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  • Writer's pictureRita Cardoso

S. Miguel, Açores | Trilho Mata do Canário – Sete Cidades PR 04 SMI

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

We were close to Mata do Canário, when we were discussing the best logistics for this trail, which started right there and would end in Sete Cidades parish, meaning, we would always need a taxi/ride to get back, or walk another thousand kilometers. In order to make a better decision, we looked for the exact start to see if it was possible to park the car.

On the picture, you can see that the trail starts next to where you can read Lagoa do Canário, goes around the entire blue lagoon by the top of the crater, on the right side and ends in the Sete Cidades center, it is about 12km long and it is of medium difficulty.

So, with all this logistics to think about, we saw that the initial part of the trail was on a road that led to Pico da Cruz, a viewpoint that goes unnoticed, but that it was possible to go there by car. And so, we went to have a look at what awaited us. From there, you could see Lagoa das Sete Cidades, more specifically, part of Lagoa Azul and a minimal part of Lagoa Verde, the Lagoon of Santiago and a good elevated view of the Sete Cidades crater, with all its crop fields and/or pasture and the blue of the sea and sky all around.

When we were at the viewpoint, we saw a quad bike, which is an activity that you can try in this area, traveling along a relatively good road. We checked the map and saw that it was the trail, our trail.

Spoiler alert, the trail was not walked by us!

Pedro's adventurous spirit, and his mind still thinking that we had our Iceland jeep instead of a Renault Clio from Rent-a-car, led us to explore this road. We were walking, walking, I’m lying, the car was going, going, and we encountered few obstacles, except for a few holes and rocks. We stopped to take pictures, there were beautiful views with a different perspective on the Blue Lagoon. At a certain point, things got complicated, the road presented itself with slightly larger holes and also some stones, but with Pedro's magnificent expertise and my agility in removing bigger rocks from the middle of the road, we managed to overcome everything. We continued, until we found a large tractor, on a road that was not that large. With some maneuvers, more on the side of the tractor that took another path, we were able to pass and continued the route.

We followed the dirt road until we reached the viewpoint of Cumeeiras, another beautiful surprise and a view completely opposite to the viewpoint of Vista do Rei. From here the entire path of the trail was on a tarmac road, which facilitated to complete our 12km mission of the trail PR 04 SMI - Mata do Canário - Sete Cidades entirely by car.

We then finished the tour, in the center of the village, right in front of the Church of S. Nicolau, one of the churches with the most beautiful setting I have ever seen. A basaltic floor corridor flanked by tall, lush trees, and well-flowered, purplish blue hydrangeas. The church itself is simple, with the contrast of white and black on the doors and windows, which makes this scenario even more beautiful. I had already visited the Azores in 2010, and this was one of the images that I remembered the most.

Well, thoughts on this trail:

  • It is a trail mostly on a dirt road and paved road. It does not present any kind of challenge or curiosity to do it on foot, making it quite tiring, since there are long parts where there is no view at all, due to the vegetation and the road being a little further down the wall of the crater.

  • The fact that it is linear, would imply great logistics to get back to the car.

  • It can be done by car, but my "sissyness" would have preferred it to be done with a jeep, or even taking advantage of a quad bike rental, it seemed quite fun to have that freedom.

  • We were both happy, Pedro for the avoided logistics and the demonstrated car expertise and me, for not having to walk those 12km or maybe more.


  • Personally, I would not do this trail on foot after knowing how it is. If you do not have the opportunity to do it by car, it would be a good idea to go to Cumeeiras viewpoint, which is easily accessible and on a tarmac road from the village of Sete Cidades, just to have a different perspective of Sete Cidades Lagoon.

  • As with everything you plan to do in Azores, prepare for weather, if you walk or if you do it any other way. The weather changes a lot and very fast. Take an extra piece of clothing with you, warmer and weather proof. Check the weather in real time at Spotazores.

  • If you walk this trail take plenty of water and snacks, as there is no other way to get anything to drink or eat and replenish your energy.

Click here to check the post with my location suggestions to visit at S. Miguel.


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