Here’s the scoop on how to jazz up your life with three days of fun, food, and fabulous views on São Miguel Island in the Azores!

So, my pal Janet and I decided to celebrate turning the big 4-0 with a trip to Portugal. Lisbon was a no-brainer, but we wanted something extra special.

Enter the Azores – those dreamy islands in the Atlantic that had been taunting us on Instagram for ages.

After some debate, we settled on São Miguel, the Azores' biggest and baddest island.

Picture this: lush forests, towering volcanoes, and views that could make your heart skip a beat.

And the best part? It's only a hop, skip, and a jump from Lisbon – just a two-hour flight, and you're there!

Day One: Let the Adventure Begin
We kicked off our island escapade with a scenic drive from one end of São Miguel to the other.

Miradouros (that's fancy talk for viewpoints) dotted the landscape, offering Instagram-worthy shots of the ocean, cliffs, and skies that seemed bluer than blue.

Our fave? Miradouro de Santa Iria – the views were so good, we almost forgot to blink.

After checking into our digs at Octant Ponta Delgada (a total gem, by the way), we hit the streets to explore Ponta Delgada.

Baroque architecture? Check. Fresh seafood? Double check. And don't even get me started on those oat milk cappuccinos – a total game-changer!

Day Two: Volcanoes, Stews, and Soothing Soaks
Fueled by caffeine and curiosity, we ventured east to Furnas – a geothermal wonderland tucked inside a dormant volcano.

Chef Henrique Mouro taught us the art of cozido das Furnas – a meaty Portuguese stew cooked underground by volcanic heat.

Talk about dinner with a twist!

With our bellies full, we headed to Poça da Dona Beija for a late-night soak in the thermal pools. Iron-rich water?

Check. Starlit skies? You betcha. It was the ultimate relaxation session under the stars.

Day Three: Waterfalls, Ceramics, and Sweet Treats

We had big plans to hike around Sete Cidades, but Mother Nature had other ideas.

No worries – we improvised with a pit stop in Lagoa to shop for ceramics at Cerâmica Vieira.

Pro tip: snag some souvenirs – those hand-painted bowls are too cute to resist!

Feeling crafty and craving more nature, we trekked to Cascata do Segredo for a dose of waterfall therapy.

With the sun on our faces and the sound of rushing water in our ears, it was pure bliss.

Back in Ponta Delgada, we wrapped up our adventure with a feast fit for royalty at À Terra.

Tuna steak, sweetbread, and chocolate cigars – oh my!

As we toasted to another year of adventures, we realized one thing: the Azores had stolen our hearts, and there was still so much left to explore.