Suspended in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Azores are known for their unique volcanic scenery, calm and unhurried way of life. The nine islands that make up this far-flung Portuguese archipelago are as exotic as they are remote.
This legendary land enjoys year-round mild temperatures between 14°C and 22°C. This remote archipelago simply abounds with adventures; it is, in fact, the Hawaii of the mid-Atlantic.
After the pickup and our briefing, travel along the south coast to the east and visit Caloura: the southeast edge of São Miguel Island with a very enjoyable shore.
Right after, continue the trip and pass by Vila Franca do Campo which used to be the main capital of the island before the natural disasters from the Fogo volcano in 1522. It is interesting also to pass along here so you can see its islet from a shorter distance and try the unique small cakes from this village.
Then continue the tour heading further to east directly to Furnas Lake. Next, to the lake, there is a fumarolic field, very interesting to visit it since it is one of the best places to observe the secondary volcanic activity on the Azores.
Not only that, but it is also the site where the locals steam cook the famous Furnas stew just from the hot steam coming from the ground. Known as Cozido das Furnas, this traditional stew is one of the Azores’ most iconic and tastiest dishes. So here we spend some time to see the locals withdrawing their pots from the soil.
After this stage, go straight to the center of Furnas settlement to enjoy the lunch (included) so you will be able to taste the stew and other local products: cheese, butter, bread, wine, beer, desserts, and coffees.
After lunch, visit Terra Nostra Park considered the most beautiful botanical garden from this island. Another highlight of this park is definitely its water tanks filled by hot springs water at 100.º F (39.º C) so you will be able to enjoy them and to explore it.
Later on, visit another fumaroles area, at the village’s center where there is this synergy between the locals and the volcanic activity. From here you can taste the several individual natural water springs, some naturally carbonated and others tasting like ironish water.
Right after, explore the north shore by visiting one of the local tea plantations and factory and have a free taste of it.
– Make sure you bring your swimsuit and a dark towel (preferably) if you intend to enjoy the hot springs bath;
– During the winter it is advised to bring a raincoat and adequate walking shoes.
But first, we start our day with a visit to the Azorean pineapple plantations in the glass greenhouses at Fajã de Baixo. This is the first stop since the weather at 9 o’clock in the mountains tends to be always cloudier than later. You will get to know the local organic special technique which explains why the Azorean pineapple is unique.
After this visit, drive going uphill and we make a stop on Pico do Carvão viewpoint so you can enjoy one of the best views over almost the entire island. Lagoa do Canário and the viewpoint next to it are other spots you can’t miss. From here you have an amazing visual contact with the Sete Cidades caldera and you can see the most beautiful lakes of it (Rasa lake, Santiago lake and the twin (blue and green lakes)).
Next, head to Vista do Rei viewpoint, from where you can admire the most famous perspectives over the twin lakes of Sete Cidades. Right after, have a drive to the Sete Cidades settlement next to the twin lakes and we explore the most interesting spots near the lake.
A buffet lunch is included and will take place in Sete Cidades village.
Afterward, we head to Fogo Lake. The most pristine lake among the biggest ones, placed in a collapsed volcano at the center part of Island is also extremely important for the Island’s ecology because it is geothermal power plants.
For this excursion in the afternoon, we start it by traveling along the south coast heading to Lagoa city. After this, we start our drive going uphill and we make a stop on Pico da Barrosa viewpoint, the second highest point of the Island so you can enjoy another great view over the island’s western side from up to 947 meters (almost 2800 feet high).
From here we will have a few other stops to enjoy the views over the Fogo Lake, where it will be visible where it had its last eruption in 1563.
Next, we are heading to Caldeira Velha, from where you can enjoy and explore its park and the hot springs surrounded by the beautiful vegetation and atmosphere. Next, we have a drive going downhill to Ribeira Grande city, to have a taste of the local liquors and to walk on its main square.
This is our first stop, at Povoação village where you can have a short walk and prepare yourself before we do the walking. The trail starts at a nearby parish, Faial da Terra, where we start with some walk up on a cobblestone path.
At the top, we have a magnificent view over Faial da Terra before we continue the walk in the forest. Right after it, we meet Sanguinho, the old and traditional Azorean style town where there some legends about its mystical abandonment.
Along the way, we find interesting flora with endemic species and nice shades creating an excellent atmosphere. We also pass on several small streams and on a few wooden bridges which complement its beauty.
At the lunchtime and after crossing all these elements we arrive at Salto do Prego waterfall, one of the trail’s highlights. Here we stop for the lunchtime and take the time for swimming if you wish.
Once we finish the walk, we make a stop at Faial da Terra center to rest and refresh before we return.
Length: 7,3 Km
Difficulty level: Medium
Accessories: Swimming costume, towel, sun protector and camera
Wear Comfortable clothing (a raincoat just in case) and walking boots.
Tel: +351 92 777 18 15
Tel: +351 253 687 220
Morada: Braga – Portugal
Alvará IMTT n.º: 115369