Where to stay in São Miguel

Lagoa Sao Miguel

Going on holiday to Sao Miguel Island in the Azores? Find out which locations and cities are the best, cheapest and most practical for accommodation on Sao Miguel.

Where to stay in São Miguel

At its narrowest point, the island is only 14km long, but it's 90km long, so choose your location with care. Like everywhere else, the best place to find accommodation on São Miguel is on the classic portals.

However, given the size of the island, you can't really go wrong with your choice of accommodation. You have to take into account that you will always have to leave your accommodation and drive to civilisation for all the tourist activities, the sea, food or shopping.

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Cities and starting points

If you want to get to know the island as much as possible, visiting both the west and east coasts (ideally by car), it is advisable to choose accommodation in towns in the central part of the island, whether you choose the north or south coast.

Ponta Delgada, the capital and largest city, is by far the best starting point. All the main roads lead from here, it has the only airport and the most accommodation. Even with the high competition, prices in Ponta Delgada are the lowest and start at 40 eur per night. The downside is more city bustle, so if you're heading to the Azores for peace and quiet and nature, Ponta Delgada may not be your cup of tea.

Capelas - although this town is not the largest on the north coast, you'll find classic hotels and many private apartments or guesthouses at very good prices, even under 40 eur per night. Moreover, Capelas lies in a peaceful, beautifully undulating landscape with a dramatic rocky coastline.

Ribeira Grande - the largest town on the north coast is the ideal choice if you don't want to live in bustling Ponta Delgada, but prefer the full facilities of a larger town. Here too, thanks to more competition, you can find accommodation in smaller guesthouses for around 45 eur per night.

Tourist spots in the countryside

If you're looking for places in the middle of unspoilt nature, but don't want to deprive yourself of the facilities of small towns in the form of shops, restaurants and cafes, there are some ideal places for you in São Miguel too.

Furnas, one of the most visited towns with thermal springs, a lake and many hiking trails, lies in the middle of the island surrounded by unspoilt nature, but with plenty of accommodation on offer in both small guesthouses and quality hotels.

Sete Cidades - the lake area in the west of the island is a magnet for all tourists heading to São Miguel, and accommodation in the town of Sete Cidades at the bottom of the huge caldera is highly sought after. However, due to the small capacity (there are only a few guesthouses) and however, it often sells out weeks in advance. In this case, a suitable alternative is the nearby seaside town of Mosteiros, where there are considerably more accommodation offers.

Beach resort

São Miguel isn't your typical beach destination, but if you're looking for accommodation in a larger resort-like town that boasts full facilities, one classic beach and great swimming in a lagoon in the middle of a small island 400 metres offshore that can only be reached by boat, head to Vila Franca do Campo.

As well as the pretty surroundings, you'll find a wide range of accommodation, with prices starting at around 55 eur for guesthouses and 110 eur for hotels.

Secluded quiet towns

The Azores are all about nature, tranquillity and divine peace. So if you want to avoid the tourist spots and bigger cities when you live, you have virtually unlimited options in São Miguel. However, we would like to recommend some beautiful towns where you can always find at least a shop and a restaurant, but which are far away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

  • Candelária / search for accommodation - a beautiful village on green sloping meadows along the main ring road in the west of the island with many apartments and guesthouses
  • Povoação / search for accommodation - a small town on the south-western coast drowned among the wooded mountain slopes and with a beautiful coastline
  • Nordeste / search for accommodation - a small village and yet the centre of the north-western and most remote part of the island with unspoilt nature and a very peaceful environment

Tips for the best accommodation

To make your decision easier, we've added our tips for the top 6 best accommodations within São Miguel Island.

  • Hotel Arcanjo ** - A beautiful modern hotel on the outskirts of Lagoa, a strategic location in the middle of the island and close to the big cities. It impresses with great value for money even under 55 eur per night
  • Casa Dos Barcos Furnas - A rustic old villa right on the shores of Lake Furnas with two bedrooms for up to 5 people is the ideal accommodation if you want to experience traditional rural living with the necessary modern amenities
  • Sete Cidades Quinta Da Queiró - a beautiful very modern guesthouse right in the centre of Sete Cidades
  • Sao Vicente Lodge - Atlantic Retreat - a beautiful modern small aparthotel with breathtaking ocean views and a good base in the middle of the north coast
  • Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort **** - if you prefer hotel resorts, this one on the north coast with sea views and close to town will probably offer the best value for money
  • Pedras do Mar Resort & Spa ***** - one of the cheapest 5* resorts in the Azores with prices around 110 eur per night, but the quality is not particularly out of line with the high standard of other 5* hotels on the island

Hotel prices in São Miguel

For now, the island is not overwhelmed by crowds of tourists. Although you need to choose your accommodation well in advance, especially because of the limited number of accommodations, you can find very nice hotel accommodation at a good price, even in high season. A three-star hotel for two with breakfast can be found from 90 eur per night, but the much-loved family-run apartments and guesthouses can often be found at prices from 45 eur per night for two.

Prices are higher from about mid-June to the end of September, but the differences from winter are not as dramatic as in Mediterranean destinations, for example. There is a logic to this, after all São Miguel is not typically a summer destination, but is more or less a year-round destination.

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