Vila Franca do Campo
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Vila Franca do Campo Nature & Adventure

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

2. Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

Paddle along the beautiful coastline of Vila Franca de Campo. Choose between the morning or afternoon tour and embark on a kayaking adventure suitable for families with children. The level is appropriate for beginners and experienced kayakers alike. Your professional instructor will make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable. Get geared with the necessary equipment for your kayak tour. Then, receive a safety briefing from your instructor before heading out onto the waters. This tour takes you on a 4.5 kilometer stretch along the beautiful Vila Franca do Campo Islet. During the excursion, you may take a dip into the refreshing waters and try some snorkeling.

São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

3. São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

Discover the life that lies deep in the Azores Sea from the comfort of this glass-bottom boat, with an expert crew and guide. Your adventure begins at Vila Franca do Campo Marina. A biologist will give you a briefing about the itinerary and then you can set off. Learn about the marine life, nature, and historical curiosities of Vila Franca do Campo. You can spot the unique sea life of the protected area and observe the seabirds and crustaceans that fill the islet landscape. The biologist will help you identify the species, but you can expect to see everything from colorful shoals of fish, to starfish, sea cucumbers, and underwater volcanic activity. When you want to cool off you can go for a swim and snorkel, and get closer to some of the wildlife you've been spotting.

São Miguel: Furnas and Nordeste Full-Day Tour with Lunch

4. São Miguel: Furnas and Nordeste Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Starting through Ponta Delgada, along Avenida do Mar, following the beaches of Água D´Alto, until we reach the first capital of the island, Vila Franca do Campo, stopping at the viewpoint of Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo where we can see its incredible islet, the result of an underwater volcanic eruption and where the Red Bull Cliff Diving has been running for 3 years, now; After this short break, we will continue our trip through the center of the village to the marina of Vila Franca, where we will also visit the factory of the famous Vila Franca do Campo custard factory; Time to drive to the bucolic Lagoa das Furnas (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense), area where the famous “Cozido das Furnas” is cooked in volcanic soil for 6 hours, and here we can observe the removal of the pots from the volcanic ground by local restaurants. We will also visit the various fumaroles and boilers from that area; Back on the road and towards the parish of Furnas you can optionally relax in pools of hot springs, over 30 degrees, that spur incessantly from railway springs. This is an experience of thermal charisma, with the option of the client and alternative, between Poça da Dona Beija) and the pools of Parque Terra Nostra, where in addition to being able to swim, you can also visit its amazing Botanical Garden Terra Nostra Park, considered one of the best and largest in Europe. (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense); Lunch Break (Lunch included) After lunch, a pedestrian visit to the Garden of Quenturas, Poça da Dona Silvina and the center of the parish of Furnas to visit its various fumaroles, boilers and taste some mineral springs there. The visit in the center of the parish of Furnas will be complemented with a taste of local liqueurs; Driven north of the Island, next stop will be at the imposing Pico do Ferro viewpoint, where you can see the magnitude of the Furnas volcanic crater and her lake; Continuing the trip, next stop is the Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park, one of the most visited areas in the Nordeste area, with its 5 Watermills and her amazing waterfall; The last stop of the day, will be the tea route, until the tea plantations and their factories. A view of the splendid bay, a magnificent garden and a smiling welcome for a tea tasting at the Gorreana Tea Factory or Porto Formoso Tea Factory.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

5. São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on a guided tour by van. Discover the hot springs at Furnas, the waterfall at Ribeira dos Caldeirões, as well as the remote rugged beauty of the Nordeste region. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the northern coast of the island until you get to the Santa Iria Lookout, with a spectacular, ample view of the north coast in both directions, before continuing to Furnas. Find yourself in Furnas and admire a spectacular panoramic stop to gaze over the lake and town. Descend where you will be given the choice of visiting the geothermal fields and tasting the sparkling waters, or bathing in the hot springs, for an additional fee. Next, discover a traditional way of cooking as your lunch of cozido (stew) is pulled from the warm volcanic soil. In the afternoon, continue the journey eastward, with a stop at the charming waterfall of Ribeira dos Caldeirões.  Explore Nordeste, the most unexplored and rural part of the island. Visit two amazing lookouts over the high cliffs that characterize the East coast of São Miguel, before returning to Ponta Delgada.

Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

6. Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

Kick off your scuba diving experience with a small introduction session during which you will learn all about diving equipment, techniques and underwater communication. Then head out to the sea by boat, allowing a supervised and relaxed way to experience diving.  Your dive will take place at the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Islet, an island formed by a volcano crater. Explore an area close to wrecked cannons from the 16th century and see how nature incorporated them into marine life.

Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

7. Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

Discover the natural reserve of Ilhéu de Vila Franca, located in the south coast of São Miguel island. This small volcanic island is only situated 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) away from Vila Franca do Campo Marina. Circle around the island with a professional guide who will point out all the rare rock formations. Watch the nesting sites of the local sea birds such as the Garajau-comum (sterna hirundo). Take a peek inside the crater filled with turquoise water.

São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

8. São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

This tour gives you the unique opportunity to get to know São Miguel island as much as possible during a short stay. The tour will start early going in direction to Vista do Rei where you can enjoy the view over the Sete Cidades Lakes. From there the tour will take you up into the mountains to enjoy the view over the gorgeous Lagoa do Fogo. Then you will venture back down the mountains for a visit to Caldeira Velha, a protected nature reserve, where you will have the option to enjoy a bath in the warm water from a waterfall. The journey will then take you to the viewpoint of Santa Iria where you can see the gorgeous northern coast. Following the coastal views, you will visit the Gorreana tea plantation and its factory, where you can taste two different kinds of tea: black and green. The tour will continue on where you will be able to enjoy the amazing view over Furnas’ valley, and a stop will be made at Pico de Ferro’s viewpoint. Arriving in Furnas Village you will see some volcanic phenomena, known as fumaroles. You will then be able to have some lunch and eat the delicious famous Cozido das Furnas (or Furnas Stew), a gastronomic dish of Azores. After lunch, a stop in the Furnas Lake to see how the famous stew is cooked, then take a walk near the beautiful lake. Returning to Ponta Delgada and passing by Vila Franca do Campo, the first capital of São Miguel, located in the south coast, a last stop will be made at Ermida da Nossa Senhora Paz to enjoy the view to the famous Ilheú da Vila Franca. The tour will finish at your hotel or at the harbor.

Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

9. Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

Enjoy a 2.5-hour tour to swim with bottlenose dolphins on this tour from Vila Franca do Campo. Meet your guide at the Vila Franca do Campo Marina for check-in and equipment setup. After a quick safety and responsible practices induction, board your high-speed boat and head out to sea. Your skipper will be on the lookout for dolphins throughout the journey. When the time comes, get ready to dive into the sea and wait for the friendly dolphins to approach you. On the second part of the tour, travel to one of the island's best snorkel locations. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and see an array of vibrant marine fauna and flora as you explore the seafloor before heading back to the marina.

Vila Franca do Campo: Kayak Rental

10. Vila Franca do Campo: Kayak Rental

Paddle along the unique coastline of Vila Franca do Campo. Rent a kayak anytime you want — it's a perfect activity for the whole family. All experience levels are welcome, and all equipment is provided. The kayaks you will be renting are safe and comfortable, and very difficult to flip. This rental is valid for one hour per person.

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What people are saying about Vila Franca do Campo

Our initially planned kayak trip had to be cancelled due to high winds (and thus, very choppy ocean waves). While disappointing, I was thankful that they took safety so seriously. They were able to reschedule us 4 days later when the winds finally calmed down. They provided all the equipment, including a long sleeve shirt for those who didn't bring a rash guard. The Atlantic is cold - so take them up on the offer! The islet was so much fun to kayak around and we were able to look inside some caves. The crew was very nice, and very helpful, and were also enjoying themselves, which makes things more fun. Most importantly for me, the total number of people on the kayak trip was very small -- maybe 10 of us. It was easier and more enjoyable when not in a huge group.

Ricardo and Ricardo were our guides. It was a group of 5 double seater kayaks. They provided dry bags, long sleeve quick dry shirts, snorkel equipment and life vests. Water was chilly that day but the sights and experience was amazing. I would recommend highly.

Fernando was an excellent guide who explained everything very clearly. This part of the island is exceptionally beautiful and our time in Furnas was memorable. Lunch was very delicious!!!

Booked very last minute and still got to go out. We were the only two on the ride and we got great info from our guides. What an incredible start to our trip. Thank you!!

Amazing kayak trip arround the ilheu de Vila franca di campo