The Best Photography Locations in Sao Miguel Azores – A Road Trip Guide

Viewpoint near Nordeste at sunset – Best Photography Locations in Sao Miguel – Azores Road Trip – A World to Travel (75)

Lush, wild and stunning; the Azores islands are a dream for photographers and lovers of the great outdoors and jaw-dropping scenery.

That’s why, being just back from there, we have decided to put together this comprehensive guide to the best photography locations in Sao Miguel Azores. For you all to explore this gem and decide whether it is worth your time (spoiler alert: IT PROBABLY IS!) before mass tourism devours it as it happened with other stunning destinations around the world.


Sao Miguel, the gateway to the Azores

Closer than New Zealand for many and showcasing natural and geological phenomena comparable to Iceland, the ever-green Azores islands are slowly but surely starting to get noticed by the admirers of the great outdoors, warm climates, great food, affordable price tags and, overall, all-things-Portugal.

Today we are proud to showcase Sao Miguel, the largest and most populated island within the Azores archipelago.


When to visit the Azores

The short answer is always. However, let us explain:

The Azores archipelago is composed by nine islands and offers a pleasantly warm climate all year round with winter temperatures around 20 °C (68°F) and a few showers, and summer temperatures around 25-30 °C (77-86 °F).

What’s even better, as we have already mentioned before, the Azores islands are still not flooded with tourists during the low and shoulder seasons (from early-Autumn to mid-Spring) so if we had to pick the best time to visit the Azores, that would be between October and April should you are like us and prefer to visit them without the crowds. However, if that wasn’t an issue for you, head there from May to September. You could catch the best time to spot whales (May) and the chance of rains will be significantly smaller.


What to see in Sao Miguel

Sao Miguel island features breathtaking views such as the one from Lagoa das Furnas, volcanic peaks and lakes as Lagoa do Congro, waterfalls like Salto do Prego, picturesque towns like Ribeira Grande, Nordeste and the capital Ponta Delgada, tea plantations, black sand beaches like Mosteiros, and a rugged coast that surfers and those looking forward to get close and personal with marine life particularly enjoy.

To get us started, here’s a short video that showcases some of the stunning landscapes you will find in this road trip guide to the best photography spots in Sao Miguel island, Azores.


Interactive map of the best photography locations in Sao Miguel

And without further ado, to save you time below is a map highlighting the top locations for photography in Sao Miguel. We have carefully picked 25 spots that will delight every visual person visiting this island.

They are a great starting point if visiting the island of Sao Miguel is on your plans, as they will make you go back home with great images of your time there.

From cities and villages to cliffs, volcanic peaks and lakes, beaches, waterfalls, awe-inspiring viewpoints and rolling hills; there is a bit of everything to suit all kinds of people – and photography styles!

Some Pictures that will make you visit Sao Miguel 

1. Ponta Delgada

2. Vila Franca do Campo

3. Lagoa do Congro

4. Lagoa das Furnas

5. Terra Nostra Garden

6. Lagoa do Peixe

7. Pico do Carvao

8. Lagoa Empadadas

9. Lagoa de Eguas

10. Lagoa do Canario

11. Miradouro do Cerrado das Freiras

12. Sete Cidades

13. Caldeira Seca

14. Farol da Ponta da Ferraria

15. Ponta da Ferraria

16. Mosteiros

17. Lagoa do Fogo

18. Caldeira Velha

19. Salto do Cabrito

20. Ribeira Grande

21. Viewpoint of Ponta do Cintrão

22. Ribeira dos Caldeirões waterfall

23. Arnel Lighthouse

24. Viewpoint near Nordeste

25. Viewpoint of Ponta do Sossego

How to get to the Azores Islands

Indeed, the most convenient way to get to the Azores is flying. These are all the companies that fly to the Azores today: Azores Airlines – SATA, Tap Portugal, Primera Air, Tui fly, Ryanair, Germania, and Delta.

For the adventurous souls out there, you can also arrive by boat. We know that the Azores are a common stop on Atlantic Ocean crossings. The best part is that traveling doesn’t get much more sustainable than sailing!


How to move around the island of Sao Miguel

The best way to explore all the fantastic places Sao Miguel offers is renting a car. We did see a few tour companies driving around small groups of tourists on Jeeps and 4-wheelers as well as a couple of public buses; but if traveling independently means anything to you, there’s no other way.

Azores Easy Rent

2º Circular Posto de Abastecimento Galp Laranjeira 9500-353 Ponta Delgada São Miguel – Açores

A small vehicle was all we needed to drive around Sao Miguel without spending a ton of gas. And this recently opened company provided us with the perfect vehicle for that: a Mitsubishi Space Star. But not only that, they also answered all our questions about the island and gave us lots of great tips on places to see, restaurants to try and spots we could not miss. Highly recommended!


Where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores

Due to its small size, your best option is to choose a base and do day trips from there. All the three routes recommended in this guide of Sao Miguel started and ended in Ponta Delgada, our base during our time in Sao Miguel, the closest city to the airport and the largest hub in the island.

Hotel Marina Atlântico

Av. João Bosco Mota Amaral 1, 767, 9500-767 Ponta Delgada, Portugal

This luxury hotel is just a short walk away from the historic S.Pedro district. And its spacious and refined rooms have all the amenities you might need, and lots of them enjoy ocean views and a balcony overlooking Ponta Delgada’s port.

The hotel highlight for us was indeed its spa area with indoor pool, whirlpool, gym, and sauna; which we used almost every day after returning from our island explorations. Because who would say no to a few mins chilling in the jacuzzi before dinner?



Do you have somewhere beautiful to add to the list? Are you planning to visit Sao Miguel island or the Azores archipelago soon? Drop a comment below!


Disclaimer: We were invited to 4 nights at Hotel Marina Atlantico and an Azores Easy Rent car for the lengtht of our stay.

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