When I travel, I often hope to get away from an urban center. And, though Ponte Delgada, the capital of the Azores archipelago on the island of Sao Miguel, certainly has its share of shopping malls and fast food restaurants, that would never be a reason for me to visit. When I took ferries and planes to five of the nine islands, including Sao Miguel, I was seeking a connection with nature as well as the ability to step into another era. That's what I found on each of the islands, but especially on the island of Sao Jorge.
This island is most known for its flavorful, piquant cheese. And, though I walked to several cheese factories to see how it's processed the old-fashioned way and to sample several slices, I was more interested in getting up close with the riot of native plant life on this isle.
You'll see what I found on Sao Jorge in an article I recently wrote for National Geographic Traveler's Intelligent Travel blog. If you want to feel like you're alone on the edge of the earth, then hiking on this island is a must.