Sao Miguel in the Azores archipelago is Portugal's very own Eden, where verdant mountainsides slope to green plains and coastal fringes of white-sand beaches. It's particularly spectacular in the summer months when the plains are carpeted by a riot of seasonal blooms alongside the sprawling plantations of banana and pineapple.
Sao Miguel coast, Azores
Although home to the largest number of people in the Azores, Sao Miguel attracts far fewer tourists than the mainland, preserving its tranquil vibe. Capital Ponta Delgada offers a wonderful fusion of old and new in its turn-of-the-century cobbled streets that lie against the modern marina, while the Terra Nostra Park has high-end hotels, premier golf courses and stunning beaches.