Things to do in Ribeira Grande

Our most recommended things to do in Ribeira Grande

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

1. São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on this guided tour by van. Discover the famous crater lakes of Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo, picturesque waterfalls, amazing cliffs, and stunning rock formations around the coast of the island. Start with a visit to Ribeira Grande, one of the most picturesque towns of the Azores, followed by a surprising view of some amazingly beautiful cliffs on the North coast. Then travel to the inner areas of the island to see the gorgeous waterfall of Salto do Cabrito, surrounded by wild vegetation. Drive to the top of Fogo Volcano to enjoy views of the most pristine and magical of the crater lakes of São Miguel. From the top of the mountain, enjoy the stunning views over a large portion of the island. After a tasty meal to restore your energy levels, head to Sete Cidades, to understand why this is considered by the postcard of the Azores. Enjoy views from two completely different perspectives over the famous twin lakes.  End the day in Mosteiros, on the western coast of the island, where the lava rocks have formed enchanting small islets and natural pools.

From Ponta Delgada: Half-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

2. From Ponta Delgada: Half-Day Sete Cidades Quad Tour

Enjoy a half-day quad tour around Sete Cidades, the largest freshwater lake in the Azores, situated in the western part of the island of São Miguel. Starting from Ponta Delgada, discover the stunning landscapes of the island.   Experience the amazing view over the island at the Pico do Carvão viewpoint, with Ponta Delgada on one side, and Ribeira Grande on the other. Climb up into the mountains to see the Lagoas Empadadas, and the Serra Devassa. The mountains and lakes in this region play a very important role supplying water to the villages. Stop at Canário Lake for one of the best views of the Boca do Inferno trail.   On the way back to the city, you will see the majestic view at Vista do Rei, providing you with spectacular views of the magical blue and green colors that characterize the waters of these lakes.

São Miguel Island: 2-Day Guided Island Tour with Meals

3. São Miguel Island: 2-Day Guided Island Tour with Meals

2x Full-days Package excursions Furnas + Nordeste + Sete Cidades + Fogo Lake (4 Tours in 2 days) 1st Full Day tour to Furnas & Nordeste. (8 hours tour)) 2nd Full Day tour to Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo. (8 hours tour) As the reservation calendar only allows you to mark 1 day at a time, the 2nd day of the tour will be automatically reserved for the following day Ex; if you book for the 8th of May, automatically the 2nd day of the tour will be the 9th. What will make your reservations on the 8th and 9th of May. *The order of days tours may be changed. Our local gastronomy will be represented on both days. On the day of Furnas & Nordeste tour, we will have the opportunity to lunch the famous “Furnas Stew”, cooked in volcanic soil for 6 hours, and also have the opportunity to see taking out our pot from the interior of the volcanic soil, and all the volcanic manifestations existing there. On the day of Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo tour, lunch will be served as a “Buffet” with different meat and fish dishes. (Full lunch on both of 2 days of activities with starters, drinks, dessert and coffee included) In these 2 days of activitiest, you will have the privilege of having a general view of the most iconic places of the entire “green” island, from which stand out the emblematic viewpoints such as Vista do Rei in Sete Cidades, (winner of the 7 Wonders of Portugal ) or Pico do Ferro, where you can see from the top of the crater one of the most active volcanoes in the Azores archipelago and learn all about its eruptive history with more than 100,000 years. You will also have the opportunity to relax in hot thermal pools, heated by Furnas volcano, at one of the biggest and best Botanical Parks in Europe, Terra Nostra Park. Also the visit to Pineapple and Tea Plantations will be a “must”. In the Northeast area, we will visit the Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park with its 5 water mills and its imposing and majestic waterfall, entitled “Véu da Noiva”. We have selected the best TOP places to visit throughout São Miguel island in Sete Cidades, Furnas, Lagoa do Fogo and Nordeste areas, making in a 2 full days activities the most complete experience as possible at São Miguel Island in Azores

São Miguel West: Sete Cidades and Fogo Tour with Lunch

4. São Miguel West: Sete Cidades and Fogo Tour with Lunch

Your first stop on this full-day circuit will be at Pico do Carvão viewpoint. From here you'll be able to see the north coast (Ribeira Grande) and south of the island (Ponta Delgada) of São Miguel Island, against the backdrop of a vast expanse of volcanic cones between the incredible Sete Cidades volcano and the majestic 900-meter-high fire volcano. Continuing to one of the most emblematic viewpoints of São Miguel, in the Azores, Vista do Rei, known as the King D. Carlos and Queen D. Amélia. Time to continue your incredible all-day circuit into the massive volcanic interior of the Sete Cidades, considered one of the most incredible locations on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, amid epic paths and flanked slopes of hydrangeas. If you have never known what it is like to be inside a volcanic crater, then this is yet another reason to book this incredible full-day guided tour. Admire the Seven Cities Lagoon at a must-stop on the famous bridge that divides it, in the center of a volcanic crater. Breathe nature in the quiet parish of Sete Cidades and visit São Nicolau church. With a heart purified by nature, time to go to the Escalvado viewpoint, situated on a pyroclastic cliff, where from the top, you can admire the Monasteries and Ferraria, generated by the volcanic force of this area. Lunch break (lunch included). After lunch, time to return to head towards the second highest point of the island of São Miguel, at 900 meters, where the Pico da Barrosa viewpoint is located. From here you can see the north coast with its city of Ribeira Grande and the city of Ponta Delgada on the south coast of the island, as well as the entire amazing Lagoa do Fogo crater. Going down the north coast, the next stop will be at the Lagoa do Fogo viewpoint. Next up is the Caldeira Velha Environmental Interpretation Center for visiting or bathing in natural hot springs pools. (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense). The last stop of your full-day tour will be at the Pineapple Plantations to learn the whole process of growing pineapple in greenhouses and see for yourself why pineapple is considered the King fruit in Sao Miguel, and the Azores.

Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

5. Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Explore the volcanic landscape of the Sete Cidades, and the mountain scenery of the Lagoa do Fogo on a full-day sightseeing tour from Punta Delgada. Following a pick-up from your hotel, drive along a scenic road to the Vista do Rei viewpoint. Enjoy panoramic views of the blue and green waters of the two lakes in the crater of the Sete Cidades. Then, continue to different viewpoints before getting close to the banks of the twin lakes. Go to the Mata do Canário, and marvel at the unique flora of the natural park. Drive along the Pico do Carvão road past numerous small lakes, including the “Empadas Lakes.” Get multiple perspectives of the north and south shores of the island of São Miguel. Break for a lunch of typical Azorean food in a local restaurant in the city of Lagoa. Next, explore the city of Ribeira Grande with its unique historic center that dates from the 17th to 19th centuries. Ascend the Pico da Barrosa mountain at the end of your tour and discover the protected natural landscape of the Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). Marvel at the thermal pools, waterfalls, and different types of endangered plants of the area, before your return transfer to Ponta Delgada and a drop-off at your hotel.

Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

6. Azores: São Miguel and Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trip

Explore the impressive landscapes and amazing panoramas on a hiking trip to São Miguel. In the area of “Lagos”, start the trail on a dirt road that will get considerably steeper for the first 3 km, at which point you will meet an irrigation channel that will lead you to Lagoa do Fogo. Wander along an easy path through the forest, where soon you will find yourself hiking inside the crater, with its massive walls of greenery all around you. Reaching the shores of this famous lake, take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch of regional products with a view. Setting off once more, continue upwards slightly for better views of the lake and then head back down to the starting point through another steep and winding trail, with views of the south coast and the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo along the way. Return to the starting point while enjoying another perspective of the south coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the bathing zone of Caloura, or Agua D’Alto Beach, where you can practice snorkeling.

São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

7. São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

Discover the whale population of the Azores Islands on a boat cruise along the northern coast of São Miguel. Observe these majestic giants of the ocean in their natural habitat, at a respectful distance. Set off from the fishing village of Rabo de Peixe on the north coast of São Miguel. Explore the sea north of the island, known for its strong tides and whale population. Explore on a semi-inflatable craft, and observe the whales from a respectful distance so as to not disturb the whales. With the help of your onboard spotter, identify the whales as they breach the ocean surface. Be amazed by their grandeur and grace as the whales frolic in the ocean. See their gigantic tailfins, and hear the sound of the blowholes. As you cruise through the ocean, learn about the behavior and feeding habits of the whales with your expert crew. Afterward, return to the port in Rabo de Peixe.

São Miguel: Full-Day Tour to Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo

8. São Miguel: Full-Day Tour to Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo

The day begins with a pick up from your hotel or accommodation to visit a traditional pineapple plantation. See biological culture developed in greenhouses where it is possible to taste the pineapple's liquor. The journey continues on the west coast of the island, where you will enjoy the view over the newest and narrowest part of São Miguel and both coasts from the Pico de Carvão‘s viewpoint. Surrounded by the greenest vegetation, you will find in Vista do Rei's viewpoint the Sete Cidades volcanic complex. From here, you will see the famous blue and green twin lakes, as well as Santiago's lake, as viewed from the crater. A stop will be made in the picturesque Sete Cidades town where lunch will be served in a regional restaurant. In the afternoon, the tour goes along the coast enjoying the western landscape to arrive at Capelas, an ancient whaling village. Another stop at Pedras Negras‘s viewpoint to see the northern coast of the island. Continuing on the north coast, you will stop to visit the Ribeira Grande city and its historic center. As well, you will go to the Regional Liquor’s Factory and taste a variety of liquors. After that, visit Caldeira Velha, a natural reserve, to take an optional bath and enjoy the warm water from a waterfall. The last stop will be to take a look over the fantastic Lagoa do Fogo. Returning to Ponta Delgada going down by Pico da Barrosa, you will once more have the stunning view over the newest and narrowest part of the island.

Azores: Canyoning in Salto do Cabrito

9. Azores: Canyoning in Salto do Cabrito

Relax and disconnect in a beautiful setting in this morning canyoning adventure in Salto do Cabrito. Explore the natural side of São Miguel Island hiking and canyoning through lush forests and cool streams.  Meet the guide in central Ponta Delgada or arrange pick up from your accommodation and travel in an air-conditioned van 20 minutes to Salto do Cabrito. Hike 30 minutes to the stream where an experienced guide will give a security briefing and distribute all the equipment needed for the activity. Once suited and ready to go, spend a few hours exploring the pools and waterfalls. For those who dare, there will be an opportunity to finish the tour with a 4-meter jump. A zipline is also available for those who'd prefer flying to jumping.

From Ponta Delgada: Lagoa do Fogo & Hot Springs Day Trip

10. From Ponta Delgada: Lagoa do Fogo & Hot Springs Day Trip

Explore the beauty of the Lagoa do Fogo crater lake on this day trip from Ponta Delgada. Search for local treasures at a pottery factory, have free time to enjoy the Caldeira Velha Hot Springs, visit a local tea plantation, and capture pictures of the coast from points with sweeping views.  Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation Ponta Delgada in the morning and board an airconditioned van. Sit back and relax on the drive to a local pottery factory. View a colorful assortment of pots, cups, tiles, and plates at the Cerâmica Vieira pottery factory.  Travel to the Lagoa do Fogo crater lake that is nestled into the Água de Pau Massif stratovolcano. Take in its verdant shores and turquoise waters. Head to the hot springs of Caldeira Velha for an hour of free time where you can purchase a ticket to soak in the waters of the hot springs. Get some recommendations on where to purchase lunch from your guide before taking a meal break. After lunch make a stop at Gorreana, the only tea plantation in Europe. Admire the lush green layered crops before continuing to 4 viewpoints where you can take pictures of the highlands and the coast. 

Frequently asked questions about Ribeira Grande

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What people are saying about Ribeira Grande

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 1,099 reviews

Starting our short vacation in Sao Miguel we do not imagine the real beauty of this place. The main person responsible for this revelation was our guide, Hugo Melo, from Green Vision Tours (www.greenvisiontours.com), who with his liveliness, willingness, knowledge, but above all with his love for his place, made us love his island too. The program we had agreed on was absolutely respected, and Hugo was very consistent in his services and in all his obligations and further on, making us feel like a friend. Thus our discussions extended to many other issues, which went beyond the information about the areas we visited, interchanging experiences and thoughts for our countries and socities, and for their common european future. Hugo, Thank you very much for what you showed us and taught us and we hope to meet again on your island and have your company again. Maria & Nikiforos, Greece

Absolutely brilliant tour! The amazing weather helped, but Eduardos was knowledgeable and was able to answer all bar one question the whole van tour had. We stopped off for a buffet lunch in a local restaurant of local dishes. The cheese and bread for starter mmmmmm st George cheese and smoke baked bread! Nothing was rushed and we all had a great time. Thanks eduardos for a great day!!!

Pure Azores did an amazing job - this tour was excellent. We were in Ponta Delgada for a short day - a stop on our cruise from Lisbon across the Atlantic. They tailored this tour to our needs - providing a shortened tour which matched our time on the island. Despite this, we had a wonderful tour and an excellent lunch and managed to see the highlights of the west side of Sao Miguel.

We had the best day on our tour! Edu was a wonderful guide. He was incredibly knowledgeable about Sao Miguel and he showed us the most beautiful areas! We loved everything, the lunch was excellent and so was the wine! Do not hesitate to book this tour!

Amazing quad-bike experience with spectacular views. Our guide was very friendly and helpful and also informative. Definitely worth the money! And what a beautiful island indeed!