Sign In

TradiCampo Eco Country Houses (Detailed Review)

TradiCampo Eco Country Houses (Detailed Review)

I had seen photos of TradiCampo Eco Country Houses before traveling there, showing how all the houses are close to the cliff, allowing you to see the ocean from your bed or terrace. But as we were rolling down the street to reach our eco country house, we realized that one lookout point (in Portuguese “miradouro”) was particularly close, merely a few feet away.

Seeing the endless green pastures, the blue ocean, and the clear blue sky, the words ‘serene’ and ‘peaceful’ came to my mind—a place where you can unwind, relax, and feel at home right away. And indeed, it was just like that: stepping into our house was like stepping into a new home. We immediately felt comfort. We also felt nostalgia when we saw the old chimney or the fiery red door with the golden letterbox. We got a glimpse of how a family once indeed lived here.

Welcome to my review of TradiCampo Eco Country Houses, in the Nordeste region of Sao Miguel Island, in the Azores. They hosted me for three days in May 2024. But nobody told me what to write. These are my honest views and the true reflection of my experience. I did not accept any payment in exchange for any coverage.

Introducing Nordeste, Sao Miguel Island, the Azores

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Nordeste covers 40 square miles and has a local community of about 4,000 people. It is home to the island’s highest peak, Pico da Vara (3,600 feet) (pictured above), features several botanical gardens such as the lovely Parque da Ribeira dos Caldeirões and Jardim da Ribeira do Guilherme, and boasts one of the most beautiful lookout points, Ponta do Sossego. The region also offers several stunning waterfalls, hiking trails, and small villages with black and white houses.

The Nordeste region is situated in the northeast corner of São Miguel Island, the largest island in the Azores archipelago. Despite its status as the ‘largest,’ it only took us one and a half hours to reach the western tip with our rental car. No matter where you stay on the island, you can easily reach any part of it.

Even if you plan to check out well-known sights like Ponta Delgada, Sete Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo, or Furnas, we recommend spending time here. We certainly did, and when I asked my children which experience was the best during our stay in the Azores, they picked a walking trail that Ricardo, the owner of TradiCampo, recommended. We saw four waterfalls on this trail, and it surpassed all other attractions for them, even whale watching in Ponta Delgada and the black sand beaches.

Introducing TradiCampo Eco Country Houses

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

“Welcome to your home in the Azores,” says Ricardo Peixoto, the owner of TradiCampo Eco Country Houses. Then we were greeted by his wife Amelia’s absolutely delicious muffins—I know I should have asked for the recipe—and a large loaf of rustic bread baked in a fire oven that smelled heavenly, along with a stocked refrigerator with basic groceries.

There are eight TradiCampo Eco Country Houses in two small towns, Algarvia and Nordestinho. We stayed at Quinta de Cycas, which actually had four houses (Casa Do Arco, O Granel, Casa Da Cisterna, and Estúdio Da Varanda) within one establishment. Although all four houses were occupied, we did not see a single soul, only their cars. We felt as if we were alone.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

We stayed in Casa Do Arco, which is a two bedroom house for a family of four. We expected coziness and charm, but we got hotel-quality queen bed and sheets. I could sleep and snuggle comfortably with my two small kids on one bed whenever they chose to. We woke up well-rested and refreshed each morning.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

The two gorgeous bathrooms featured marble tiles, embroidered towels, and local bathroom amenities, providing a feel far removed from typical country house-style. It was like staying in a luxury hotel. Not to mention the advantage of having two bathrooms, which solved the usual battle over with my kids who gets to use the bathroom first.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Our favorite area was the kitchen and dining hall. Sitting at the table, we enjoyed watching the sunset reflected on the clouds. They provided us with a lovely dining set that we initially hesitated to use. The kids checked the firewood oven at least twice a day, even though we never actually used it. It was also the place where we planned each day trip over breakfast and reminisced about what we had seen during dinner.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Although the living room was small, it featured a large cabinet filled with board games, books about the Azores, novels, and DVDs. It felt as though the owners had thought of everything we might need and more. Both the kids and I loved exploring every nook and cranny of the house, every day finding new things to show each other.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

We had a lovely private terrace with a grilling facilities that we could use. To be honest, we did not have time to try it. We should have stayed for a whole week to have enough time to explore all the sights we wanted to and take advantage of all the facilities we had in TradiCampo.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Facilities

Gardens

Quinta de Cycas boasted an expansive and enchanting garden with numerous corners to explore. Since we visited in May, the first thing that greeted us upon opening the gates and parking our car were the blooming hydrangeas. Ricardo informed us that they had been cultivating the garden for eight years since refurbishing the houses, aiming to plant as many endemic and local flowers as possible. Their efforts were evident: the garden was truly lovely, offering a relaxing and peaceful ambiance.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Swimming pool

All four units of Quinta de Cycas has access to a shared swimming pool, which was clean, inviting, and cold. To be honest there is only one thing you cannot do in the Azores during May, swim in a swimming pool. But anything else is fair game.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Croquet course

I have to say, it was no surprise that this part of the garden became my kids’ favorite place. It was simple, but we had endless fun. They had never played croquet before but picked it up quickly. A small pond was right next to it, and when we arrived, frogs were leaping into the water. We laughed and hoped that our balls wouldn’t meet the same fate. P.S.: They did not.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Lookout / Miradouro Da Vigia Das Baleias

If you are new to the Azores, you should know that the island is dotted with countless miradouros—some are small with just a terrace, while others are larger, featuring full gardens and picnic areas. However, having one just two minutes away truly felt like part of a private experience. We would walk there to watch the sunset, play a bit on the small obstacle course, and even say ‘Hi’ to the cows.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Activities to do nearby

It is hard to define what is nearby, since you can reach Furnas in 30 minutes, Ponta Delgada in 45 minutes and Sete Cidades in little over an hour, but you may have already read about them. Here I would like to show you what we saw and loved in the Nordeste region, 10-15 minutes from our country house.

Moinho Do Felix Trail

Upon arrival, Ricardo gave us a map and highlighted every interesting sight suitable for a 5 and an 8-year-old. Although I’m an avid researcher who reads extensively before traveling, I hadn’t come across the Moinho Do Felix trail. However, Ricardo’s mention of seeing not one but four waterfalls on a single trail instantly piqued our interest. But what sealed the deal was when said: “This is one of the most beautiful trail on the island.”

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

We walked between towering pine trees with red bark, encountered flowers of every color, and even spotted wild strawberries here and there. The kids especially loved being able to walk along the edge of the stream or cross it by hopping over large rocks.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

There was a trail that led behind one of the waterfalls, which we all thought was magical. The entire experience made us feel incredibly close to nature. We could touch everything, get close to everything, and even enjoyed a picnic lunch at the foot of a stunning waterfall. This trail quickly became a family favorite, and my kids loved telling everyone that it was the best thing they did during the entire trip.

Jardim Botânico da Ribeira do Guilherme

This lovely botanical garden is located just outside the town of Nordeste, where two bridges—one on the old road and one on the new main road—meet. It boasts a small waterfall, a watermill, and a well-maintained garden filled with flowers, bushes, and trees. There’s also a charming picnic area where you can encounter a pair of ducks ambling down the hill to swim in the pond at the foot of the waterfall.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões

It is with great sadness that I must tell you we didn’t have time to visit there. The waterfall at Ribeira dos Caldeirões, which looks stunning, is conveniently located right by the road. However, given our limited time and a schedule already packed with wonderful sights, we regrettably missed this one. If we had just one more day, this would definitely have been on our itinerary.

Photo credit: Joana Pires via Unsplash.

Miradouro da Ponta do Sossego

We stopped at this lookout point since I read many great reviews. And it did not disappoint. This miradouro was also a prime example of how to make the view complete with a whole botanical garden and picnic area for grilling. If you love cats, you will meet plenty of them here as they seemed to like this miradouro as much as the people. It is located to the South from the town of Nordeste.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Gorreana Tea Plantation

Gorreana, the oldest and only tea plantation in Europe, is located just outside the Nordeste region, right by the main road leading west. Spanning more than 32 hectares, its vast rows of tea bushes with dark green leaves are visible even from the road. You can either stop the car and walk around the neat rows of bushes (like we did) or tour the tea factory to see how the tea is manufactured. Many local accommodations, restaurants, and shops carry their tea, making it easy to purchase outside the factory.

Photo credit: Humphrey Muleba via Unsplash.

Miradouro de Santa Iria

We simply had to visit when Ricardo highly recommended it, declaring it ‘one of the most beautiful miradouros on the island.’ Although this lookout point lies just outside the Nordeste region, right next to the main road, it’s easily incorporated into any itinerary when heading west towards Lagoa do Fogo or Ribeira Grande.

The experience was truly remarkable. The view was breathtaking, encompassing the rugged shoreline, endless green pastures, and the dark blue ocean stretching in every direction. Positioned much higher than many other lookout points, it offers a vast panoramic view.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Best time to visit

The Azores archipelago is blessed with a maritime subtropical climate with temperatures remaining more or less constant throughout the whole year. Although locals often highlight that the rain and the clouds can come and go since the winds brings them and then blows them away. Even if we experienced cloudy weather with a drizzle up on the mountains, the sun was shining at the shore.

Spring

Spring is an excellent time to visit if you enjoy mild weather and want to see the islands in bloom, particularly hydrangeas and azaleas. The temperatures are comfortable, the rain is more like a drizzle.

This season brings fewer crowds and lower prices. Even if if it is colder, the island offers plenty of hot springs and thermal baths to soak and warm up.

Not to mention spring is the best time for whale watching. Despite having resident whales who live here, the migratory whales all come from April to June.

Summer

Summer is the peak tourist season, offering the warmest weather with temperatures between 18°C and 26°C (64°F to 79°F). This is the best time for swimming, sunbathing, and participating in water sports. But you may experience queue and crowds in popular destinations.

How to get there

Since Sao Miguel is the largest island, most flights arrive at Ponta Delgada Airport. From the U.S. United Airlines and Sata Azores seems to be the only one servicing this airport, but there are more options from Europe from traditional to low-cost.

When you arrive to Ponta Delgada, you need to pick up your rental car before making way to TradiCampo. The island has little to no public transport and renting a car seems unavoidable. We recommend Azores Easy Rent and we had a hybrid EV to explore the island.

To reach TradiCampo, follow the main road EN1-1A all the way to Algarvia or Nordestihno depending on which house you book. It is an easy road, a straight highway that you can do in 45 minutes.

READ ONHow to rent a car in the Azores

Practical information

Even if you research the area thoroughly in advance or know nothing about it, your arrival at TradiCampo starts with meeting Ricardo or Ruiz. They will spread out a large map on the dining table and show you everything you need and more. You will learn where to eat, where to shop, what to see, and where to go. They go into detail so you don’t miss a thing while you are staying there.

I kept the map with all the notes as a treasure in my backpack at all times. It proved invaluable for knowing what to do and which direction to head. However, I used Waze or Google Maps to pinpoint the exact locations and ensure I found my way straight away.

Photo credit: Emese Maczko, Eco Lodges Anywhere.

Summary – Final thoughts

I hope my review does justice to our experience at TradiCampo. We loved staying in an authentic local cottage that still held the fingerprints of the previous owner. We appreciated the peaceful and quiet surroundings. Watching the ocean, the sunset, and the surrounding hills was relaxing and truly replenished our mental reserves.

If you are searching for a lovely, comfortable, and cozy place to stay while exploring São Miguel Island, I can wholeheartedly recommend TradiCampo. The thoughtfulness of the owners, from the welcome basket to all the meticulous details they attended to, ensured we had the perfect stay—and indeed, we did.

A woman sitting on a mountain. Behind her is a lake.
Travel Writer | Website

Emese Maczko is a travel blogger behind Eco Lodges Anywhere. Having explored several destinations around Europe, the US, Indonesia, and Australia, and resided in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg, Emese possesses a keen understanding of diverse cultures and an appreciation for the beauty of each destination she visits. She advocates for sustainable travel and ecotourism.