Information & Facts
São Miguel's most alluring attraction is Sete Cidades, a 15
square mile (40 sq-km) volcanic crater containing two lakes, one
deep blue, and the other emerald green. The island also features a
tropical garden at Terra Nostra Park, where it is possible to bathe
in therapeutic spring water, as well as the only tea plantation in
Europe, sited at Gorreana. There are a number of marked hiking
trails around the island, and dolphin and whale watching trips are
Portuguese is the official language, but English is
widely spoken and understood.
Portugal is a member of the European Union and its official
currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. There
are numerous banks, bureaux de change and ATMs available in main
cities and tourist destinations. Foreign currency can be exchanged
at banks, bureaux de change and automatic currency exchange
machines. Banking hours are generally 8.30am to 3pm Monday to
Friday. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers
Avid partiers will find São Miguel's nightlife lacking.
The nightlife in São Miguel is low-key and café-based, but there
are a few lively bars in Ponta Delgada and Ribeira Grande that stay
open quite late. Bom Bom Bilhares in Ponta Delgada has live music
and pool tables.
There are a number of good restaurants, centred mostly in the
towns of Ponta Delgada and Ribeira Grande. O Gato Mia in Ribeira
Grande is famous for its local Portuguese fare, as is Restaurante
Sao Pedro in Ponta Delgada. Rotas has excellent vegetarian cuisine,
and Pizzaria Ponta is popular with expats.
São Miguel has a three-level shopping mall, Sol Mar, with
several movie theatres in addition to shops. Popular São Miguel
souvenirs include edibles like local cheese and tea.
Local time is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to
Saturday before last Sunday in October).