Last Updated on 2023-01-23
Lagoa das Furnas is one of the best-known tourist attractions in São Miguel, in the Azores.
It is famous for the thermal waters and food, as the Cozido das Furnas (Furnas stew) is made here.
To experience the best this region has to offer, venture out on one of the trails in Furnas and, of course, to end your visit on a high note, try a purple tea experience at Chalet da Tia Mercês.
Best things to Do in Lagoa das Furnas Azores
Visit Terra Nostra Park
Terra Nostra Park needs no introduction for those who are passionate about the Azores.
It is one of the most visited places in São Miguel and it’s located in Vale das Furnas.
Take your time as there are several things to do inside the park.
You can dedicate a good part of your visit swimming and enjoying the qualities of iron minerals of the water.
Remember that your swimsuit will be damaged by the brown water in the pool. So it’s a good idea to bring something old.
Also, keep in mind that Terra Nostra Park has beautiful gardens with centenary trees from various parts of the planet.
The Poça Dona Beija
The Poça Dona Beija is fed by an iron source, which gives the water a brownish hue and spreads through the hot water tanks.
Demand is high, and the stay is limited to 1h30, so try to arrive early.
There is a car park next to Poça Dona Beija to leave your car safely.
The Furnas Caldera (Caldeira das Furnas)
Caldeira das Furnas is an open-air space where you can see the fumaroles, that is, where you can see the boiling water.
In the air, you can feel the smell of sulfur, but it can become quite annoying sometimes.
It is a fantastic experience that should be part of your itinerary in the Azores.
Trails along with the Lagoa das Furnas Azores
If you like to walk in nature, then Lagoa das Furnas Azores is a paradise for you.
There are several trails that you can explore safely in this region.
For example, the PRC06SMI starts at Largo das Três Bicas, in Furnas, and ends at the exact same location.
You will need about three hours to cover the entire trail (9.5 km), but if you stop many times to take pictures, it will take longer.
If you have children, you can easily take them on this hike, but take appropriate footwear, water, and snacks with you.
Purple Tea from Chalet da Tia Mercês
Tia Mercês Chalet is known for a peculiar experience in which green tea turns purple.
The scientific explanation is that the antioxidants in green tea, in contact with thermal water, turn the tea purple.
Our children loved the experience of tasting green tea made with tap water and comparing it with the simple spring thermal water and then with the green tea with thermal water.
The taste is different, and as the time that green tea is in contact with water, the flavor also changes.
There are cookies to accompany the tea experience and a shop with local produce to take home.
Is Furnas Lake Worth visiting on São Miguel Island?
The best way to get to know Lagoa das Furnas is to rent a car and explore the area, and if you have time, stay one or more nights there.
Discover Mata Jardim José do Canto, where the beautiful Nossa Senhora das Vitórias Chapel is located, inspired by the great European cathedrals, and dedicate a couple of hours to the Furnas Monitoring and Research Center.
Explore the Bamboo Forest and the Dragon Viewpoint on the banks of the Lagoa and walk along the walkways of the Old Caldeiras Orchard in Lagoa das Furnas.
Tours to visit Lagoa das Furnas from Ponta Delgada
If your hotel is in Ponta Delgada and you don’t want to rent a car to explore the Furnas area, then the solution you are looking for may be to join an organized group.
So, leaving Ponta Delgada, you can take a 4×4 tour to Furnas or if you don’t want the adrenaline of traveling in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, then go discover the region by van (with lunch).
Restaurants to try Furnas stew (cozido das Furnas)
The best-known restaurants to try Cozido das Furnas are Restaurante Tonys and O Miroma, but there are others you can try.
We chose Miroma and the experience went very well. We were told that the trick for the stew to be tasty and not catch the sulfur aroma is to close the pan well before putting it in the oven.
The vegetables and meat were well cooked and the serving was so large that we asked to take the rest home.
For the experience to be complete, don’t forget to go to Lagoa das Furnas to see the pots coming out of the ovens.
The entrance to Parque das Furnas is paid (3€ per person), but you can come and go as often as you like during the day.
If you decide to visit Grená Park, this amount is deducted from the ticket price (€10).
Hotels in Furnas
We stayed at Tradicampo Eco-Country Houses in Algarvia, about a 20-minute drive from Furnas, and we highly recommend it.
We chose a T2 with a kitchen, which was very useful, for example, when we took home the rest of the stew from the furnas, which became our dinner.
In addition, the accommodation has a swimming pool, gardens, and bicycles for the whole family to have a good time.
How to get to Lagoa das Furnas Azores
From April to October, you can visit the Lagoa every day from 10:00 to 18:00, but from November to March the opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00.
If you prefer to see only the calderas in the center of Furnas, as it is an open-air place, you can visit it whenever you want.
Leaving Ponta Delgada, follow the EN1-1A and the EN1-1A to reach Lagoa das Furnas. Expect a trip of around 40 km.
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