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What to do in São Miguel, Azores, with bad weather

Actividades para fazer em São Miguel Açores

If you follow the Surfer Girl On The Move social channels, you know that on my last trip to São Miguel in the Azores, I experienced a gigantic storm.

I had the perfect aim of scheduling this trip: pouring rain, winds of 100 km per hour, and huge swells that prevented me from entering the water.

But what to do when you are traveling and you hit lousy weather? Should you spend the days at the hotel regretting life? That’s definitely not my style! There are always options for things to do with bad weather, and São Miguel is an excellent example of this!

Visit São Miguel with bad weather

1. Visit the Gorreana Tea Factory

Fábrica de Chá Gorreana

Most of the activities and tourist attractions of São Miguel are outdoors, but when we think about what to do indoors, a spot quickly jumps into our thought: the Gorreana Tea Factory.

Located in the parish of Maia, this is an ex-libris of the island since it is the oldest and only tea plantation in all of Europe.

Far from the rain that falls outside, we can learn how the production of tea was introduced in São Miguel, the different types of leaves and the production methods, the various areas of the factory and its machinery, from the arrival of the leaves to the packaging, and, finally, end the visit by sipping a pekoe black tea with our eyes placed in the plantation.

2. Tour the restaurants

Sociedade Agrícola de São Miguel

It´s a fact, and this trip proves it: any holiday with bad weather comes alive with gastronomic programs. At least for me… and quite possibly for most travelers.

There are countless excellent restaurants in São Miguel, especially for meat lovers, and some are classics, such as the Agricultural Society in a place called Rabo de Peixe.

But this trip was the perfect excuse to go in search of other places. Like Mané Cigano, a tavern in the middle of Ponta Delgada, with a frightening queue at the door (go early, very early) but with the best chicharros (fried fish) you’ll ever taste; or A Tasca, a more modern place with a list of delicacies to lose our head for (be sure to sample the breaded octopus). Oh, the extra pounds I earned these past days in São Miguel…

3. Go to the market

The Graça Market in Ponta Delgada is another place where you can protect yourself from bad weather and indulge in good regional products.

The stalls of this 19th-century market are filled with the famous Azores pineapples, peppers (and be sure that the locals like their peppers!), yams, and, of course, the Rei dos Queijos (King of Cheeses) shop, ideal to choose the cheese you want to take back home with you or some local sweet jams.

4. Get yourself into hot water

Jardim Botânico Terra Nostra

If this is your first time visiting São Miguel, don’t bother with the rain and go to the thermal water pools. Whether it’s in Caldeira Velha, Ribeira Grande, or Poça da Dona Beija, in Furnas, soak in these hot pools and don’t mind the rain that falls on your head.

Both places are inserted in beautiful green environments, and neither place with the gray sky loses its magic. Just be careful with the slippery floor and don’t stay too long in the water, whose temperature can lower the blood pressure.

5. Drink a tea (or something else) at the Marina

The Ponta Delgada Marina occupies much of the city’s seafront and is another local attraction. After all, here come great ship cruises from all over the world, and from here depart vessels that take visitors to see the incredible marine life of this archipelago.

The location also offers several shops and great cafes to unwind.

The Marina also has a public swimming pool (with a lifeguard) that attracts dozens of swimmers. When I was there, even the torrential rain prevented tourists from going into the water.

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Have you ever visited São Miguel? What do you usually do when your holiday is celebrated with bad weather? Let’s exchange experiences! Give your opinion in the comments box below.

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The Azores islands are famous for its unstable weather. But when a storm hits on the largest island of the archipelago, São Miguel, what to do?


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Marlene On The Move

Marlene Marques

Marlene is the creator of Marlene On The Move. A journalist by profession, she created the blog to share her adventures around the world. It is not unusual for her to set off to discover new countries and cultures with a surfboard as luggage.




  • Aga

    Going to the Azores in September. Hope I will have great weather, but if I don’t these suggestions will come in handy !

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Aga! I’m sure you’ll have a splendid time. My first trip to São Miguel was at the end of September and I catch wonderful weather. Hope you have fun!

  • Zaneta Baran

    I had exactly the same problem when I was in Coron, Philippines and I also decided to share my experiences. Always find better side of everything haha

    • Marlene Marques

      Absolutely! That’s my point with this post. Always make it work in your favor 😉

  • Julie Laundis

    I love that you didn’t let the weather stop you and still enjoyed your trip! I d love the go to the Azores in the next few years

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Julie. Be sure to fit it on your next travel plans, as it is a beautiful destination. I think you’ll love it! Happy travels!

  • Linda (LD Holland)

    I was so sorry to read that you had rain for your visit to Sao Miguel. But glad you found things to do. We too visited the Gorreana Tea Factory. We liked the tea ice cream. The day we visited one of the thermal baths it was raining too. But as you said, it was just find to visit in the rain. And there was always another great place to eat in the Azores.

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Linda! Missed that tea ice cream. Must have been delicious! The beauty of the Azorean islands is that they’re so full of places to visit that you always have something to do, in spite of the weather. I’m glad you enjoyed it also.

  • Rhonda Albom

    Pity about the bad weather. It always hits sometimes during your trip. I’m glad you still managed to find plenty to do. The tea factory sounds really interesting. I didn’t realise there was only one plantation in all of Europe.

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Rhonda! I didn’t know it either. That’s just one of the things you learn during this visit. It’s really a special place.

  • Hannah

    Such a shame the weather wasn’t with you, but yay for such great alternatives. I would love to see how tea is made at the Gorreana Tea Factory. I really want to try chicharros because I’ve read so much about them – sound delish!

    • Marlene Marques

      The Tea Factory is great as you get to see all the ancient machines and taste that beautiful tea. I truly recommend it 🙂

  • Kathleen

    It seems that you didn’t allow the rain to ruin your trip. There are always things to explore anywhere you go, rain or not. Of course, trying all the food is an excellent thing to do!

    • Marlene Marques

      My thought exactly! 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen. Happy travels!

  • Nicole

    I haven’t been to the Azores but Sao Miguel looks like fun. Glad you found things to do in he bad weather.

    • Marlene Marques

      If you have the opportunity, try to visit it one day. You won’t regret it. 🙂

  • sherianne

    The weather may have been terrible but it made for a great moody photo! The thermal pools and food tour sound like great things to do in kind of weather

    • Marlene Marques

      Absolutely! Always looking at the bright side of things 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Sherianne!

  • Holly

    I like tea so I would def not mind that. Trying out food sounds great too. Hoping to get to the Azores.

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Holly. Hope you have the chance to visit the Azores. You’re going to love it!

  • Claudia

    While you may have been hit with inclement weather, it looks like Sao Miguel had lots of indoor attractions on offer. Markets are always a favorite of mine, you can learn so much for local vendors and food purveyors. And eating is always one of my favorite indoor activities. 😉

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Claudia. Couldn’t agree more. A visit to the markets is always a good way to feel the local culture and beautiful products of a country.

  • Jas

    i love tea so the factory is definitely my cup of tea hahaa (pun intended). I totally agree with you too that bad weather is basically synonymous with gastronomic programs and there’s nothing to complain about that! The chicharros, breaded octopus… They all sound to die for!

    • Marlene Marques

      Absolutely! To know a country by its gastronomic offers is always a good option. 😉 Happy travels!

  • Mario Feijoca

    On rainy days a visit to the Honey Museum is suggested – Honey Route Experience

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