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São Miguel is the largest and most populous island in the Azores archipelago. It is a beautiful island with a diverse landscape, including lush green forests, dramatic volcanic cliffs, and stunning crater lakes. São Miguel is also home to a variety of unique attractions, such as the Terra Nostra Botanical Garden, the Furnas hot springs, and the Sete Cidades twin lakes.
One of the best ways to explore São Miguel is by car. This gives you the flexibility to visit all of the island's attractions at your own pace. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when renting a car in São Miguel.
Book your car in advance. Especially if you are visiting during the peak season (June-August), it is important to book your car rental in advance. This will ensure that you get the type of car you want and at a competitive price.
Choose the right type of car. São Miguel has a variety of roads, from paved highways to unpaved dirt roads. If you are planning on doing any off-road driving, it is important to choose a car with four-wheel drive.
Be aware of the speed limits. The speed limit on most highways in São Miguel is 90 km/h (56 mph). However, the speed limit can drop as low as 50 km/h (31 mph) in some areas.
Watch out for narrow roads. Many of the roads in São Miguel are narrow and windy. Be sure to drive carefully and give other drivers plenty of space.
Be prepared for fog. Fog is common in São Miguel, especially in the mornings and evenings. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully when fog is present.
Ponta Delgada: The capital city of São Miguel, Ponta Delgada is home to a variety of historical and cultural attractions, such as the Portas da Cidade (City Gates), the Igreja Matriz de São Sebastião (Church of St. Sebastian), and the Carlos Machado Museum.
Sete Cidades: This twin crater lake is one of the most popular tourist attractions in São Miguel. Visitors can hike around the rim of the crater, take a boat ride on the lake, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning views.
Terra Nostra Botanical Garden: This beautiful garden is home to a variety of plants and flowers, as well as a thermal pool where visitors can bathe.
Furnas: This geothermal area is home to hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles. Visitors can also enjoy a traditional Cozido das Furnas, a stew that is cooked underground in the volcanic heat.
Renting a car in São Miguel is a great way to explore the island at your own pace and visit all of its attractions. Be sure to book your car in advance and choose the right type of car for your needs. Also, be aware of the speed limits and narrow roads, and be prepared for fog. With a little planning, you can have a wonderful time exploring São Miguel by car.