Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos

Day 07 - Sunday, April 16, 2023 - Fly to São Miguel Island; Transfer to Ponta Delgada; Tour of Pineapple Farms; City Walk

After breakfast we said goodbye to the Azoris Angra Garden hotel staff and Able took us to the airport for our short 50-minute flight to São Miguel. On the way, we took a brief detour to the top of Serra do Cume, a volcanic overlook 1,200 feet above sea level.

The fog was rolling in and out, but the view from the top was delightful. The green patchwork quilt vista gave us a real perspective of the valley below. We were all amazed with Mr. Able’s driving skills as he negotiated the tight curves driving up and then down the cone.

When we reached the airport, we discovered that on this Sunday morning, we were almost the only ones in the terminal. We checked our luggage and then went through security.

Finding our gate was easy as there were only five in the terminal. While Gennie started writing the journal, Vic took a few photos and bought a bottle of water. We thought about buying a Snicker Bar but it was 5 Euros - no way!

Our aircraft was a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-Q400 with twin propellers that could seat 44 people. The flight was full but a very short hop to the south of the archipelago.

This island is Henrique’s home so he gave us a brief history of the area and our itinerary for the rest of the afternoon. São Miguel is the archipelago’s largest city and home to 68,000 people.

Because of the impending bad weather, Henrique told us the whale watching tour would be postponed until we get to Madeira. Instead, we went to the Ananás dos Açores, the Azorean Pineapple greenhouses. Filipa went with our bus to the hotel to drop off our luggage and all of our carry-on bags.

Henrique taught us about the production of this special smaller pineapple grown here in the Azores. Amazingly, it takes about 24 months to grow a pineapple. The company we visited produces 700 to 1000 tons of pineapple a year.

Not only do they produce the fresh fruit but they also make juices, jams, and ice cream. We had lunch at their little café. We shared a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, a dish of sherbet and Vic had a pineapple caipirinha made with cachaça, sugar, lime, and chunks of pineapple.

We had a long walk through the town as Henrique pointed out important aspects of his city. A few of us walked back to the hotel and the rest went on to the museum. By the time everyone settled into their rooms they were tired.

At 6:30 we met again in the lobby and celebrated Beth’s birthday with a sparkling wine toast. Then we were off to the harbor and the Stage Restaurant where we had the best meal of the trip so far.

The appetizers were very plentiful and filling. By the time we got to the main course we thought we could not eat another bite. Somehow, we all managed to finish our meals as well as the chocolate mousse and almond tart for dessert.

It was 9:30 when we got back to our room to finish the journal and call it a day. Thank you again for following our busy adventures in the Azores.

Accommodations: Hotel Marina Atlantico - - - Meal: B & D

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Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos
Henrique da Camara


How very much like OAT to visit the volcano en route to the airport. Love that!

Susan Dersé   April 17, 2023 - 4:46am

I’m amazed that it takes so long to grow a pineapple! Who knew? I thought of you today because of how you always end your emails. My cousins and I have a book club. We live all over so meet via Zoom. Today we each were to read a book about Eleanor Roosevelt in honor of our Aunt Eleanor who was born 90 years ago today and was named after Eleanor Roosevelt. We always have great discussions!

Susan Phillips   April 17, 2023 - 4:26am
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Topography of São Miguel Island

Topography of São Miguel Island

Dash 8-Q400 Aircraft

Dash 8-Q400 Aircraft

Ponte Delgado From Above

Ponte Delgado From Above

Pineapple Plantation

Pineapple Plantation

Fixer Upper

Fixer Upper

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Day 13: Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos

Day 13 - Saturday, April 22, 2022 - Depart for U.S.

The hotel prepared a box breakfast for us as we had to be in the lobby way before the breakfast room was open.

Last night we found out that our departure flight back to...

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