The island of flowers
To visit the Azores Island, has been on my bucket list forever. Islands have this magical attraction, of having the ocean, the mountains and the views all in a real compact area. In order to make the best of the travel days on the island, it is recommendable to stay some days in the east (Furnas) and some days in the west (Candelaria).
It is said that the Azores are the Hawaii of Europe. This might be true for some Azores island, but I would not sign this for São Miguel. The island has a lot of farming and landscaped gardens. It often felt like a park that is stretching all over the island. An island of flowers, in all colors and sorts.
There are a lot of hikes to choose from on the island. All are well-marked and can be done as a beginner. The nature is stunning, all green, many lakes. Nether the less all so adjusted, not wild at all. Something that we have been used to on Madeira. I can not 100% pinpoint what I missed, as said the hikes been nice in beautiful nature but there was just not the click for me.
A real nice thing we noticed on the whole island been the outdoor barbecue places. Mostly well-equipped and with an amazing view to the ocean. Having there a weekend family party seems like a real nice time to me. In that sense, I can totally understand why southerner are mainly spending their time outside.
The main touristic area on São Miguel is Sete Cidades. It is located in the west center of the island and can be accessed easily. There are several hiking paths, at the lakes or on higher ground, to surround the lakes. Especially beautiful are the path that are higher, in order to get an overview of the whole crater.
At the beaches
The island is not short of volcanic black beaches. The majority can be visited and hiked to, mainly with a real steep descent. Recommendable are the Termas da Ferraria, where it is it possible to swim in pools in the ocean. Or just enjoy the waves at Beira Mar.