Staying in a Windmill on São Miguel Island in the Azores
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With the rise of Airbnbs and vacation rental homes, some unique accommodations are popping up all over the world. You can stay in a canal boat in Amsterdam, a treehouse in the rainforest, a castle in Germany, or a cave in Australia. We are always on the lookout for the coolest Airbnb we can stay at in each destination we visit, and so far this spectacular windmill in the Azores takes the prize! What can be better than having 360º views from your bedroom of the Atlantic Ocean and the gorgeous Azorean landscapes?
This incredible three-story windmill is not only beautiful on the outside but also has a practical and unique interior. The original windmill was built in the 19th century but has recently been entirely renovated as a home. The kitchen and living area is on the first floor, the bathroom is in the middle, and the bedroom takes up the entire top story. The kitchen has all the amenities you need fit in along the curved walls. The hosts even supply a complimentary basket of Azorean produce and baked goods. By the end of the trip, you will get well used to the Azorean Bolo Lêvedo, which is essentially a sweet English muffin bread.
Up the stairs, the bathroom has a large shower complete with a bench that I want to install in my own house. Further up is the reason we booked the windmill – the bedroom with 360º views. Any downside of having that many windows in a bedroom have been solved – the windows are tinted meaning no one can see inside and there are wrap-around curtains, keeping it dark when you want to sleep.
I know that bedroom quite well. Unfortunately, the day we arrived, I got a nasty cold. On top of the cold, I was also dealing with morning sickness. We took a day off from our plans elsewhere on the island and spent the whole time enjoying the windmill and the beautiful property. As luck would have it, a terrible storm also came through that day. Meaning that we wouldn’t have been able to do much anyways with the strong winds, pouring rain, and thick fog. There is no better place to be during a storm than in that windmill. You can see the awesome power of what the weather can be on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Here is the link to book the windmill! If you have never booked with Airbnb before, use this link to sign up and get $40 off your first booking. The hosts also have another Airbnb on the same property if you are on a trip with a larger group or if the windmill is booked out.
This amazing windmill is located in the small town of Feteiras, less than 30 minutes west of Ponta Delgada. Feteiras gives you great access to visiting the west side of the island that includes Sete Cidades and Ponta da Ferraria. It is also just off the major road that circumnavigates the island. If you are staying here, it is most advantageous to rent a car. That advice applies to no matter where you stay on São Miguel. A car is very beneficial to get around the island. Access to the windmill is blocked by a gate that only guests and the host can get through, meaning there will be no wandering tourists gawking at this incredible building. All the gawking will be yours alone.
There is a small supermarket within walking distance for all your basic food items or necessities. There aren’t any great options for restaurants in the immediate vicinity, so we made dinners in the windmill and ate lunch elsewhere on the island during each excursion. We tried to eat on the cheap so our dinners were made up of frozen pizza, mac & cheese, ramen, and sandwiches. There is a small table for two outside overlooking the ocean – so no matter what you are eating, the view makes the experience spectacular.
Where else to stay on SÃo MIguel
São Miguel is a must-see destination regardless of where you stay. You can drive from one side of the island to the other in an hour and a half. You can choose anywhere on the island as a base and spend your days exploring São Miguel in sections.
Ponta Delgada is the most convenient base as it is close to the airport, has the greatest selection of restaurants and shops, and there are numerous accommodations to choose from.
Azor Hotel – Great for those looking for 5-star luxury with views of the harbor.
Central Airbnb Apartment – If you are looking to save some money on accommodations and on food, get an airbnb apartment centrally located in town. You will have access to a kitchen and be just a quick walk to a grocery store.
Vintage Place Hotel – For a cheaper hotel option that is close to the airport. This is a great place for a shorter stay in São Miguel.
Ribeira Grande, up on the north side of the island, has plenty of restaurants and a variety of accommodations. It is also the perfect location if you are interested in enjoying the beach while in the Azores.
Beautiful Modern Villa – This airbnb alone is a reason to stay in Ribeira Grande over Ponta Delgada.
Furnas is a must-see destination on São Miguel but it also has become a good option for a base for those wanting a quieter city vibe and a place to relax.
Cottage in the Woods – This airbnb will transport you out of the tourist-packed Furnas and into a fairytale forest. The best part is you don’t have to give up the convenience of having restaurants and shops within walking distance.
Let us know in the comments what was the most unique place you’ve stayed in your travels.