Populo is one of the most famous surf spots on São Miguel. You can park your car at the beach, walk 20 meters and get wet. Santa Iria is a bit different and it’s one of the most beautiful spots on the island.
To get to the goods, you have to walk around 45 minutes and carry everything you might need: board, booties, everything else and most important: water. It’s not easy to find, but the walk down to the cobblestone shoreline where you get the first glimpse of what the swell looks like from close is fairly easy. The cobblestones are a mean thing as some of them tip over, making you do the same. And you have to get the timing right: if it’s high tide you’ll get wet feet, making it a no-go during big swells. That’s why Santa Iria is almost never crowded, it just doesn’t seem that too much surfers are into hiking.