Nature & Geology
Vila Franca do Campo was the first capital of São Miguel island for many years until a strong earthquake in 1522 destroyed the town. Despite being rebuilt, Ponta Delgada became the new capital of the island.
The islet of Vila Franca is the result of a subaquatic eruption that created a volcanic cone. Then, time and the erosion of the ocean created what is today called The Princess Ring, due to its perfectly round shape. It had many uses like a military fort, harbor, whale lookout, and so on, but now it is a nature reserve for birds nesting on its cliffs. In the summer, the natural pool inside the crater is a magical place to be.