We were tired after our long day of travelling yesterday, so didn't make the world's earliest start to the morning today. Tim went out around 8am in search of an open grocery store, returning shortly afterwards with some breakfast supplies. We hadn't made a firm plan for today because so much on the Azores depends on what the weather is like, but today seemed to be remarkably sunny so we decided to make the most of it and attempt to re-see some of our favourite sights from 2018.
There's one viewpoint which is always at the top of our minds when we think about the Azores: Miradouro da Boca do Inferno. When we were here in 2018 we had multiple attempts to see the view from there in the sunshine before finally getting lucky towards the end of our trip. It felt quite off the beaten track back then and we only found it by following instructions in somebody else's blog post. When researching this trip I had read that it was definitely not off the beaten track any more and that turned out to be true. Last time we came, we were more or less the only people parked at the bottom of the road which leads to the viewpoint. Today, that road was closed off and there was a long line of cars parked along the side of the main road. We got the impression that the Azores have been "discovered"!
Never mind. After 15 minutes or so of walking down a forest road, we got our first glimpse of the lakes at Sete Cidades.
It really is a stunning place
From here the trail climbs upwards and it was actually steeper than I'd remembered; fine going up but a bit steep going down. It felt like there'd been some soil erosion since last time we were here. Still an amazing path though!
And despite the procession of people going up and down, Tim even managed to get a shot without anyone else in it
The views of Setes Cidades from the edge of the viewpoint are incredible.
In the left-hand corner of this photo you should be able to make out a second lake too, which is a deeper shade of green.
It's a beautiful place but we didn't linger too long because there were other viewpoints we wanted to see while the weather was this clear.
We walked back up the forest road towards the car.
On the way we spotted a small sign pointing towards Lagoa do Canario and went to explore.
This was just a small lake, but it was very very green.
A few miles up the road we came to the viewpoint Miradouro da Vista do Rei.
This is the more famous of the Setes Cidades viewpoints and there are a couple of large car parks nearby.
One of the lakes is blue while the other is supposed to be green, but we couldn't see a huge difference in colour today.
The views were still spectacular though and we were even motivated to try taking a selfie
We'd parked in a car park which was about 1km away from the viewpoint and as we walked back up the road we passed another couple of gorgeous viewpoints.
In the opposite direction we were able to see the sea.
And the sea was where we were heading next
We wanted to visit Mosteiros, a small village on the northwestern coast of the island.
The beach here has been formed by lava flowing down to the sea and solidifying.
It's a really unusual landscape to walk around!
There was one more part of the island which I really wanted to see in the sunshine: Lagoa do Fogo.
This is another stunning crater lake but this part of the island is frequently covered in cloud so it isn't always visible.
I was very happy that I got to see it today
I could have stood and admired the lake all day but we were getting hungry, so we decided to drive back to Ponta Delgada. After successfully squeezing the car back into the parking garage, we walked into town in the search for somewhere to eat.
There weren't many restaurants open at 4pm on a Sunday, but we eventually found somewhere that was still serving. It wasn't quite as cheap as yesterday, with the final price coming in at £49. However, for that we had a three course meal including wine and coffee, so I'm still pretty impressed We tried some cheese from the island of São Jorge to start, then I had a steak and Tim had a meal with chicken. As part of our dessert we also tried a pastel de nata with nutella in the middle, which was quite an experience
Overall it's been an amazing day. I suspect most of our other days in the Azores won't be quite so sunny, but today has definitely been a strong start to the holiday!