Sete Cidades is a stunning destination located in the Azores, a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean. This natural wonder is known for its twin lakes, one blue and one green, surrounded by lush greenery and volcanic cliffs. If you’re planning a trip to the Azores, a day trip to Sete Cidades is a must-see attraction.
What is Sete Cidades?
Sete Cidades is a natural wonder located in the Azores, a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean. It is known for its twin lakes, one blue and one green, surrounded by lush greenery and volcanic cliffs. Sete Cidades is a popular destination for tourists visiting the Azores and is a must-see attraction for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of the islands.
One of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, it showcases the Green and Blue Lakes, which according to legend, were formed from the tears of a shepherd and a princess who shared a forbidden love. These lakes can be seen from the Vista do Rei (King’s View) Lookout, named after King D. Carlos and Queen D. Amélia to celebrate their visit to the island in 1901.
How to get to Sete Cidades
Sete Cidades is located on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. The easiest way to get there is by renting a car or booking a tour. The drive from Ponta Delgada, the main city on the island, takes about 30 minutes. There are also buses that run to Sete Cidades, but they are less frequent and may not be as convenient for tourists. Once you arrive, there are several hiking trails and viewpoints to explore the beauty of this natural wonder.
Lagoa do Canário & Boca do Inferno Viewpoint
I invite you to start your tour at one of the most beautiful places on the island, the Boca do Inferno viewpoint. This viewpoint offers a splendid view over Lagoa das Sete Cidades, with blue and green waters, Lagoa de Santiago and Lagoa Rasa.Information: to enjoy this place, visit it on a day without fog. Click on this link to see the weather live (webcam) – choose the webcam “Sete Cidades”. Tip: you will find a gate at the entrance to the lagoon, many people leave their car there. Know that you can enter your car to enjoy the viewpoint. It will save you a walk of 1 km each way.
Vista do Rei Viewpoint
This viewpoint, located at 251 meters high, is the best known on the island of São Miguel and will allow you to contemplate the Lagoa das Sete Cidades.
Behind this viewpoint you will find the Monte Palace hotel, which has been completely abandoned for several years. It is possible to climb inside the hotel to the top and enjoy a magnificent view over the Lagoon.
During your journey between the Vista do Rei viewpoint and the next point (Sete Cidades), stop at the Cerrado das Freiras viewpoint and the Lagoa de Santiago viewpoint to admire the view over the Lagoa das Sete Cidades and the Lagoa de Santiago.
In this parish, visit the beautiful church of São Nicolau and the Lagoa das Sete Cidades. Do not hesitate to go around the Lagoa (by car) to the tunnel created in 1937 to maintain the water level.
Where to Eat in Sete Cidades?
In Sete Cidades I recommend the Lagoa Azul restaurant. If you like octopus, go to Mosteiros to the O Américo restaurant.
If it’s time for a snack, go to the tea room at Quinta da Queiró, next to the Sete Cidades lagoon.
Activities to do in Sete Cidades
Sete Cidades offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular is hiking around the twin lakes, Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde, which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. You can also rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the lakes up close. For those who prefer a more leisurely experience, take a scenic drive around the crater rim or relax at one of the local cafes and enjoy the view. Don’t forget to visit the historic church of São Nicolau and the nearby hot springs for a truly unique experience.
If the weather is good and there is no wind, a good option is to go canoeing in the Sete Cidades lagoon. It’s great for chilling out and relaxing while enjoying the scenery.
If you have time and enjoy hiking, take the opportunity to take the Serra Devassa trail, which starts at the entrance to Lagoa do Canário. On this trail you will see several lagoons, including Lagoas Empadadas, and a panoramic view of the island of São Miguel.