São Miguel, Portugal

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São Miguel, Portugal

São Miguel vacation rentals

Sao Miguel is a jewel in the Atlantic

When the mists coalesce about Sao Miguel's volcanic craters and the lashing Atlantic rushes against its cliffs, there are few places in Portugal so raw and wild. It's home to the capital of the Azores archipelago _ the city of Ponta Delgada. That one's historic heart is awash with striking buildings from the Age of Discovery. Museums about Darwin and volcanos abound. The cobbled streets of Sao Jose parish have centuries-old convents and forts. Elsewhere and adventurers can gawp at the luminescent waters of the Sete Cidades lagoon or see whales in the swells, all before returning to those cozy Sao Miguel vacation rentals to unwind.

Adventure aplenty in Sao Miguel

Sao Miguel is a perfect destination for budding adventurers. The island's rugged volcanic heart is a place where huge massifs of grass-topped stone crash down to lagoons and craters, creating a veritable playground for hikers through the blooms of rhododendrons and natural hot-spring spas that pockmark the landscape. Out at sea, it's about marine safaris. Brave the waves there to wonder at fin whales, blue whales, humpbacks and bottlenose dolphins, all under the gaze of Sao Miguel's sheer-cut coastal cliffs.

Mountains and museums in Sao Miguel

You'll have to split your time between the peaks and the museums in Sao Miguel. Those with Sao Miguel vacation rentals in Ponta Delgada will find it easy to delve into the medley of gun batteries, half-crumbled forts and naval relics at the Military Museum of the Azores. The Carlos Machado Museum is more famous, offering tales of Azorean history and botanical specimens from the island's backcountry. Those done, the famous Lagoa das Sete Cidades beckon on the massifs above, steeped in legends and laurel forests _ it's not to be missed.

Sao Miguel's summers are the best time to visit

Summer runs from June to August and see the hottest days with average temperatures regularly around the 70s. Booking Sao Miguel vacation rentals then will mean getting the top hiking and sightseeing conditions for sure. The spring _ in April and May _ is often touted by whale watching organizers as the prime season, thanks largely to the huge numbers of creatures in the surrounding waters. Winter is bound to be quieter, but be ready for chilly winds and lots of rain.

Sao Miguel is surrounded by the ocean

Sao Miguel's a green island, rising from the Atlantic Ocean more than 930 miles from the coast of mainland Portugal. Its backcountry was forged by ancient volcanic eruptions that built up deep craters now dressed in misty laurel forests and grassy pastures. It's there that the chiseled calderas of the Agua de Pau Massif and the Sete Cidades hide their glistening lakes, surrounded by rhododendron blooms and beautiful wildflower meadows. The coast is a rugged affair, complete with black-sand beaches topped with mighty cliffs. Whales and dolphins are common in the waters.