4:30 a.m. The alarm clock rings. Time to jump out of bed and wear the clothes picked the day before.
The light of the main room lights up. Good morning Pablo… Today our journey begins earlier!
In the corner of the room the blankets remain unmoved. There’s no sign of Pablo… Hidden beneath the blankets, the smallest living being in this house is still sleeping.
5:30 a.m. It’s time to head to the airport. Finally someone stretches out in the middle of the room dragging the blanket on his back.
Backpack on my back, Pablo’s carrier in one hand and Pablo on the other. Here we go to our great adventure: Pablo’s first travel by plane. We’re going to Azores!
Pablo’s 10 favorite places in São Miguel island (Azores)
1. Quinta de Santana
Our stay could not have been better. If we fly into the nature, there is nothing better than staying in it. At Quinta de Santana, we had the comfort of a super cozy studio and an entire farm with magic places. We found beautiful native plants, animals, a pool and best of all: Pablo was a guest like any other human.
2. Quinta dos Açores & Ponta Delgada Urban Park
When we arrived in São Miguel and rented our pure red Fiat 500, it was almost lunch time. We decided to ask the gentleman of Goldcar where we could have lunch in Ponta Delgada. We were recommended to Quinta dos Açores at Ponta Delgada Urban Park.
I don’t like to leave Pablo in the car. I grabbed and carried him into the restaurant and asked if he could stay there with me. The answer was: no problem! Result: they won customers almost every day during our vacations and Pablo became a fan of Lêvedo bread from Azores.
After a nice welcome lunch, we took the opportunity to visit the Ponta Delgada Urban Park. At the entrance we found the information that it was forbidden to walk dogs without a leash. Perfect! This park is the largest green space of São Miguel (18 hectares). It is free, has shadows for picnics, cycle paths, sports machines, children’s park, everything integrated in the nature. And of course: you can take your furry friend.
3. Sete Cidades Lagoon
The next day we decided to start the island lagoon tour. We made a walk to the King’s View in Sete Cidades Lagoon. The hike was… exaggerated. As I did not check the map, I didn’t realize that I was seven kilometers from the target. The result was 14 km on foot around one of the largest craters in Azores. On the way back Pablo decided that he had enough. So he came as best he could enjoy the view: on my lap. From now on there will be always water, biscuits and a map in my backpack.
4. São Brás Lagoon
São Brás Lagoon is a fantastic place… surrounded by huge trees, the forest is so dense that even the crickets sing during the day. A very nice place for a walk as it turned out to be little touristy. We were able to contemplate the best of nature alone for a good time and even had a lovely picnic while the ducks swam in the lagoon. Along the way Pablo made a special friendship with one of the most characteristic animals of this island: the cow.
5. Congro Lagoon
After walking the island from end to end, we finally discovered the path to one of the treasures of São Miguel. Going down to Congro Lagoon was perhaps the best surprise of this trip. Beneath a damp and a dense forest, we discovered a lagoon where the fish jumps with style towards the watchful gaze of my furry friend. Here it smells like rainforest, the path is long and steep, the singing of birds in their natural habitat echoes on a hill of the greenest green you will ever see and the experience is simply magical.
6. Furnas Lagoon
When we went to visit Furnas Lagoon it was raining… Nothing that would stop another dog walk where the attraction was the fumaroles. The smoke and the strong sulfur smell made that is was advisable for my little tourist to pass the rails on my lap.
7. Fogo Lagoon
In Fogo Lagoon was the place where we found the largest number of tourists and was also our last lagoon. Without fog we could see the various shades of blue and green and also experience lower temperatures due to the height of the slope. It was also the place where we took our favorite vacation photo!
8. Ananases Arruda
Who doesn’t like a beautiful pineapple from Azores? Ananases Arruda is a farm with more than 100 years of history that is dedicated to the plantation of pineapples. Here we could see the various phases of pineapple growth in several greenhouses. Pablo loved strolling through the greenhouses and taking pictures to save in our memories book. At the end, nothing like a beautiful pineapple juice on a beautiful Azorean summer afternoon.
9. Calhetas Beach
Almost at the end of our great vacations in Azores, we discovered an amazing beach where Pablo actually took his first bath in the sea. A moment to remember and our best way to start to say goodbye to this wonderful island.
10. Tribute to São Miguel Cattle Dog
On the last day of our vacations, Pablo had a special request: to meet a São Miguel Cattle Dog. As his human mom, I was a bit worried, since Pablo is a chihuahua (the smallest dog breed) and the São Miguel Cattle Dog is… how to say… a little sturdy. I thought about it (with love) and at the end of our vacation trip how could I not grant one last wish to my best friend?
We saw many other places in our red Fiat 500 and believe us, it was hard to find our TOP 10 list, but we think these were Pablo’s favorites spots. At the end we could not be happier and we wanted to share with you our pleasant experience. We knew one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world where Pablo had the opportunity to have fun as never before and experience walks through places without signs of “forbidden animals” and where nature is in charge! Thanks to all the people who met us on this adventure and who welcomed me and my little Pablito with open arms and a smile on their faces. About us, now that we’ve learned to fly together, the sky is the limit!