Friday, 3 April 2015

Azores - Lagoa do Fogo, delicious food and beautiful flowers

After breakfast with my "local" brother in law, we went to "Portas do Mar" (Sea Doors) for a stroll along the ocean and to have a look at  the marina.

This area also houses a pavillion for exhibitions and events, underground parking, restaurants and bars as well as the maritime terminal for ships and inter-island ferries.
Whale-watching and dolphin cruises depart from here also.

A mural near Portas do Mar
We had been invited for lunch with my husband's Uncle and Aunt a restaurant known for their steaks. Well, I don't think any restaurant in the island cooks bad steaks...

left to right - my sister, Uncle, my daughter, niece, Aunt, husband's brother,  my sister's husband, my husband and myself

After lunch, the Uncle and Aunt went home and we promised we would go past their house for a quick visit after our visit to the Lagoa do Fogo, (Fire Lagoon)

Located in the centre of the island of Sao Miguel, this is the second biggest lagoon of the island, also located inside a volcanic crater.

Probably the prettiest of the islands natural attractions, this lagoon is about 2km long and 1km wide and is surrounded by a high mountain and lush green vegetation.
The island of Sao Miguel is called the "Green Island" for all it's vegetation.

If you like hiking you can go down to the lake through very uneven steps until you reach the sandy beaches. On the north side, halfway up the crater there is a natural pool with a cascade with warm sulphurous water (38C) in which you can bathe the whole year.

Views over small towns from one of the look-outs

Fire Lagoon

The beaches below - can you see a lone walker in an orange top down there?

It was time to descend the mountain and go to Porto Formoso, on the north side of the island, to visit one of the two tea plantation. This is the only place in Europe where tea is cultivated due the area's micro climate.
There are two factories in the area are- Porto Formoso, the one we visited and Gorreana.

It was almost closing time, but the lady was kind enough to show us a 10 min video presentation and then walk us through the machinery used in tea production.
Afterwards you get served a cup of tea in the kitchen or terrace and you can buy packets of tea as well.

Tea plantation

View from the tea factory down to the sea and surrounding villages

Pots, teas and old outfits at the Tea Museum

After tea, it was time to go back to Ponta Delgada and visit my husband's Uncle and Aunt at their house. We first went around the garden at the back of the house, to admire the fruit trees and flowers, then climbed up to an area where they have a pergola and from where they have a great view of their suburb, the city far away and the sea. The sun was setting and it was the perfect place to take some photos.  After this stunning sunset we went indoors to drink tea again and eat some cake. Our Uncle gifted each couple a box of pineapples, which are grown in the island.

It was close to 8pm, and time for all of us to go and have dinner, (yes we were going to eat again!) at my ex-sister in law's house, just 5 minutes away.
View from the terrace over the city 
The sun setting behind the church tower

L to R - me, my sister, brother in law, husband, Aunt, Uncle and sister in law

After a tasty dinner (G is a wonderful cook) it was time to go back to the hotel and pack our bags. We would be checking out the next day and flying back to Lisbon.

5th March - Departure day

After our last breakfast at the hotel, we collected our belongings, checked out and put our bags in the cars. 
We still had a couple of hours before we had to be at the Airport, so we went to the City Market.
Lots of local pineapples and other fruit and vegetables, plus an array of fresh fish and flowers. There's a cheese shop too selling the local cheeses, biscuits and liqueurs - the pineapple and the passionfruit being the most popular (the passionfruit is my favourite!). We bought cheese to bring to Australia and some to give to my parents in Lisbon - the Sao Jorge cheese is my favourite too.

Pineapple stand at the market
Fresh fish at the market
The visit was followed by lunch at a Fish restaurant by the beach. Wonderful view and wonderful food!

Views from the restaurant

Some of the dishes we ate

Try the "Queijadas do Morgaado" a try too, moist pastries typical from the island

After lunch it was time to drive to the Airport, hand in the rented car and check-in. 
When we thought we should be embarking we were unfortunately told that the plane they were expecting to land from another island, had a mechanical fault.
So another plane was request to come from Lisbon, blowing our waiting time by another 4 or 5 hours! So we spent the time talking and playing cards until it was time to depart.
The time wasted was a pity as we could have been in the city doing some sightseeing...

Our stay was wonderful, the hotel was great, the food was delicious, the scenery fantastic, the flowers were beautiful - pity that the Hydrangeas were only starting to bloom,(I managed to find a couple like the white one in the middle) as when they are in full bloom the island looks even prettier.
All in all a fantastic and relaxing holiday.

I hope that I managed to persuade you to visit the Azores.

Flowers seen around the island
Map of Sao Miguel - Seven Cities Lagoon on the left, Fire Lagoon in the middle and Furnas where the cozido is made to the right. Ponta Delgada, the capital is on the coast where the plane is.

Wednesday 4, and Thursday 5 March 2015


  1. Sami, I have not been over here for a visit for some time and it looks as if you have been doing some awesome travelling. WOW! I had to go back to some of your previous posts. Your pictures are gorgeous and the scenery is breathtaking. The food must have been fantastic from the looks of your pics. I checked out the site for the whale watching link and there are some really fabulous videos on it. Dolphins are a favorite animal of mine, so I really enjoyed the video with dozens of them welcoming the boat. Beautiful! I shared that one with my Facebook friends!

    1. I haven't done a whale watching tour myself, but my daughter went there last year and did one and also saw dolphins as well as whales and loved it!
      Thanks for your kind comments, the island lends itself to beautiful photos of course!

  2. Dearest Sami,
    Quite a busy but oh so lovely visit to the Azores you had! Combined with family visit as well, how special. We both are very familiar with the limited time for such dear family visits and enough sight seeing as we've flown 64 times back and forth to The Netherlands mainly for family visits.
    It kind of hurts when having to wast such a long time for waiting at the airport but one cannot know this ahead of time... So is that the actual flying time from Lisbon to the Azores?
    Sending you hugs and wishing you a Happy Easter coming your way.

    1. The flight from Lisbon to Azores takes about 2 hours. Have a lovely Easter too Mariette.

  3. Quero tanto visitar os Acores!! A minha amiga de infancia mora em Sao Miguel e tenho mesmo que lhe fazer uma visita. Que paisagem fantastica e que belas fotos!
    A sua filha tem um sorriso igualzinho ao seu (e' tao portugues dizer coisas assim...).

  4. Obrigada Sara, acho que somos parecidas. Acho que deve ir fazer uma visita à sua amiga, vale a pena.

  5. Realmente...precisava de um mês para apreciar tanta beleza!Mas há sempre a oportunidade de voltar, assim desta vez vou anotar os lugares para mais tarde rever! :P


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