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Ponta Delgada Small group activities

Our most recommended Ponta Delgada Small group activities

Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

1. Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

Join the ultimate swimming experience on an encounter with wild dolphins in the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Head out from the Azores in a Zodiac boat for an unforgettable adventure. This 2-hour activity is carried out in small groups and led by a qualified biologists or nature guides. Each swimming tour is preceded by a briefing in which one of the biologists explains how to swim with wild dolphins while respecting them. You’ll also learn how to enter the water and behave around the dolphins, how to use the mask and snorkel and how to get the most out of your swimming experience. Masks, snorkels and wet-suits are provided.

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

2. São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on this guided tour by van. Discover the famous crater lakes of Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo, picturesque waterfalls, amazing cliffs, and stunning rock formations around the coast of the island. Start with a visit to Ribeira Grande, one of the most picturesque towns of the Azores, followed by a surprising view of some amazingly beautiful cliffs on the North coast. Then travel to the inner areas of the island to see the gorgeous waterfall of Salto do Cabrito, surrounded by wild vegetation. Drive to the top of Fogo Volcano to enjoy views of the most pristine and magical of the crater lakes of São Miguel. From the top of the mountain, enjoy the stunning views over a large portion of the island. After a tasty meal to restore your energy levels, head to Sete Cidades, to understand why this is considered by the postcard of the Azores. Enjoy views from two completely different perspectives over the famous twin lakes.  End the day in Mosteiros, on the western coast of the island, where the lava rocks have formed enchanting small islets and natural pools.

Sete Cidades: Half-Day ATV Quad Tour

3. Sete Cidades: Half-Day ATV Quad Tour

Drive a quad or ATV on this adventurous tour and experience the beauty of São Miguel Island. Reach the highest peaks of the mountains that surround Sete Cidades Volcano, dash along dirt roads, and absorb the incredible views of the lakes and ocean. Take the opportunity to visit some of the trails that are part of the Azores Airlines Rallye and enjoy both on-road and offroad moments. Expect adventure and stunning natural sights as your guides ensure your safety throughout the tour.

Azores: Sete Cidades Scenic 4WD Tour from Ponta Delgada

4. Azores: Sete Cidades Scenic 4WD Tour from Ponta Delgada

Get off the usual tourist trail on a 3-hour 4WD tour of the Sete Cidades (Seven Cities) region of the Azores island of São Miguel, departing from Ponta Delgada. Traveling by 4WD vehicle, you will experience the dramatic scenery of the volcanic crater and its flora and fauna in a more immersive fashion.  Drive to the mountain top to look down on the 2 impressive lakes of the caldera (basin), one with blue water (Lagoa Azul) and the other with green water (Lagoa Verde). Along the way, take in many other picturesque spots of São Miguel, including the peaceful lakes of Lagoa das Empadadas, Lagoa de Santiago, and Lagoa do Carvão.  Enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, volcanic cones, and stretches of green, and go to villages that have played a vital role in the story of the island.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

5. São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the eastern half of São Miguel island on a guided tour by van. Discover the hot springs at Furnas, the waterfall at Ribeira dos Caldeirões, as well as the remote rugged beauty of the Nordeste region. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the northern coast of the island until you get to the Santa Iria Lookout, with a spectacular, ample view of the north coast in both directions, before continuing to Furnas. Find yourself in Furnas and admire a spectacular panoramic stop to gaze over the lake and town. Descend where you will be given the choice of visiting the geothermal fields and tasting the sparkling waters, or bathing in the hot springs, for an additional fee. Next, discover a traditional way of cooking as your lunch of cozido (stew) is pulled from the warm volcanic soil. In the afternoon, continue the journey eastward, with a stop at the charming waterfall of Ribeira dos Caldeirões.  Explore Nordeste, the most unexplored and rural part of the island. Visit two amazing lookouts over the high cliffs that characterize the East coast of São Miguel, before returning to Ponta Delgada.

Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

6. Sao Miguel: Ribeira dos Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

Discover the diverse green vegetation, clear and fresh waterfalls and old water mills on this adventurous canyoning tour through the forest. Unless you choose the option with pickup from Ponta Delgada, your adventure starts at Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, one of the most popular natural areas in the Nordeste region.  The activity starts with you picking up your safety equipment, followed by a short walk of about 20 minutes. Once at the entry point to the stream, listen to a safety briefing.  Along the route there will be vertical challenges at waterfalls, which you will combat with the technique of abseiling. The highest waterfall is 8 meters in height. In between there are short walking sections, as well as a more playful area with a slide and jump of about 5 meters.

São Miguel: Full-Day Tour to Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo

7. São Miguel: Full-Day Tour to Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo

The day begins with a pick up from your hotel or accommodation to visit a traditional pineapple plantation. See biological culture developed in greenhouses where it is possible to taste the pineapple's liquor. The journey continues on the west coast of the island, where you will enjoy the view over the newest and narrowest part of São Miguel and both coasts from the Pico de Carvão‘s viewpoint. Surrounded by the greenest vegetation, you will find in Vista do Rei's viewpoint the Sete Cidades volcanic complex. From here, you will see the famous blue and green twin lakes, as well as Santiago's lake, as viewed from the crater. A stop will be made in the picturesque Sete Cidades town where lunch will be served in a regional restaurant. In the afternoon, the tour goes along the coast enjoying the western landscape to arrive at Capelas, an ancient whaling village. Another stop at Pedras Negras‘s viewpoint to see the northern coast of the island. Continuing on the north coast, you will stop to visit the Ribeira Grande city and its historic center. As well, you will go to the Regional Liquor’s Factory and taste a variety of liquors. After that, visit Caldeira Velha, a natural reserve, to take an optional bath and enjoy the warm water from a waterfall. The last stop will be to take a look over the fantastic Lagoa do Fogo. Returning to Ponta Delgada going down by Pico da Barrosa, you will once more have the stunning view over the newest and narrowest part of the island.

Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

8. Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

Explore the impressive landscapes and amazing panoramas on a hiking trip to São Miguel. In the area of “Lagos”, start the trail on a dirt road that will get considerably steeper for the first 3 km, at which point you will meet an irrigation channel that will lead you to Lagoa do Fogo. Wander along an easy path through the forest, where soon you will find yourself hiking inside the crater, with its massive walls of greenery all around you. Reaching the shores of this famous lake, take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch of regional products with a view. Setting off once more, continue upwards slightly for better views of the lake and then head back down to the starting point through another steep and winding trail, with views of the south coast and the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo along the way. Return to the starting point while enjoying another perspective of the south coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the bathing zone of Caloura, or Agua D’Alto Beach, where you can practice snorkeling.

São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

9. São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

This tour gives you the unique opportunity to get to know São Miguel island as much as possible during a short stay. The tour will start early going in direction to Vista do Rei where you can enjoy the view over the Sete Cidades Lakes. From there the tour will take you up into the mountains to enjoy the view over the gorgeous Lagoa do Fogo. Then you will venture back down the mountains for a visit to Caldeira Velha, a protected nature reserve, where you will have the option to enjoy a bath in the warm water from a waterfall. The journey will then take you to the viewpoint of Santa Iria where you can see the gorgeous northern coast. Following the coastal views, you will visit the Gorreana tea plantation and its factory, where you can taste two different kinds of tea: black and green. The tour will continue on where you will be able to enjoy the amazing view over Furnas’ valley, and a stop will be made at Pico de Ferro’s viewpoint. Arriving in Furnas Village you will see some volcanic phenomena, known as fumaroles. You will then be able to have some lunch and eat the delicious famous Cozido das Furnas (or Furnas Stew), a gastronomic dish of Azores. After lunch, a stop in the Furnas Lake to see how the famous stew is cooked, then take a walk near the beautiful lake. Returning to Ponta Delgada and passing by Vila Franca do Campo, the first capital of São Miguel, located in the south coast, a last stop will be made at Ermida da Nossa Senhora Paz to enjoy the view to the famous Ilheú da Vila Franca. The tour will finish at your hotel or at the harbor.

Nordeste Tour from Ponta Delgada

10. Nordeste Tour from Ponta Delgada

Start the tour by leaving Ponta Delgada and traveling towards the north coast. Make the first stop at Ribeira dos Caldeirões in the municipality of Nordeste. See the beautiful waterfall, known as Véu da Noiva, and the surrounding watermills and gardens. Pass through picturesque villages as you travel on towards the wonderful viewpoints of Ponta do Sossego and Ponta da Madrugada, on the eastern tip of the island. View the beautiful lighthouse from the top of the cliff. Stop for lunch which will be served in the village of Povoação, the oldest settlement on the island. In the afternoon, relax near the sea or explore the historic center of Povoação. Return to Ponta Delgada along the south coast, passing by Furnas Lake and Vila Franca do Campo.

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Frequently asked questions about Ponta Delgada

What top attractions are a must-see in Ponta Delgada?

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Ponta Delgada?

The best day trips and excursions from Ponta Delgada are:

Furnas

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ponta Delgada

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What people are saying about Ponta Delgada

The tour was lovely, our guide, Eduardo, was helpful and gave us lots of interesting info about the island. Luckily the weather was sunny so we were able to see everything. For me the tour was ideal because we didn't have to walk much to reach the viewpoints so it wasn't tiring at all. Personally I'm not into hiking and this tour didn't involve any hiking. Also the lunch is all you can eat from a buffet so the money you pay really pay off. Highly recommend this tour if you don't have a car. I didn't want the tour to come to an end.

We booked the 2 day island tour. Although my wife and I were the only guests on this tour on day 1, our tour guide Vera guided us in a very personal and humorous way and explained all the sights to us in very good English. We enjoyed all visits very much, with the exception of the pineapple plantation. The lead was very tight and unmotivated. Perhaps another plantation could be selected here by the organizer. On both days we were served a typical and very rich lunch.

I had the pleasure to visiti this wonderful island with Joao and let me tell you it's the most incredible island i've seen. Joao tells you all you need to know about the island and is such a lovely guy. I went here in January and i could not believe my eyes so i can not imagine this in summer. If you are wonderig wherer to take this tour or not, especially with him, believe me, you won't regret. It's a must you have to do here. Thank you very much

Eduardo is a great guide! His extraordinary ability to maneuver allowed us to see all great beauties in the island. We have even seen a double rainbow since we were in right place at the right time :) This island is magical when you travel with a good guide. Highly recommended!

We really had a great time visiting Sao Miguel with Vera. We recommend 100%