If you follow the Surfer Girl On The Move social channels, you know that my last trip to São Miguel in the Azores was experienced with a gigantic storm.
I had the perfect aim 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? Spend the days at the hotel regreting life? Definitely not my style! There are always options for things to do with bad weather, and São Miguel is an excellent example of this!
1. Visit the Gorreana Tea Factory
Most of the activities and tourist attractions of São Miguel are outdoors, but when we think about what to do indoor 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, learn the different types of leaves and the production methods, visit the various areas of the factory and its machinery, from the arrival of the leaves to the packaging. And, finally, end the visit sipping a pekoe black tea with our eyes placed in the plantation.
2. Tour the restaurants
It´s a fact, and this trip proves it: any holiday with bad weather come 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, at the same time, 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
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, in 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 that neither with the gray sky lose their 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 in the great ship cruises from all over the world and from here depart the 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.
Things To Do In Sao Miguel
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.