The Green Island

The island of São Miguel is called the green island because it is the greenest of the seven islands that make up the volcanic archipelago of the Azores. Within the forest of green you will find volcanos, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, hiking trails, canyons, pineapple and tea plantations — not to mention the city of Ponta Delgada and all the small towns around the island.

The island is an action lover’s paradise, with canyoning, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing to name a few of the choices. São Miguel is home to the last tea plantation in Europe and also home to pineapple plantations, which grow pineapples in greenhouses scattered throughout the island. The people living here are so friendly and helpful, but they are never in a rush and don’t expect you to be either, so learning to not rush everywhere was the first lesson of the island.

The food is amazing and so fresh, in my two weeks on the island I have not had one bad meal. I have taken so many pictures and it was hard to choose a few for this post, but I hope you can get a feeling of how great a place São Miguel is. Please enjoy!

Atop the Sete Cidades Volcano looking toward Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Lakes of the Seven Cities) a twin caldera lake within the volcano, a narrow spit divides green lake and blue lake.
Igreja de Saint Nicolau (Church of Saint Nicholas) is a parish church in the town of Sete Cidades. The entire town sits within the caldera of the Sete Cidades volcano.
From atop a bluff on then north west side of the island of São Miguel with the coastal village of Mosteiros in the distance.
Looking west over the Atlantic Ocean, the black on the outcrops of rocks is volcanic basalt left from a previous eruption of the Sete Cidades volcano.
Sycamore trees line Campo de São Francisco square in the center of Ponta Delgada, the trees have leaves that look like a Canadian maple leaf and camouflage like trunks.
The Azorean pineapple is smaller than the Hawaiian version and they are grown in one of the 6,000 greenhouses on the islands, the result is a very sweet and delicious island treat.
Portas da Cidade (City Gate) in the center of Ponta Delgada welcomes visitors from all over the world. The dark brick is volcanic basalt; one of the main building materials on the island.
Paços do Concelho de Ponta Delgada (Ponta Delgada City Hall), built in 1724, with a statue of the archangel Michael which is where São Miguel gets its name.
Sunset over the Paços do Concelho de Ribeira Grande (Ribeira Grande City Hall) and the main square. Sete Cidades volcano is in the distance.
Ribeira Grande sunset with cloud burst.
A lava flow of volcanic basalt from the Fogo volcano on a beach in Ribeira Grande.
Professor Isabelle SacramentoGrilo explaining to our class the geology of the Fogo volcano lava flow, as we take a quick break for a photo.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Estrela (Church of Our Lady of the Star) in Ribeira Grande. The people are a celebrating for the Espírito Santo (Holy Spirit) festival.
Hydrothermal springs near the Fogo volcano; The water is actually boiling.
The caldera Lake Furnas from atop the Furnas volcano.
The pot is full of a local stew called Cozido, which is meat, potatoes and vegetables cooked within the earth near Furnas volcano. The pots are then rushed to local restaurants for lunch.

David McLean-Perkins is majoring in information systems. He is participating in a study abroad program to Portugal in Summer, 2017.

One thought on “The Green Island

Add yours

Comment on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: