I am pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Dawn, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Dawn is from Scotland, and submitted the following report about her trip to Sao Miguel in the Azores. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Portuguese, English
Costs at Destination: Reasonable (local transportation, dining, tours, events, and attractions)
Reasons to Visit Sao Miguel
The Azores are a group of 9 islands which constitute an autonomous region of Portugal, about 1000 miles west of Lisbon. I believe there are direct flights from the US, but being from the UK, I had a few days in Lisbon before taking a flight to Ponta Delgada, the capital of the main island, Sao Miguel.
There is a lot to see and I only had two full days. I did a half-day trip to see the west of the island and a full day trip to see the east. In this time I saw where they grow pineapples in greenhouses and it was explained how they do this. I saw a tea plantation and went to Furness where they cook underground using the heat of the volcanic activity. The food was delicious and served up with a wonderful Portuguese red wine and pineapple for dessert.
In this region there are also thermal baths which are amazing. Sao Miguel has many lakes and many, many amazing views.
I stayed at Casa Ateneu right in the heart of Ponta Delgada. I had breakfast in a local bakery which had good coffee and pastries, although breakfast is also available at Casa Ateneu. There were restaurants and shops close by.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 2 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)