 hours approx.)
  • This tour is wheelchair accessible
  • The cost of the lunch is not included in the tour

Conclusion

If you want to explore the historic and cultural heritage of the Azores but you love unique experiences, you’ll love this tour.

While the typical minivan associated with tours is wonderful in its own way, this experience is great for the adventurous type.

Price

$72.34 / €59.43

Check prices and availability:
4×4 Furnas day tour

Sao Miguel tours Nordeste

Nordeste is a village situated on the northeast of São Miguel island. It is one of the least visited areas and therefore it is still quite unspoiled.

The east coast of the island has two wonderful viewpoints, Ponta Da Sossega, and Ponta da Madrugada and several beautiful waterfalls you can visit.

Here we share an amazing tour that visits this area.

Cascata Ribeira dos Caldeiroes on the Azores
Cascata Ribeira dos Caldeiroes

From Ponta Delgada: Azores Northeast Full-Day Tour

Highlights

This tour starts and ends in São Miguel’s capital city of Ponta Delgada.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history of the island and cultural and natural highlights from an attentive and knowledgeable guide.

This full-day experience is full of beautiful sights but you are not pushed along – the tours are paced well.

At Ribeira Grande, you’ll see many waterfalls and a watermill. There are several viewpoints you’ll stop at during your tour where you can see stunning coastal views or vibrant flowers and other plants.

One of the most unique spots is Povoação, a village that was first established in the 13th century.

Includes

  • All entrance fees
  • A local expert guide and driver
  • Hotel drop off and pick up
  • Lunch
  • Insurance
  • Transportation in an air-conditioned minivan

Pros and cons

  • Pick up from your hotel in Ponta Delgada or pick up at the cruise terminal
  • English, Spanish and Portuguese speaking tour guide
  • The tour is led by a knowledgeable tour guide who can answer your questions as you go
  • Small group limited to 15 people
  • You can select your lunch from a menu
  • Not suitable for wheelchairs

Conclusion

If you are interested in visiting the more of the beaten track Nordeaste area, this tour is a great option.

One guest says they had the opportunity to go bathing in Furnas but didn’t bring their swimsuit. Although it isn’t mentioned in the tour description that you will have the opportunity to do so, it doesn’t hurt to bring your swimsuit.

Price

$91.19 / €74.91

Check prices and availability:
Northeast tour

Best São Miguel whales tours

São Miguel is one of the best places in the world to spot whales.

Here we share the best São Miguel whale tours.

Dolphins Azores, Porgugal
A dolphin with calf seen during our tour

Azores whale-watching expedition and islet boat tour

Highlights

This 3-hour whale tour starts from Vila Franca do Campo.

You will look for whales and dolphins with a small zodiac boat.

We did this excursion ourselves and although we were really unlucky at that time and didn’t see any whales, we absolutely recommend this tour.

Our tour guide was very informative and we had a great time out with several schools of dolphins. That we didn’t see any whales had nothing to do with the organization. Whales are wild animals and nobody can guarantee that they will be around at the time your tour goes out.

Check prices and availability:
Whale watching zodiac boat

Whale watching from Ponta Delgada with a catamaran

If you have an adventurous nature, we’d recommend a zodiac tour. This tour is, however, not suitable for everyone.

Children younger than 4 aren’t allowed on zodiacs and if you’re pregnant or have back problems, it might not be best to take the risk. In that case, it might be better to choose this safe option.

The benefit of this boat is that you can walk around freely and can take unobstructed photos on all sides.

Check prices and availability:
Whale watching catamaran

Read Also:

We wrote a full article on whale watching in the Azores.

In this post, you can find more info about the best time for Azores dolphin and whale watching, which whales and dolphins can be seen in the Azores, the best Azores island for whale watching, and the best organizations that offer tours.

 

Conclusion

São Miguel Island is full of incredible things to see and one of the best ways to see it all is to book one of the carefully curated and managed guided tours.

The guides will be able to show you beautiful sights, answer your questions, and make sure you’re getting the most out of your Azores trip.

This is especially a good option if you can’t or don’t want to drive yourself.

If you are looking for more fun things to do in the Azores, click here.

Read Also:

Here you can find our Azores travel guide in which we share all our Azores blog posts.

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