Best Things to Do in Lagoa das Furnas (2024) unique experiences

Caldeira Lagoa das Furnas - Açores.
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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.

Explore the beauty of São Miguel in a unique way! Download the island’s official trails for free, which include essential information such as distance, difficulty, maps and photos, for an unforgettable experience!

23 Trails in São Miguel Azores

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    Best Things to Do in Furnas Lake (Lagoa das Furnas Azores)

    Experience the Spectacular Geothermal Activity in Furnas Lake (Lagoa das Furnas)

    Furnas Lake, or Lagoa das Furnas, in the Azores, is a captivating destination that offers an incredible display of geothermal wonders. Prepare to be amazed as you witness the spectacular natural phenomena that make this place truly unique.

    As you explore the area, you’ll encounter impressive fumaroles and bubbling hot springs scattered throughout the landscape. These mesmerizing sights are a testament to the powerful forces at work beneath the surface of the earth. Take your time to observe the steam rising from the ground and feel the energy that permeates the air.

    One of the highlights of visiting Lagoa das Furnas is the opportunity to witness the famous “Cozido das Furnas.”

    This traditional meal is cooked by harnessing the natural heat emanating from the earth. Locals prepare a mouthwatering stew of meats, vegetables, and aromatic spices, which is then placed in large pots and buried in the ground.

    The combination of the volcanic heat and steam creates a slow-cooking process that results in a uniquely delicious and tender dish. Don’t miss the chance to taste this culinary masterpiece and savor the flavors that are infused by the volcanic landscape.

    Exploring the geothermal activity in Lagoa das Furnas is a captivating experience that allows you to connect with the raw power of nature. As you marvel at the fumaroles and hot springs, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the volcanic origins of the Azores and the fascinating geology that shapes this extraordinary landscape.

    Indulge in Tranquility at Poça da Dona Beija

    For a truly relaxing experience near Lagoa das Furnas, look no further than Poça da Dona Beija!

    This serene thermal pool complex offers the perfect retreat to unwind and rejuvenate both your body and mind.

    Step into the inviting waters and feel the gentle embrace of the warm, mineral-rich springs. As you immerse yourself in the pools, the natural elements work their magic, revitalizing your senses and promoting a deep sense of relaxation.

    One distinctive feature of Poça da Dona Beija is its iron source, which imparts a slight brownish hue to the water. This unique characteristic adds to the overall ambiance and enhances the therapeutic properties of the hot springs. Allow the soothing waters to envelop you as you let go of any tension and stress.

    It’s important to note that due to the popularity of Poça da Dona Beija, there is a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes per visit. To make the most of your experience, it is advisable to arrive early and secure your spot.

    Conveniently located near the complex, there is a dedicated car park where you can safely leave your vehicle. This ensures easy access to the pools, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings.

    Whether you’re seeking a moment of calm solitude or a peaceful getaway with loved ones, Poça da Dona Beija provides the ideal setting to relax, recharge, and embrace the soothing powers of the thermal waters. Discover the ultimate sanctuary for serenity and wellness at this remarkable thermal pool complex in the heart of Furnas Lake.

    Explore the Captivating Geothermal Wonders of the Furnas Caldera (Caldeira das Furnas)

    Caldeira Lagoa das Furnas - Açores.
    The Furnas Caldera – Azores.

    Embark on a remarkable journey to the mesmerizing Caldeira das Furnas, a geothermal area that showcases the raw power of nature in all its glory. Located in the Azores, this open-air space is a must-visit destination for those seeking an immersive experience with volcanic activity.

    As you venture into the Caldeira das Furnas, prepare to be awe-struck by the impressive fumaroles that dot the landscape. These natural steam vents allow you to witness the mesmerizing sight of boiling water bubbling up from beneath the earth’s surface. It’s a true spectacle that highlights the dynamic forces at work in this volcanic region.

    While exploring the area, you may notice a distinctive smell of sulfur lingering in the air. This odor, while part of the authentic experience, can occasionally become overwhelming. Nonetheless, it serves as a reminder of the intense geothermal activity taking place beneath your feet.

    To truly grasp the geological marvels of the Furnas Caldera, consider joining a guided tour. Led by knowledgeable experts, these tours provide invaluable insights into the complex volcanic processes that have shaped this extraordinary landscape. Gain a deeper understanding of the area’s volcanic origins, the significance of the fumaroles, and the incredible natural forces that continue to shape this ever-evolving environment.

    Visiting the Furnas Caldera is an unforgettable experience that should undoubtedly be included in your itinerary when exploring the Azores. Immerse yourself in the captivating sights, sounds, and scents of this geothermal wonderland and marvel at the extraordinary power of nature on full display.

    Take a Boat Trip on Furnas Lake (Lagoa das Furnas Azores)

    Indulge in the Serenity of Lagoa das Furnas in the Azores with a Boat Trip and savor the tranquility of Lagoa das Furnas as you embark on a serene boat trip across its pristine waters.

    This lake offers a captivating setting where you can immerse yourself in nature’s beauty and enjoy a peaceful escape from the bustling world.

    Lagoa das Furnas is not only a haven of tranquility but also a sanctuary for a diverse range of bird species.

    Keep a keen eye out for the graceful flight of birds soaring above the lake’s surface or perched on the branches of nearby trees.

    From majestic herons to colorful ducks, the avian residents of Lagoa das Furnas offer a delightful spectacle for birdwatching enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

    Immersing yourself in the peaceful ambiance of Furnas Lake (Lagoa das Furnas) through a boat trip provides a unique perspective on this enchanting destination.

    Embark on Scenic Hiking Trails around Furnas Lake in the Azores

    Cozido das Furnas a sair do forno.
    Furnas Stew (Cozido das Furnas).

    If you have a love for exploring nature on foot, then Furnas Lake (Lagoa das Furnas) in the Azores is a true paradise awaiting your discovery.

    This region offers a variety of well-marked trails that allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings while enjoying a safe and rewarding hiking experience.

    One notable trail to explore is the PRC06SMI, which begins at Largo das Três Bicas in Furnas and concludes at the exact same location.

    This scenic route spans approximately 9.5 kilometers and can be comfortably completed within a three-hour timeframe. However, if you find yourself captivated by the breathtaking scenery and frequently stopping to capture memorable snapshots, it may take a bit longer.

    The PRC06SMI trail is suitable for hikers of varying levels, including families with children.

    However, it is important to equip yourself with appropriate footwear, ample water, and snacks to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey. The trail presents a wonderful opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with loved ones, teaching children about the wonders of nature and fostering a sense of adventure in the great outdoors.

    Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Lagoa das Furnas in the Azores as you embark on these captivating hiking trails.

    Immerse Yourself in the Delights of Azorean Cuisine with a Traditional Furnas Meal

    Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure as you indulge in the rich and unique flavors of the Azores with a traditional Furnas meal.

    This gastronomic experience will take your taste buds on a journey of discovery, allowing you to savor the authentic and hearty dishes that define the region’s culinary heritage.

    One of the highlights of Azorean cuisine is the renowned Cozido das Furnas, a mouthwatering meat and vegetable stew that is cooked using the natural geothermal heat of the earth.

    This traditional method of cooking gives the Cozido a distinct and tantalizing flavor that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

    The stew is prepared by burying pots filled with various cuts of meat, such as beef, pork, and chicken, along with an array of locally sourced vegetables, including cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and yams, in the hot volcanic soil of Furnas.

    As the ingredients slowly cook underground, they absorb the natural flavors and essences, resulting in a tender and succulent dish bursting with savory goodness.

    When the time comes to indulge in the Cozido das Furnas, you’ll be greeted with a feast for the senses.

    The aroma of the simmering stew fills the air, enticing your appetite and building anticipation for the flavorful journey that lies ahead.

    Each bite offers a harmonious blend of tender meats and perfectly cooked vegetables, delivering a delightful balance of textures and tastes.

    The Cozido embodies the essence of Azorean cuisine, showcasing the region’s reliance on locally sourced ingredients and the skillful craftsmanship of its culinary traditions.

    Embark on a Botanical Journey at Terra Nostra Park

    For those who hold a deep passion for the Azores, Terra Nostra Park is a name that needs no introduction.

    Located near Furnas Lake (Lagoa das Furnas), this botanical garden invites you to immerse yourself in a world of lush beauty and natural wonders.

    Admire the diverse collection of centenary trees at Terra Nostra Park, sourced from various corners of the globe, standing tall and proud as living testaments to the park’s commitment to preserving botanical heritage.

    One of the highlights of Terra Nostra Park is the renowned Terra Nostra thermal pool.

    Indulge in a unique and rejuvenating experience as you immerse yourself in the warm, mineral-rich waters of this natural marvel.

    The pool’s iron-rich composition lends the water a distinctive brown hue, accentuating its healing properties and creating a truly therapeutic environment.

    It’s important to note that the iron content in the water may cause some discoloration to your swimsuit. To avoid any damage to your favorite swimwear, it is advisable to bring along an older set specifically for this purpose. This way, you can fully enjoy the rejuvenating qualities of the Terra Nostra thermal pool without any concerns.

    With its captivating gardens, vibrant flora, and natural wonders, Terra Nostra Park is a destination that promises to captivate visitors of all ages. Whether you choose to dedicate your time to leisurely strolls, tranquil moments in the thermal pool, or simply immersing yourself in the park’s serene atmosphere, you’re sure to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

    Indulge in the Unique Delight of Purple Tea at Chalet da Tia Mercês

    Chá Roxo no Chalet da Tia Mercês (Furnas).
    Purple tea from Tia Mercês’ Chalet (Furnas).

    Step into the world of Tia Mercês Chalet, where an extraordinary experience awaits you – the transformation of green tea into a captivating shade of purple.

    This charming establishment is renowned for its ability to create a truly peculiar tea-drinking adventure that will delight your senses and ignite your curiosity.

    The magic behind this enchanting phenomenon lies in the interaction between the antioxidants found in green tea and the thermal water it encounters.

    As these elements come together, the green tea undergoes a mesmerizing color change, turning a vibrant shade of purple. It’s a testament to the remarkable chemistry of nature and a testament to the creativity and innovation at Chalet da Tia Mercês.

    During your visit, you and your children will have the opportunity to embark on a delightful tasting journey.

    Start by sampling green tea made with ordinary tap water, allowing you to appreciate its familiar flavor profile. Then, move on to the simple spring thermal water, experiencing the subtle nuances it imparts to the tea.

    Finally, savor the unique taste of green tea infused with the thermal water, relishing in the remarkable transformation and the exquisite flavor it brings forth. Each sip will be a delightful exploration of how time and interaction shape the character of this beloved beverage.

    To enhance your tea experience, Chalet da Tia Mercês offers a selection of delicious cookies that perfectly complement the flavors and aromas of the tea.

    Before you leave, make sure to visit the shop, where you’ll find an array of locally produced items to take home. From tea leaves and accessories to other culinary delights, you can bring a piece of the Chalet da Tia Mercês experience with you.

    Is Furnas Lake Worth Visiting on São Miguel Island?

    Furnas Lake is a captivating destination that is certainly worth exploring.

    To make the most of your visit, consider renting a car to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and attractions of the area. If time permits, extending your stay for one or more nights will allow you to fully appreciate the wonders that await you.

    I use and recommend renting a car in the Azores, Portugal, through Discovercars, as they offer the most competitive prices, in my opinion, and provide excellent customer support.

    For those with a curiosity for scientific knowledge, the Furnas Monitoring and Research Center is a must-visit. Spend a couple of hours delving into the fascinating research conducted in this facility, gaining insights into the geological and ecological aspects of the Furnas region. It’s an opportunity to expand your understanding of the area’s natural wonders.

    Another delightful experience awaits at the Old Caldeiras Orchard in Lagoa das Furnas in the Azores.

    Wander along the walkways, surrounded by picturesque orchards, and marvel at the historical remnants of the region’s volcanic activity.

    The juxtaposition of nature’s beauty and the geological formations offers a unique perspective that is sure to captivate your imagination.

    In conclusion, a visit to Furnas Lake on São Miguel Island promises a rewarding and enriching experience. Whether it’s exploring captivating gardens, immersing yourself in scientific research, or simply basking in the tranquility of nature, Furnas Lake and its surrounding attractions offer a diverse range of experiences that will leave a lasting impression.

    So, grab a car, embark on an adventure, and uncover the hidden gems that await you in this remarkable destination.

    Tours to visit Lagoa das Furnas from Ponta Delgada

    If you’re staying in Ponta Delgada and prefer not to rent a car to explore the Furnas Lake area, joining an organized group tour can be an ideal solution.

    Several options are available to cater to different preferences and travel styles.

    One popular choice is a thrilling 4×4 tour that takes you from Ponta Delgada to Furnas. Embark on an exciting adventure as you traverse rugged terrains and witness the natural beauty of the region. The four-wheel-drive vehicle ensures a thrilling and immersive experience as you explore the scenic landscapes on your way to Furnas.

    If you prefer a more relaxed and comfortable journey, a van tour with lunch is an excellent alternative.

    Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic drive from Ponta Delgada to Furnas in the comfort of a spacious van. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the captivating sights and learn about the rich history and culture of the region. The tour also includes a delicious lunch, allowing you to savor local flavors and culinary delights.

    Both tour options provide convenient transportation from Ponta Delgada to Furnas, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the journey without the hassle of driving and navigation.

    By joining an organized group, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Furnas area, soak in its natural wonders, and discover its cultural treasures with the guidance and expertise of knowledgeable tour guides.

    Choose the tour that best suits your preferences and embark on a memorable journey to Lagoa das Furnas, experiencing the beauty and charm of this remarkable destination in the Azores.

    Restaurants to try Furnas stew (cozido das Furnas)

    Cozido das Furnas - São Miguel - Açores.
    Cozido das Furnas – São Miguel – Azores.

    When it comes to trying the famous Cozido das Furnas, there are several renowned restaurants in the area that offer this traditional dish.

    While Restaurante Tonys and O Miroma are among the most well-known establishments, there are other options worth exploring.

    One restaurant we personally chose to visit was O Miroma, and we had a fantastic experience. We learned that the key to achieving a flavorful stew without the overpowering sulfur aroma is to tightly seal the pan before placing it in the oven.

    At O Miroma, the vegetables and meat in the Cozido were perfectly cooked, resulting in a delicious and satisfying meal. The portion sizes were so generous that we ended up taking some leftovers home.

    To truly complete the experience, make sure to visit Lagoa das Furnas and witness the pots being unearthed from the volcanic ovens. It’s a captivating sight that adds to the authenticity of the culinary tradition.

    Please note that there is an entrance fee of €3 per person to access Parque das Furnas.

    However, this fee allows you the flexibility to come and go throughout the day as many times as you like. Additionally, if you decide to visit Grená Park, the amount you paid for Parque das Furnas will be deducted from the ticket price, which is €10.

    Hotels in Furnas

    Sala de estar na Tradicampo (Açores).
    Living-room in Tradicampo (Azores).

    During our visit to Furnas, we had the pleasure of staying at Tradicampo Eco-Country Houses in Algarvia, located just a short 20-minute drive away from Furnas Lake. Our experience there was exceptional, and we highly recommend it to fellow travelers.

    We opted for a T2 accommodation that included a fully equipped kitchen. This feature proved to be incredibly useful, especially when we wanted to enjoy the remaining stew from the furnas as our dinner. Having the convenience of a kitchen allowed us to make the most of our culinary experiences.

    Furthermore, Tradicampo Eco-Country Houses boasts additional amenities such as a refreshing swimming pool, beautifully maintained gardens, and bicycles available for the entire family. These added features provided ample opportunities for relaxation, recreation, and quality time together.

    Staying at Tradicampo Eco-Country Houses in Algarvia offered us the perfect blend of comfort, convenience, and a serene environment away from the bustling center of Furnas. The accommodation’s attention to eco-friendly practices and the warm hospitality of the staff added to the overall delightful experience.

    If you’re looking for a peaceful and eco-conscious place to stay near Furnas, we wholeheartedly recommend considering Tradicampo Eco-Country Houses in Algarvia for an unforgettable stay on São Miguel Island in the Azores.

    Book Tradicampo Eco-Country Houses

    How to get to Lagoa das Furnas Azores

    To reach Lagoa das Furnas in the Azores, you have a couple of options depending on what you wish to explore.

    If you’re interested in visiting the Lagoa itself, the timings for access vary based on the time of year.

    From April to October, the Lagoa is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00, while from November to March, it is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10:00 and 17:00. These hours allow you to plan your visit accordingly and make the most of your time at this captivating destination.

    If your focus is primarily on the calderas in the center of Furnas, you’re in luck! As it is an open-air location, you have the freedom to visit at any time that suits you best.

    To get to Lagoa das Furnas in The Azores from Ponta Delgada, you’ll want to follow the EN1-1A route. This road will lead you directly to your destination, covering a distance of approximately 40 kilometers. Enjoy the scenic drive and take in the beautiful surroundings as you make your way to this natural wonder.

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