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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ilheu Vila Franco Campo - Sao Miguel, Azores

The Azores is slowly coming into radar of Wanderlusters and Travelers near and far.  It has been the best kept secret of European summer vacationers.

Not only is Sao Miguel one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, but it is an island with fantastic diving, amazing landscape, and the birthplace of my parents.  While I shared one general post on this island, I have so many more pictures and details to share.  
(And I have 8 islands to go back and see)

The Azores is an archipelago, "composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about 1,360 km (850 mi) west of Portugal".  You can get a direct flight right from Boston to Sao Miguel and then fly/ferry to the other islands. 

Today's Azores feature is a beautiful nature reserve/island-- 
Ilheu Vila Franco Campo 

Ilheu Vila Franco Campo
So imagine swimming on the crater of a volcano in the middle of the ocean.  Yep, you can find that here.  This island is a natural reserve and you can take a ferry over from Vila Franco do Campo.  The island is opposite the town of Vila Franco do Campo about 1 km from the coast.

Ferry to the Island 

Leaving Franco do Campo

Boquete- swimming hole on the island 
The island is classified as a Nature Reserve and is the result of the crater of an ancient submerged volcano.  This area is a must see if you are visiting the Sao Miguel.

The swimming hole in the center (called the Boquete) faces north towards the coast of Sao Miguel and the port of Vila Franco do Campo.  This is an excellent spot to swim and snorkel in a secluded area.  The water is cold (you are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean) but I still jumped in because how many times do you have a chance and a view like this?  There are also bathrooms and changing rooms on the island. 

Crystal clear water in the swimming hole 

Walking path and bathrooms on the island 
If swimming isn't your thing, you can walk these beautiful little boardwalk around the island and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  

Natural Bridge
Atlantic on the left, swimming hole on the right
If you are lucky, on the ride back to the main island, you can travel around the island, passing through this tiny "canyon" featured below. 

Boat ride around the island
If you are really lucky, you are here in time for the Red Bull Cliff Diving Championships.  They were just setting it up for the next week when we were here.  The platform was placed off of the pilar structure adjacent to the island and must be amazing to watch. 

Red Bull Cliff Diving Azores-
This Nature Reserve is an amazing must see if you are visiting the Azores.  This little island, off of a larger island, that is a part of 9 islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  Paradise Found .

Stay tuned for more features from Sao Miguel! 


  1. oh. my. god. This place is gorgeous! Definitely going onto my list. As well haha

    xx Naomi in Wonderland

    1. it is so gorgeous! It is really a hidden secret! Ill be posting more about it all week too! Glad you are adding it to your list ;)

  2. umm sign me UP! :)



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