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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lagoa das Sete Cidades - Sao Miguel, Azores

Lagoas das Sete Cidades

Heading to the western part of the Azores, you will come across Sete Cidades, or "Crater Town" as we liked to call it. We headed west to visit family and see the famous sites of the western part of the island. This area holds the largest freshwater lake on the island. This vantage point is known as "belvedere of Vista do Rei" where you can see the gorgeous view of this unique lake. You can also receive a history lesson from your father while enjoying the scenery

belvedere of Vista do Rei- vantage point for the twin lakes

"Lagoa das Sete Cidades, Lagoon of the Seven Cities, is a twin-lake situated in the crater of a massive volcano on the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. It consists of two ecologically-different small-lakes connected by a narrow passage (and crossed by a bridge), located inside a dormant volcano on the western third of the island of São Miguel. The Lagoa das Sete Cidades part of a natural landscape of communitarian interest: it is the largest body of water in the region and one of the most important freshwater resources in the archipelago." The lakes are known as Lagoa Verde (Green Lake) and Lagoa Azul (Blue Lake). Source

According to legend, the differently colored lakes were created when a princess and her lover, a young shepherd, had to part from each other. The tears they shed at their farewell became the two lakes, with the watercolored like their eyes.

According to science, the lakes get their color from reflections. Blue reflects the sky and Green reflects the ground. There are also some amazing hike and bike trails in this area around the craters and lakes.

While the lakes are a gorgeous sight to see, don't leave before stopping to see the abandoned hotel.

The Hotel Monte Palace is an abandoned once 5 star hotel. Overlooking the lake, the hotel had 88 rooms and amenities ranging from nightclubs to banks. Why didn't it work out? The hotel is in a desolate area of a not very well known chain of islands in the middle of the Atlantic. The Azores did not have a booming tourist industry when this was built. Worst, is that the hotel is situated in the clouds about 90 % of the time.

After opening in 1989, the hotel only operated for a little more than a year before shutting its doors. According to reports, for about a decade the empty halls were patrolled by guards and dogs, but with no one interested in paying them any longer, it seems that they simply disappeared some time in the mid-2000s. Source
More pictures here

Driving around this part of the island, you will see more gorgeous vistas, cows, hydrangeas, and Azorean landscapes.

The views on this part of the island are stunning. The drive is a little treacherous, and if you get car sick you might want to take an extra Dramamine. While this area is a little ways away from the "downtown" area of Sao Miguel, it is absolutely worth the drive to see the crater, the hotel, and the gorgeous views of Sao Miguel.


  1. "You will also receive a history lesson from your father" the best! Gorgeous shots once again Katie. I love the history of the abandoned hotel, very intriguing.

    xx -n
    Naomi in Wonderland

    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by! The hotel is quite intriguing! Bummed I didn't go in!

  2. so so interesting and informative!! loving these posts!



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