12 Amazing Miradouros to Check Out in São Miguel

São Miguel is the world’s greatest island for lookout points – or “miradouros” as they are called – and taking in the amazing views of volcanic peaks, azure lakes and vast seascapes before you. No matter which side of the island you are on, from the popular west to the untouched east, one stunning vista after another greets you. We have just compiled a list of the best miradouros in São Miguel so you know where to head to on your exploration of this Azores gem.

Best Miradouros in São Miguel

1. Miradouro da Nossa Senhora da Paz

Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Paz is a beautiful little church located on a mountain overlooking the town of Vila Franca do Campo and Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo. The stairway leading up to the chapel is decorated in these magnificent blue and white tiles. Arriving at the top, at Miradouro da Nossa Senhora da Paz, affords visitors a truly unique perspective of the town, islet and ocean below. It’s certainly one of the best miradouros here in São Miguel.

Best Miradouros in São Miguel
Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo

2. Miradouro da Ponta do Arnel

Farol do Arnel is a lighthouse found on the northeastern side of the island and it was built in 1922. Its location right on the water’s edge offers unparalleled views of the deep blue Atlantic Ocean that stretches out as far as the eye can see. One fantastic place to look upon the lighthouse and its ocean vistas is Miradouro da Ponta do Arnel. Come for sunset and bring your camera to capture the gorgeous golden light that illuminates this corner of São Miguel.

Best Miradouros in São Miguel
Farol do Arnel

3. Miradouro da Vista dos Barcos

Another viewpoint of Farol do Arnel is Miradouro da Vista dos Barcos which is situated just south of the lighthouse. From here you can admire the charming road that winds up to the lighthouse, as well as the green hillside landscapes and the never-ending deep blue Atlantic waters. Again, try coming at sunset to witness the lighthouse in its most seductive form. During certain times of the year, colorful flowers bloom making the views even more attractive.

4. Miradouro da Lagoa de Santiago

Lagoa de Santiago is near Sete Cidades and its green waters surrounded by lush vegetation are a breathtaking sight to see. Venture to Miradouro da Lagoa de Santiago to soak in the natural beauty of this volcanic formation. Make sure you go on a day when it’s not foggy as the lagoon’s green colors are more radiant then. You can also check out this viewpoint straight after exploring Sete Cidades and its premier miradouro, Miradouro da Vista do Rei.

Lagoa de Santiago
Lagoa de Santiago

5. Miradouro da Vista do Rei

The lookout which sums up Azores enchantment in its entirety is the aptly named Miradouro da Vista do Rei. With car parks right at the miradouro, it’s only a short walk to get there if you arrive by car. Once here, you can gaze out at the multi-colored lakes of Sete Cidades drenched in lush green nature. One important tip is to check the webcams before you go to ensure the area isn’t covered in clouds. A little bit of fog is cool but too much spoils the experience.

6. Miradouro da Boca do Inferno

The other main miradouro that you should visit in Sete Cidades is Miradouro da Boca do Inferno. It translates to “hell’s mouth” – a nod to the tumultuous volcanic eruptions which created this wonder of nature. The panoramic views from the top showcase several volcanic craters such as Lagoa Azul, Lagoa do Santiago, Lagoa Rasa, Caldeira Seca and Caldeira do Alferes. There are two car parks nearby. One is a short walk away while the other offers a 20 minute trail.

Miradouro da Boca do Inferno
Miradouro da Boca do Inferno
Best Miradouros in São Miguel
Miradouro da Boca do Inferno

7. Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo

Lagoa do Fogo is the highest elevated crater lake on the island of São Miguel. The color of its water changes depending on the weather, with profound blue and green tones on sunny days and different shades of gray on cloudy days. There are two lookout points which you can choose from at the Lake of Fire. One is Miradouro do Pico da Barrosa and the other is Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo. The latter view is the best option if you want to stand closer to the lake.

Best Miradouros in São Miguel
Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo

8. Miradouro da Ponta da Madrugada

While traveling through the eastern regions of São Miguel it would be silly to miss the jaw-dropping Miradouro da Ponta da Madrugada – with its steep cliff faces, abundant flower species and remarkable sunrise views. Madrugada means “dawn” in Portuguese, named after its famous dawn splendor. There is also a leisure area here where you can cook up a BBQ on the outdoor grill. This is the perfect activity after watching the sunrise and exploring the area.

Miradouro da Ponta da Madrugada
Miradouro da Ponta da Madrugada

9. Miradouro do Castelo Branco

Miradouro do Castelo Branco is home to a small but captivating medieval tower that sits at the top of the viewpoint. It was used as a watchtower many moons ago. The 360 degree perspective you get from Castelo Branco gives you the chance to see Lagoa das Furnas and Vila Franca do Campo in the background. It’s one of the best miradouros in São Miguel as you can take some interesting photos of the mini-castle with spectacular views behind it.

10. Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado

Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado is located at the end of a cliff on the west side of the island. Sunsets at this lookout are especially beautiful because you can see the sun beaming down onto the water with nothing interrupting the view. If you turn your eyes to the right you will be able to make out Ilhéus dos Mosteiros, two islets with unique rock formations sitting just off the coast. The photo opportunities are endless at this marvelous miradouro of the Azores.

11. Miradouro de Santa Iria

This is a hidden gem of a lookout point which not many travelers know about. That’s awesome news because even during peak tourist season there will be hardly anyone around. The scenery in Santa Iria is phenomenal. You can see a small hilly peninsula jutting out from the coastline and the Atlantic Ocean in all its grandeur. One delightful aspect about Miradouro de Santa Iria are the animals who reside there. It’s common to see horses grazing on the grass.

12. Miradouro do Pico do Ferro

Last but certainly not least on our list of the best miradouros in São Miguel is Miradouro do Pico do Ferro. It’s considered to have the most picturesque view of Lagoa das Furnas. Since the lookout is located so close to Furnas, you can easily come here before or after your hot spring soaks in the thermal pools of the region. And while in Furnas, be sure to try the famous Cozido das Furnas which is a hearty stew cooked underground through volcanic processes.

Miradouro do Pico do Ferro
Miradouro do Pico do Ferro

See the Best Miradouros in São Miguel with Us

The miradouros mentioned above are by no means the only viewpoints on the island. There are dozens of these places to visit as you travel along the coastline. Some of the lookouts you can drive to while others require a bit of hiking. If you would like to be shown around this one-of-a-kind island by locals then get in touch with Azores Dream Tours and we can put together an itinerary that covers the best miradouros as well as many hidden gems.

Best Miradouros in São Miguel
São Miguel

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