A Must Do Family Trip to Sao Miguel Island in the Azores

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bigstock-collage-of-azores-panoramic-la-249326323.jpgThe island of Sao Miguel also known as the “green island” is a nature lovers paradise with countless outdoors activities from the land, air and sea available for you and your family to enjoy. The 9 Azores islands are not just for adults or the seasoned traveller anymore but increasingly are becoming the perfect destination for an adventurous family trip to the westernmost region of the Euro-zone.The island of Sao Miguel is the largest of the 9 islands, with a population of 140,000 residents and it is here where the old world meets the new world; with a delicate balance between historical preservation and modernization. Paragliding over Sete Cidades, Sao Miguel Island, Azores, PortugIn fact it is one of the reasons why when the great American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was helping to create the United Nations after the second world war he initially suggested the Azores for their headquarters instead of Geneva for that very reason. As a young man President Roosevelt had visited the island of Sao Miguel and is said he kept a postcard from the island on his desk as a reminder of its beauty.Portugal, Vila Franca Do Campo, Sao Miguel, Azores, December 20,This is a place that you can feel safe to travel with your family and young children and do not have to worry about the crime that sometimes plaques some other larger, European cities. Here the cobblestone streets and fresh ocean air meet the charm of old world Europe with a modern flair in this mid-Atlantic island oasis.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dkfc3_yxsaeuboi.jpgThe island is a colorful, unique, agricultural beacon in the Atlantic with the beaches on the island all very safe and have a lifeguard on duty during the summer months. It is advised that the use of a water flotation device for young children is recommended especially if they have not swam in thee Atlantic ocean before. A great alternative to swimming in the ocean is taking advantage of the many natural lava stone pools and man made ocean pools that dot the rugged island coastlines which are open year round and are free of charge in most cases like in Caloura or Maia. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is caloura.jpgHere in Ribeira Grande county at Santa Barbara beach there is a dedicated small ocean front public facility where there are water slides, diving boards and lots of other children both local and tourists from abroad enjoying the breathtaking views and a choice of pools or the Atlantic ocean to choose from. The price is only a couple of euros for admittance and it is recommended that you bring your own towels, sunscreen etc.. azorespool1If going on a hiking or walking tour through the island that is something that interests you then here on the island of Sao Miguel you are in luck. The island offers some of the most beautiful and unique trails through every type of terrain possible making it an ideal place to wander through and explore the flora and fauna of this isolated region.Mountain landscape with hiking trail, Sao Miguel Island, Azores, PortugalThe government of the Azores has invested a great deal of resources into making available some of the most isolated and under appreciated sites on the islands to be accessible through ecofriendly unpaved trails. There are over 50 trails that lead through forests, valleys, pastures, beaches and of course through the peeks of the Azorean hillsides that feel sometimes like mountains. shutterstock_622699745A popular hiking trail is the one that exists at the famous Portuguese tea plantation Cha Gorreana; located in Maia in the county of Ribeira Grande. Here you can start your trail at the famous 19th century plantation while admiring the miles of manicured tea fields that adorn the mountainous hillsides here at the Cha Gorreana tea estate.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 8121219311_6e7c35b446-1.jpg Of course no trip to Cha Gorreana would be complete without making your way into the historical factory and gift shop which was built in the 1800’s opening into a full tea plantation in 1883 and remaining the only place in Europe that grows this prized green tea. The factory still operates with a majority of the same machinery that carries with it a very interesting story of how the tea plantation is powered hydro electrically through the waterfall and stream that runs through the estate.nordesttThe Parque Atlantico mall is a western alternative and has a movie theatre with movies playing in English with Portuguese subtitles; so if a matinée to see your favorite new release is what you desire the option is there. The mall has all the luxuries of any western mall with a food court and many  North American and European shops to cater to the local fashionista. However the island of Sao Miguel has so many other unique family owned shops and restaurants scattered throughout the island that if there is anything you may need or want you are sure to find it in a local shop, which also helps keep these small family business going in a otherwise changing big box store world.Portas Da Cidade (Gates To The City), Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel

 

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