SAO MIGUEL AZORES, PORTUGAL

SAO MIGUEL AZORES, PORTUGAL

AZORES WAS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES I HAVE EVER BEEN TOO. THE FOOD, THE CULTURE, THE LANDSCAPE, THE SCENERY, THE OCEAN, THE BUILDINGS, DIDN'T EVEN SEEM REAL.  THIS WAS DEFINITELY THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY EUROPE TRIP.  WE STAYED AT THE CUTEST AIRBNB OVER LOOKING THE TOWN AND HOMES OF PONTA DEL GADA, WE WERE ONLY A 10 MINUTE DRIVE INTO TOWN WHERE ALL THE RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS WERE.  WE FOUND THE YUMMIEST LOCAL CAFE AND BAKERY IN TOWN NEAR THE BOAT HARBOR FOR COFFEE EVERY MORNING (WARNING: NO WHERE HAS ALMOND MILK, SO GO TO THE GROCERY STORE AND BUY YOURSELF A CARTON FOR THE TRIP).  FOR LUNCH AND DINNER WE BROWSED TRIP ADVISOR OR WENT TO THE GROCERY STORE AND BOUGHT SOME THINGS TO COOK.  EXPLORING THE ISLAND OF SAO MIGUEL WAS MY FAVORITE PART, THE DRIVES ALONE SEEMED STRAIGHT OUT OF A MOVIE, ESPECIALLY ALONG THE COAST AND THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS.  I SUGGEST RENTING A CAR AND DRIVING EVERYWHERE YOU CAN, THE ISLAND IS RELATIVELY SMALL, SO EVERYTHING WAS ABOUT 15-35 MINUTES AWAY AND SOME PLACES A BIT FURTHER.  WE VISITED THE TWO LAKES ON THE ISALND, THAT ARE WAY UP IN THE MOUNTAINS, THEN WE WENT TO THE TERRA NOSTA FURNAS.  THESE WERE THE AMAZING HOT SPRINGS WHICH ALSO HAPPENED TO BE SURROUNDED BY A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!  THIS PLACE HAD THREE POOLS; ONE HUGE ORANGE ONE, AND TWO SMALLER BLUE ONES BOTH OF DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE LEVELS (ONE BEING HOTTER THAN THE OTHER).  THIS PLACE WAS SO MAGICAL, I WOULD DEFINITELY GO BACK ONE DAY!  THE REST OF OUR TRIP WE SPENT EXPLORING AND TRYING NEW FOOD, WHICH BY THE WAY WAS SOME OF THE BEST FOOD I HAD EVER TASTED.  THE RESTAURANTS WERE ALL SO AUTHENTIC AND TRIP ADVISOR HELPED TO POINT US IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.  IT WAS A VERY NEAT EXPERIENCE FOR ME BECAUSE I HAVE FAMILY HISTORY AND PROBABLY RELATIVES ON THE NEIGHBOR ISLAND, PICO.  I WAS BUMMED WE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO EXPLORE OR TAKE A DAY TRIP OVER TO PICO ISLAND BUT THAT GIVES ME ONE MORE REASON TO COME BACK TO THE AZORES.