Sete Cidades: The Most Beautiful Excursion in Sao Miguel Azores

Sao Miguel is the largest and most populated island in the Azores archipelago, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Known for its stunning landscapes, hot springs, and volcanic activity, it’s understandable that Sao Miguel is also the most visited island in the Azores.

If you’re planning a trip to Sao Miguel, I’m sure you have come accross the below photo – The view of Sete Cidades, one of the most stunning views I have ever seen. You naturally won’t want to miss it!

Most beautiful view in Sao Miguel Azores Portugal
View of Lagoa Azul and Logoa Verde in Sete Cidades Azores Sao Miguel

The day trip to Sete Cidades, which includes a stop at these two view point, was by far the highlight of our trip to Sao Miguel. During your trip, you need to make sure to dedicate a day to this excursion – You simply cannot miss it!

However, when I was researching the different excursions and day trips to visit this view, I found it quite hard to understand what the itinerary should be. I meticulously marked all the best steps on my Google Maps and created the perfect day trip in Sao Miguel (If I may say so myself!).

So, in this blog post, I’m sharing with you the perfect 1-day excusion in Sao Miguel to visit the most famous view in Azores of Sete Cidades. Here it goes!

Stop 1: Miradouro da Vista do Rei

Start your day early and head to Miradouro da Vista do Rei – for the most iconic view of the island. From here, you can see the town of Sete Cidades from above. The town is famous for its twin lakes, Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde, which were formed in the crater of a dormant volcano.

The viewpoint is located on the edge of a cliff, and it’s one of the most popular destinations on the island. Take some time to snap photos and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

ADVENTURER TIP: Take a short walk from the viewpoint to an abandoned Hotel, where you can find a different, but super unique prespective of the scenic view. It’s important to know that this can be quite dangerous, but a lot of people choose to chase this unique prespective. In our video below you can see more of what this Abandoned Hotel looks like:

Stop 2: Miradouro da Grota do Inferno

After soaking in the views at Vista do Rei, get ready for a little walk to chase the view of Sete Cidades from another angle. This view point is probably the most photographed spot in the whole island – And for good reason!

You’ll need to drive for another 10 minutes to a different parking. Once there, you’ll need to do a short walk (about 20 minutes) to reach the view point. The last 5 minutes of the walk will be uphill and depending on the weather can get a bit muddy, so make sure to wear appropriate shoes.

Once you reach the top, you’ll also want to take a moment to breath in the views and snap some photos! The drive and walk will feel totally worth it.

The most famous view in Sao Miguel
Alba happy at the view point bridge of Sete Cidades

Stop 3: Lunch at Sete Cidades

Drive down to the town of Sete Cidades for lunch. There’s a few restaurants but they tend to get very busy in high season, so it’s preferable to find one that you like online and book it in advance.

A lovely alternative is also to do a picnic at the bottom of the lake at Sete Cidades.

After lunch, take a stroll around the lakes and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains. If you’re feeling adventurous, in the summer months, you can rent a kayak or paddleboat to explore the lakes from the water.

Stop 4: Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado

Only a 10 minute drive away you will find another view point, overlooking the West Coast of the island, showing you a completely different scenery is Sao Miguel.

If you have time, you may want to also expolore the Southwest of the island while you are there. We went to visit the Termas da Ferraria to end our day trip. You can watch more about that in our YouTube video.

Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado

Tips for visiting Sete Cidades

  • Rent a car: As you can see, most of the itinerary involves moving around and going from point A to Point D. Driving your own car will allow you to have flexibility and be able to hit all the important spots during your trip. If you don’t drive, you should be able to book an excursion at your Hotel to take you to these famous spots.
  • Go on a sunny day: Because of the altitude of these locations, you won’t be able to enjoy the views if you visit them on a cloudy day. Leave this day trip for one of the days where you get good weather!

Overall, Sao Miguel is a beautiful island with plenty to see and do. While one day is not enough to explore everything the island has to offer, this itinerary will give you a taste of the island’s most incredible beauty, and certainly make sure you don’t miss out on Sao Miguel’s main attraction.

Looking to visit other destinations in Portugal? Make sure to check out our Portugal Guides here.