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Sao Miguel, Azores

second most beautiful island in the world

Things to do

Sao Miguel Island, Portugal Dining

If extreme physical exertion does not appeal to you, but you're craving excitement all the same, consider a bona fide eating adventure. On the island of Sao Miguel, in the Azores, gastronomy is serious business. Of all the volcanic islands in this mid-Atlantic chain, Sao Miguel is the most populous. Therefore, it's also the one with the most gourmet restaurants. If you want traditional Portuguese fare, forget Lisbon and head here.

Succulent dishes such as "caldo azedo" (a kind of sour soup) and "torresmos em molho de figado" (rashers of bacon with liver sauce) are commonplace around Ponta Delgada, the island's largest town. Another must-try is "cozido," a meat-and-veggie stew made by wrapping a pot and burying it in soil. The island's natural volcanic heat cooks the meat and vegetables.

The Azores offer other culinary specialties, too. Seafood, naturally, is plentiful -- locals rave about the lobster and crab. The island even boasts a burgeoning pineapple business, much of which is operated out of tiny huts, called "hot-houses." The huts are situated in the areas of Faja de Cima, Lagoa and Vila Franca do Campo, and some even offer tours.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Sao Miguel is a bastion for tea. The tea industry began here in the late 19th century, when two Chinese explorers came to Sao Miguel to teach islanders how to prepare it. Stop by the main plantations at the Gorreana Tea Factory, next to the old Chapel of Senhora do Resgate. Gastronomic adventurers are always welcome. from http://www.travelchannel.com

Testimonials
"Our lives haven't been the same since we came to the Azores. When we travel to other destinations we make the mistake of comparing them to St. Michael... There is no comparison; St. Michael is the greatest."
Jan and John
Ma. USA