“I've wanted to visit the island for some time. Maybe, it wouldn't be my first choice but given the pandemic condition and the benefits that the Government provides [free covid-19 tests, for example] it made perfect sense to come now”, Daniela Teixeira told Lusa News Agency.
Next to Caldeira Velha, a waterfall of hot iron water in the municipality of Ribeira Grande, Daniela waits at the entrance to the Natural Monument, praising the beauty of the natural landscapes of the Azores.
The young woman arrived “a few days ago from Lisbon”, but before that she had already visited Terceira Island with the same group of friends who are now on the island of São Miguel.
“It's the first time I've been to São Miguel”, she said.
Sandra Pires also travelled to São Miguel in the same group of friends and shares with Daniela the fact that it is "the first time" that she has visited São Miguel.
Combining nature and the "safety" conditions found in the Azores, Zelina, 25, and Mia, 35, also opted to visit the island of São Miguel for the first time.
In Sete Cidades, one of the main tourist attractions of the island, which boasts the award of one of the seven wonders of Portugal, many tourists enjoy a sunny day at the Vista do Rei viewpoint.
This is the case of two young German women who confess to Lusa that they are "amazed" with the landscape, specifically with the nature surrounding the lakes.
"It's beautiful. And we've already done this trail around Lagoas”, described Mia.
Both guarantee that it was not difficult to choose this destination, “because of nature” and “the immense ocean”, during a stay that will last for “two weeks”.
Zelina says that she had “good” references through “a friend” who told her about the Azores.
In addition to the free covid-19 test, the Government of the Azores attributes a financial incentive to those who take the test before the trip, an amount that is then "to use only in the acquisition of goods or services, in any of the establishments in the network of members".
The “Voucher Destination Açores Seguro” initiative, to promote tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection before boarding for the region, is set at “35 Euros for all passengers who are non-residents, over the age of 12, who board at airports located in mainland territory and in the Autonomous Region of Madeira.
The same happens with other trips originating abroad and arriving at airports on the islands of Santa Maria, São Miguel, Terceira, Pico and Faial, with a voucher being issued for each passenger”.