The municipality of “Nordeste” (Northeast), is one of the most attractive in São Miguel.
It is characterised by an irregular surface area almost totally covered with trees. Many of the exotic sylvan species used for the production of wood and for the protection of properties along with a great variety of other lush vegetation are in abundance here.
- The look-out points, “Ponta da Madrugada”, “Ponta do Sossego”, “Salto da Farinha”, and the “Ponta do Estorninho”, among others are worth stopping at to admire the well groomed flowers and the incredible landscape;
- “Pico da Vara”, the highest point on the island, with an altitude of 1105m, challenges you to a one and a half to two hour walk along a path which offers magnificent scenery and intimate contact with nature in the most primitive form.(Note: Since Pico da Vara is considered Natural Reserve, previous authorisation by the Regional Forestry Ministry is required and a tour guide)
- The climb to “Pico Bartolomeu”, where one of the RTP/A (Azorean television station) antennas is found, is another of the many worthwhile hikes available.
- The winding road through “Tronqueira” and the compulsory stop at the look-out point offers a spectacular view of the “Guilherme” or “Moinhos” river basin.
The picturesque entanglement of plains and valleys that descend from the “Vara and Verde” peaks present spectacular differences in altitude of 400 to 500 meters. This sanctuary of endemic vegetation of the Azores has the highest concentration of species in the region.
- Another attraction of Nordeste is found at the mouth of the “Guilherme” river. A natural pool along with a well equipped campground provide the only formal campsite on the island.
- Entering the town one sees the gracious “Ponte de sete arcos” (Seven arch bridge), that is one of the largest and most beautiful bridges on the island and was constructed in 1882. In the town centre, the “Igreja de São Jorge” (St. George’s Church), constructed during the 15th century, the City Hall which was recently completed, along with various other parishes with their statues and monuments are also worthy of mention.
- The Parks, “Poceirão” (within the town) and “Cancela do Cinzeiro” (Parish of “Pedreira”), are ideal places to relax before returning to Ponta Delgada.