‘God created the world and on the seventh day rested… then, inspired… made Azores’
– Miguel Damião
Of the islands that make up the Azores archipelago, São Miguel is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. Its heavenly beaches and lush vegetation have earned it the nickname “the Hawaii of Europe.” Home to volcanoes, whales and thermal baths, the island teems with vivid waterfalls, birds and a labyrinth of lakes and canyons. Immerse yourself in Nature and feel its healing powers during a week of outdoor excursions, yoga classes, spa treatments and more.
Yoga practice will be offered on all mornings before breakfast. Classes outdoors when weather permits. On some evenings, a gentle stretch and meditation class will will be offered. Appropriate for beginning and intermediate level students, classes emphasize the wisdom in honoring your strengths and limitations and to be grateful for all that your body can do. All classes are taught by Lisa Hampton.
Sete Cidades and Lagoa de Fogo
Lagoa Sete Cidades (Lake of the Seven Cities) is a captivating landscape consisting of two environmentally different lakes connected by a narrow straight, with one lake being green and the other blue. There is a sweet legend about the forbidden love of a green-eyed princess and the blue-eyed shepherd boy whose tears formed the twin lakes.
Lagoa de Fogo is in the crater of a dormant volcano with green volcanic walls filled with lush vegetation contrasting with the clear blue water of the lake, making it one of the most beautiful places in the Azores.
The entire Furnas Valley is a giant volcanic crater which last erupted in 1630. The volcano is now dormant but you can still feel it everywhere in the form of thermal pools, steam holes and hot springs. Today Furnas is a lush, charming and serene spot on the eastern side of the island.
Terra Nostra Garden and Thermal Park
With its exotic botanical gardens, geothermal heated pools and an award winning hotel nestled within, Terra Nostra Garden is the crown jewel of Furnas. This romantic-style garden was built in the 18th and 19th centuries with magnificent views and a variety of exotic vegetation. The hot springs are naturally at a steady temperature of 95-104°F. Visitors can wander the many footpaths, lawns, pools and fountains of the 12.5 hectares of gardens and forest.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Discover and admire the magnificent south coast of São Miguel watching whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. The Azores is one of the largest whale sanctuaries in the world. Our private boat tour will be a highlight with a mixture of fun and adventure and in the company of a professional team of skippers and biologists. Enjoy lunch in Vila Franca do Campo and then a visit to the beautiful Nossa Senhora da Paz with views of the ‘Princess Ring.’
As the capitol city of the Azores archipelago, Ponta Delgada may be small, but it’s very charming and feels like a mini version of Lisbon. Cobbled narrow streets lined with colorful houses, traditional-style churches, and unique tile patterns on the pavements and city squares are quintessentionally Portuguese.
São Miguel, Azores
Immerse yourself in Nature
Two Retreats Offered
Senhora da Rosa Tradition and Nature Hotel is a converted farmhouse that bears the fruits of its peaceful, private São Miguel location. There are eco-friendly Azores-made products in the bathrooms, a heated plunge pool in the pineapple greenhouse, rooms decked out with local crafts, and a restaurant characterised by warming, home-cooked dishes. You’re a short walk from the beach, a short drive from the mountains, and just a few steps to the forest.
Terra Nostra Garden Hotel is nestled in one of the World’s best “Green Retreats,” as deemed by Condé Nast Traveler – the 18th century Terra Nostra Garden. The most awarded hotel in the Azores, it opened in 1935 and has the same charming aura after a complete makeover inspired in Art Deco style sprinkled with contemporary elements. Relax in the peaceful oasis of their new wellness area with an indoor swimming pool and spa. The biggest perk is that you are on the sight of arguably the most beautiful Garden in the Azores and the most famous spa on the island.