Nature lovers will find their bliss among the otherworldly volcanic landscape of Sao Miguel Island’s Sete Cidades. What you’ll find there is more than just lush green mountains that fall into an endless blue ocean but also a giant, 5-kilometer-wide volcano caldera, home to some of the most spectacular views around.
Sete Cicades’ two lakes are among the area’s most loved sights: first there’s the Lago Azul and its brilliant shade of blue, and then the Lago Verde, known for its often tree-green waters. A visit to the massive, now-dormant crater also promises those endless amazing vistas, appreciated from various viewpoints accessed by car, hike (as there are many trails) or even 4x4. Meanwhile, relax from all your adventuring by making a stop at the nearby Termas da Ferraria, where seawater mingles with volcanic hot springs — and where you can take an especially soothing dip.
Sete Cidades is definitely best experienced on sunny days, so make sure you check the weather (and the skies above the crater) in advance. You may also want to bring layers just in case, as it can get chilly up top. Given the many different viewpoints, Sete Cidades is best reached and enjoyed by car or organized tour.