With two busy days booked up with full-day tours to explore the whole island of São Miguel, I wanted to spend my day in between getting out into nature and properly exploring a trail and taking in the views. With a fellow solo traveler I met on my first tour, we grabbed a taxi from Ponta Delgada - buses don't seem to run outside of the city, and even then, rarely - and headed inland near to a lake we had stopped at on the tour.
The hike at Serra Devassa is a popular loop trail that passes by six different lakes, offering sweeping panoramic views of the lush greenery, as well as pretty forest trails that, thanks to the peat moss that absorbs water, is damp and vibrant even after days of no rain!
SERRA DEVASSA HIKE DETAILS
Where: São Miguel Island
Difficulty: easy, but wear good shoes as it is muddy and damp even after no rain thanks to the peat moss on the trail
Length: 3 hours roundtrip for 7.5km (official trail is 4.9km, but we did all the extra loops and viewpoints)
Directions: from the parking lot for Lagoa do Canário (marked as Parque estacionamento on Google Maps), follow the yellow and red stripes (not the crosses!) on the wooden poles clearly marked in the ground. I suggest taking all the extra side trips to see the various other lakes and viewpoints, particularly Pico Paúl. The trail is a loop, which forks off at the signs for Lagoa das Éguas.
Public Transit: no, we took a taxi for €18 each way from central Ponta Delgada