Sao Miguel

This is the largest island of the archipelago, some 65 kilometres by 16 kilometres.

There are several items of natural beauty not to be missed. Sete Cidades, where two lakes, one green one blue, exist with a small attractive village between, in an extinct volcano crater which is some twelve kilometres in diameter.

The Lagoa do Fogo "the Fire Lake" is an enormous lake with crystal clear waters and a peninsular with a beach. The whole area exudes an atmosphere of great calm and beauty.

The Furnas valley is a huge luxuriant garden still active volcanically with springs of thermal water at various temperatures, a Spa and bubbling mud outlets which are positively sinister.

It is here that one can sample the "Cosido", which is a stew of meat, spicy sausage and vegetables cooked by burying in the soil hermetically closed pots which the heat of the volcano cooks slowly over several hours.

At the base of the valley is the Terra Nostra Park based on a plantation started by Thomas Hickling in the 18th century. It is a romantic vision of ponds, winding paths, flowers, centuries old exotic trees and silence. Two streams converge in the park and there is a pond of warm thermal water that is used as a swimming pool (albeit with rather strange yellow colour water).

There is a golf course and tennis courts.

There are a number of recommended walks which give an unrivalled opportunity to discover new horizons and panoramas which reveal the charms of São Miguel.

Fishing is possible in the streams and lakes and trout, carp, pike and perch exist in some numbers.

Ponta Delgada

Considered to be the chief town in the Azores it has many churches and forts which reflect the history of the island and the town since the first settlement in 1444.

Eating out in Ponta Delgada

Try "London", an International restaurant much used by the local business community and has an emphasis on steaks. "Al Cides" - also for steaks, "Arturus" for shellfish and seafood or perhaps one of the "tascas" - small "paper tablecloth" restaurants - for example "Gilberto", "de Relva" or "Brasileiro"

Note on shellfish: try

"Buzios"...Goose Barnacles

"Cavaco"...the local small lobster

Approximate distance from Airport to Ponta Delgada = 8 minutes drive.