The Vigia de São Pedro (São Pedro Viewpoint) Hiking Trail on São Miguel island in the Azores is an easy flat trail next to the ocean connecting the parish Calhetas with the village São Vicente Ferreira. This is a 6km linear route which is mostly done as an out-and-back hike of 12.2 kilometers. The trailhead is a 15-minute drive from the capital, Ponta Delgada.
An easy hiking trail that is a wide dirt road, running on a bluff above the water for most of the trail. There are fantastic views of the ocean with several marked viewpoints (miradouros) along the way. The trail stretches from Poços de São Vicente, a bathing area in the village São Vicente Ferreira to the church of Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem in Calhetas.
Hiking in São Miguel island in the Azores
The Azores Islands are a Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, located between The US and Portugal. There are 23 official hiking trails on São Miguel island. Portugal’s mainland is a fantastic hiking destination with spectacular trails following the ocean such as The Fishermen´s Trail and The Coastal Route of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. With stunning natural landscapes, prepare yourself for some unique European hiking on this volcanic archipelago. The 83 hiking trails on the Azores islands each have a number. The Vigia de São Pedro trail is trail PR01 SMI official information on the trail can be found at destinazores. Official trails are marked with red and yellow dashes. We enjoyed the beautiful, easy hikes from the Gorreana tea plantation.
Best Time to Hike the Vigia de São Pedro Trail
June to September with dry and warm weather and beautiful clear days are a great time for hiking. It is hot this time of the year, so carry enough water and check for a swimming spot in the ocean! You can hike year all year round, this is a short trail, just check on the Azores webcams that it is not raining!
The Vigia de São Pedro Return Trail Information*
- Distance – 12.1 km
- Time – 2 hours 11 minutes (2 to 3 hours depending on your fitness)
- Ascent – 142 m
- Descent – 151 m
- Walking surface – mostly gravel, some asphalt
*According to my Garmin Fenix GPS watch
GPX file for The Vigia de São Pedro Return Trail
Download the GPX file to The Vigia de São Pedro Return Trail to navigate on your device here.
Trailhead – Poços de São Vicente or the Church in Calhetas
You can start the hike in either direction. There is parking available at the Poços de São Vicente bathing area in São Vicente Ferreira and in Calhetas. At both trailheads, there is a sign with a trail description.
- Parking São Vicente Ferreira – There’s a parking lot at the western end of São Vicente Ferreira near the Miradouro do Navio.
- Parking Calhetas – There is a large free parking area next to the Pedras do Mar Resort & Spa resort. Start hiking here towards São Vicente Ferreira or do a short walk to the trailhead at the church of Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem in Calhetas.
The Vigia de São Pedro Trail Description
Walking from São Vicente Ferreira to Calhetas
The most popular way to hike the trail is from São Vicente Ferreira to Calhetas. Start the hike at Poços de São Vicente bathing area at the fishing port, and see the ruins of the old whaling station across the road. Walk on the tar road for about 600m, and turn onto a footpath, which takes you alongside the coast for a short stretch until you come to a dirt track. The trail follows along the coast, almost halfway to Calhetas at 2.8 km from the whaling station there is a nice viewpoint over the ocean, Miradouro de Barreiro. Keep on walking past the village of Fenais da Luz.
You can walk through the village past the church of Nossa Senhora da Luz. There are various points of interest in this area, such as the View of the Past viewpoint, Ponta de São Pedro headland, the 16th-century Emida da São Pedro (chapel), and the São Pedro hole (Buraco de São Pedro). Be careful not to get too close to the edge with these viewpoints. Continue along the trail, you will walk past the Pedro do Mar resort on the right, walk until you reach the village Calhetas, and walk down the street, Rua da Boavista to the church Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem where the trail ends.
Walking from Calhetas to São Vicente Ferreira
We were staying in Pedros do Mar Resort and walked the trail from Calhetas to São Vicente Ferreira and back. Walk past the São Pedro hole (Buraco de São Pedro), there is a sign. Be careful not to get too close to the edge.
Start walking in the village Calhetas at the church Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem walk down the street, Rua da Boavista until you get to the dirt road. Follow the trail past a parking area and the Pedro do Mar resort on your left and the ocean on the right. Keep following the trail next to the ocean, keep an eye open for the 16th-century Emida da São Pedro (chapel), and walk past the Ponta de São Pedro headland. Follow the red and yellow markers through the village of Fenais da Luz, past the church of Nossa Senhora da Luz. Keep walking on the trail to the village of São Vicente Ferreira, and walk down Rua de Baixo until you reach the Poços de São Vicente bathing area at the fishing port, you can see the ruins of the old whaling station across the road.
What I liked about walking the trail this way around is plenty of parking at the start, a nice swimming spot if you want to do a halfway swim, and a cafe with refreshments for a coffee stop and buy some refreshments in São Vicente Ferreira when you turn around.
Accommodation near the Vigia de São Pedro Trail
We stayed for 3 nights at Pedras do Mar Resort & Spa right on the trail close to the trailhead in Calhetas. We had a great stay. The resort has good facilities, an indoor heated pool, an amazing outside infinity pool, and an excellent breakfast buffet.
There are many great places to stay in that part of São Miguel
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The strong half of Stingy Nomads, a nomadic aquaman that would be happy to spend all his life in the water diving, surfing and spearfishing but often has to compromise with Alya and go hiking instead. Campbell is responsible for all our marine adventures and following them with write-ups. He loves traveling, braai (BBQ in South Africa), red wine and spending the day in a wetsuit.