The Azores are full of scenic viewpoints all around the 9 islands of the archipelago. The volcanic history of the islands has contributed to some of these out of this world landscapes.
One of the best views out there is Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei, located on the western end of Sao Miguel island. Here you get to see the twin multi colored lakes of Sete Cidades down below surrounded by the lush green crater.
This guide will walk you through how to visit Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei during your trip to the Azores and how to plan a full day around the area.
1) How to Get There
Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei is located on the western side of Sao Miguel island in the Azores. There are a few main ways of going about a day visiting the viewpoint and other spots around the area.
In my opinion, having your own rental car is the best way to get around Sao Miguel. There is not much public transport on the islands and it can be difficult putting together a comprehensive itinerary without a car.
It is a 30 or so minute drive from Ponta Delgada as you weave your way higher up on the island.
Read more: take a look at the driving in the Azores guide for more information about renting a car
There are busses that run between some of the more popular cities in Sao Miguel. This includes a bus between Ponta Delgada and Sete Cidades. In order to take the trip with busses you must understand the schedules so you don’t miss a bus back at the end of the day.
Once the bus arrives in Sete Cidades, you then will need to make the walk up to Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei. This isn’t an easy walk though as it is around 3 km / 1.9 miles and it gains around 300 meters / 1,000 feet of elevation.
Note that you may be able to grab a taxi from Sete Cidades up to the viewpoint but cabs are limited.
Tour / Private Guide
If you aren’t going to rent a car in the Azores, then odds are you will be using a tour guide (group or private) at one point or another. Below are some tour offerings that go to the Sete Cidades area with a stop at Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei:
Lastly, you could also take a taxi up to the viewpoint. If you are doing this, you probably will just want to hire the taxi for the day, so they can take you to a whole variety of places around the area.
2) Location & Map
Below is a map showing the location of the viewpoint, in addition to the two parking lot locations.
One of the parking lots is directly next to the viewpoint, while the second parking lot is a few minute walk away. You will pass by this second part lot first if coming from Ponta Delgada.
3) Sete Cidades Weather
One of the main considerations when visiting viewpoints in the Sete Cidades area is going to be the weather. Since it is one of the highest points on the island, it is pretty standard for the area to be covered in low clouds.
If this is the case, then you will not be able to enjoy the view and the rest that Sete Cidades has to offer. To avoid this, before you go, you can take a look at the Azores webcams.
There is website full of webcams for places around the islands. One of these is for Sete Cidades, so you will be able to get a live view of the area.
Note that the clouds can move quickly. So, while it may be cloudy or clear at one moment, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. If you do arrive and it is clouded over, I would recommend to at least wait a bit to see if they will clear away.
Use your best judgement with the webcams and weather forecast to choose when to visit for yourself.
4) Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei
When planning a trip to the Azores, odds are you have come across photos of the two multi colored lakes of Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (one green and one blue in color) in Sete Cidades. This beautiful landscape of the area was created thousands of years ago due to volcanic activity.
While there are a few different viewpoint areas around the lakes to take in, one of the most famous of them is Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei.
Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei translates to “Viewpoint of the View of the King”. The spot got its name from King D. Carlos I and Queen D. Amelia, who visited the area on July 6, 1901.
At the viewpoint you will see the two multi colored lakes down below, with the town of Sete Cidades off to the side. Surrounding the lakes and the town is the lush green crater rim (which you can hike around – more on that soon).
Depending on cloud coverage and how much sun is out will dictate how clear that color differential is between the two lakes. It is an incredible site to take in for your first glimpse of the Sete Cidades area.
You can spend some time walking around the viewpoint area, taking pictures, and just enjoy the landscape out in front of you. You will also get the famous Azores hydrangeas filling out the scenery in the foreground (during the summertime).
As it is one of the more popular spots on the island you will also find some souvenir stands and restrooms nearby.
Once all done taking in the view, you can then continue on with the remainder of the day around Sete Cidades, which I will dive into next.
5) Other Nearby Attractions
All around Sete Cidades you will find some top highlights in the Azores. Below is a potential itinerary around Sete Cidades starting with Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei.
Lagoa do Canario
After visiting the first viewpoint of the area at Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei, continue along the road to Lagoa do Canario. Here you will find a beautiful lagoon surrounded by greenery. If it is calm day, you should get some great reflections of the surrounded nature on the lagoon.
Miradouro Da Boca Do Inferno
Continue down the dirt road past the lagoon and onto the second viewpoint of the day at Miradouro Da Boca Do Inferno. This is the most famous of viewpoints in the Azores, as you will get an even better panoramic view of the Sete Cidades landscape out in front you.
Read more: Check out the Miradouro Da Boca Do Inferno to learn more
Sete Cidades Hike
After checking out some viewpoints and the lagoon, you can opt for a hike around the crater rim. There are two main crater rim hikes you can choose from.
The first starts just a bit further down the road from Miradouro Da Boca Do Inferno/ Lagoa do Canario, while the second starts from the Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei parking lot.
Mata do Canario – Sete Cidades: 12 KM / 3 Hours
This trail goes counter clockwise around the crater and lakes as you take in some stunning views all throughout. The trail then descends into the town of Sete Cidades, where you can enjoy some time by the lake.
Vista do Rei – Sete Cidades: 8 KM / 2 Hours
On the other hand, you can take a shorter hike that goes clockwise around the crater rim and also ends in Sete Cidades. The lake views from this hike will be a bit more distant than the ones from the first hike.
Note: these are both one way routes so you will need to grab a taxi back to the starting point. You can also combine these two into one longer route if you would like to do a full circle.
Sete Cidades Town
A visit down to Sete Cidades can be a great way to spend some time whether or not you are planning on doing a hike. You can grab some lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Sao Nicolau church, and spend some time by the lakeside.
Ponta da Ferraria
What better way to end the day than a nice relaxing hot spring. This one is a bit different though than some of the other thermal baths on the island. That is because this one is located in the ocean!
During low tide, you can hop into the water and begin to feel the warm water from this natural thermal pool. It is quite a unique experience to take part of while visiting Sao Miguel.
→ Learn more in the Ponta da Ferraria guide up on the site
6) Where to Stay on Sao Miguel
There are a few main towns around the island but the most popular spot would be Ponta Delgada. There are way more accommodation and restaurant options here than any other location on the island.
If you want to get a little further away you can also check out the town of Furnas, which is home to several natural hot springs like Parque Terra Nostra and Poca Da Dona Beija. Here are some hotel recommendations for each:
That about does it for your guide to Miradouro Da Vista Do Rei of Sao Miguel, The Azores. If you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to write them in below.
Have fun out there and safe travels!