Sao Miguel - Top points of interest in Sao Miguel island
A list of the Top points of interest in Sao Miguel
Sao Miguel known as the green Island is like the capital island of the nine Azores Archipelago island because of what it has to offer both below and above water. There are many points or areas in Sao Miguel that tourists could have a filled day with different grand natural attractions. Some of them we explore below.
Lagoa do Fogo
Lagoa do Fogo also known as 'Lake of Fire' is a crater lake at the center of Sao Miguel Island in the Azores, Portugal of about 2 km long and 1 km wide. It sits within the Agua de Pau stratovolcano.
With the large blue lake surrounded by lush thick green vegetation, Hikers will have incredible views of Vila Franca do Campo and Ribeira da Praia and get to see different plant species as trek almost five hours to get to the banks of Lagoa do Fogo.
Jarden Botanico Terra Nostra Garden
A garden in Furnas valley which could be seen from the top of the Pico do Ferro viewpoint.This botanical garden geothermal pool baths, due to the magnificent scenery and the variety and richness of the exotic vegetation that attracts both the locals and the foreigners.
The Park is divided into two zones: the upper part, occupied by the denser forests and marshes with tree species such as oaks, black and white poplars, cedars, araucarias, tulip trees, camellias, arboreal ferns, hydrangeas, azaleas and rhododendrons, and the lower area, between the banks of the Ribera Amarela and the Serpentina de Agua, where you can find walks, lawns, ponds, and fountains.
Lagoa das Furnas
Lagoa das FurnasL is one of the three main crater lakes on Sao Miguel. With boiling water and mud gushing out of the holes in the ground and even warm lake water, you can have a hot bath or let the locals cook stew in pots dipped into the naturally boiling water of the calderas.Though the stew has a specific taste but it's definitely worth a try!
There are multiple geothermal springs in the area where you can have a fun-filled day.
Poca da Dona Beija
'Dona Beija' is one of the most popular places in Sao Miguel's Island, Azores. Even though the archipelago of the Azores was created from many volcanic eruptions, there are a copious amount of hot springs bubbling up from beneath the earth thereby creating natural thermal baths all over the island of Sao Miguel.
One of the places this happens is Poca da Dona Beija which comprised of 5 thermal pools located in the town of Furnas. There are many therapeutic benefits of the naturally heated pools with a tinted rich shade of orange, which is the presence of iron in the water. Iron helps regulate body temperature and if your iron levels are too low, you might experience restless leg syndrome.
Iron also helps fight fatigue so if you're feeling jet-lagged a visit is especially helpful!
Caldeira Velha is one of the important geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark, Environmental Interpretation Centre of Caldeira Velha which features a thermal spring that feeds two natural pools with temperatures of 27 C (80 F) and 38 C (100 F). You may also want to learn about the geological origins, geodiversity, and biodiversity of the Azores and to peruse the samples of endemic plant life and rocks in the center.
The onsite 320 m (960 ft) Water Spring Walking Trail provides a fine warmup for your soak in the geothermal pools surrounded by dense and diverse vegetation. The center is surrounded by nature and you have many different tanks with warm temperatures, all you need to do is to choose the right temperature with whom you wish to be soaked.
Ponta da Ferraria
LPonta da FerrariaL is a hot Spring In The Ocean located between Ginetes and Mosteiros on the western tip of Sao Miguel. One of the unique things about this spot is that it is that it is a little natural swimming pool that is fed by a hot spring.
A coastal spot with a hot natural swimming pool taking feeds from the ocean which temperature reaches 28 degrees Celsius at low tide.
Museu Carlos Machado
This museum is founded in 1876 by Carlos Maria Gomes Machado and situated in the former Santo Andre Convent. It was initially assembling collections of Azorean Natural History (Zoology, botanic, geology, mineralogy) and later, the museum extended its collection to sacred arts, regional ethnography, painting, tile art, sculpture, gold and silver work and old toys.
You can peruse through it as it has different collections of Azorean history.
Forte de Sao Bras de Ponta Delgada
Located in the beautiful town of Ponta Delgada, the capital of the amazing Sao Miguel Island and of the wonderful Azores Archipelago, the construction started in 1552 under the plan of Manuel Machado and was reformulated in 1553 by Isidoro de Almeida to defend the area against the many pirate raids. A typical Renaissance fortress, it underwent several different changes and additions during the 19th century.
Till this day, the fort serves as a base for the Portuguese navy.the LSao Bras' FortL or Castle is the most important exemplar of military architecture from the 16th century on the Island, housing nowadays the interesting Military Museum of the Azores.
Jardim Antonio Borges
Antonio Borges Garden once belonged to the estate of Antonio Borges Medeiros, a trader and politician from the Azores who was interested in Botany and himself an amateur botanist, introduced new species and several exotic ones to the Island, transforming his own property into a very rich and interesting Botanical Garden.
The romantic Antonio Borges Park is one of the biggest green areas in the wonderful town of Ponta Delgada and for sure one of the most pleasant places of the Sao Miguel's Island capital, in the Azores Archipelago.
This lovely green space represents as well the romantic and picturesque spirit and ambiance of the 19th century and is nowadays stage of the most diversified sport, leisure, and cultural activities throughout the year.
Gruta do Carvao
Gruta do Carvao interpret in English as Grotto of Coal is an old lava tube located on the outskirts of Ponta Delgada in the civil parish of Santa Clara on the island of Sao Miguel. It is reputed to be the largest lava tunnel on the island of Sao Miguel with the cave located on the western edge of Ponta Delgada and extends for 5,410 ft.
Gruta do Carvao is divided into three sections: Rua de Lisboa (or Secadores de Tabaco), Rua do Paim and Rua Jo'o do Rego although, older documents and fieldwork suggests that the tube is actually longer, and may reach a length of 5 kilometers (3.1 mi). The section at Rua do Paim is approximately 557 meters (1,827 ft) long, with an internal cavity that is at its maximum extent 6.4 meters (21 ft) high and 8 meters (26 ft) wide.
Along the cavern walls are different volcanic structures such as lateral benches, branching galleries, lava bridges, stalactites, stalagmites, lava balls, spongy lavas, columns, glaze and tree molds. Due to its scientific, educational and touristic importance and relevance, as well as its natural characteristics, the Gruta do Carv'o was classified as a Regional natural Monument on 11 May 2005 by Regional Decree 4/2005/A.
Terra Nostra Gardens
It is a garden in the frunas valley which has been in existence for over 200 years and can be seen from the top of the Pico do Ferro viewpoint. The 'valley' is actually a crater, seven kilometers in diameter, and the last remains of an apparently long-extinct volcano.
The Furnas Valley became popular towards the end of the 18th century, due mainly to the use of mineral water to treat health challenges, such as obesity and rheumatism. Furnas has hundreds of small springs and streams, all with different properties with the Garden located in the midst of this magnificent water system. Terra Nostra has continued to enrich its botanical value through the acquisition of new plant species.
With constant concern to diversify and enrich the existing plants ensures that the garden now has large collections with plants of major historical and cultural value. These collections include the Fern Collection, the Camellia Collection, the Cycadales Collection, the Bromeliad Collection.
The different species and cultivars of camellias which are over six hundred found in the garden enrich the natural landscape and create an environment of unique beauty, from autumn - with the flowering of the Sasanqua camellia until spring - with the flowering of the other species.
All of the existing flora, in a garden area of almost thirteen hectares contribute with their colors, forms and growth to making the garden a fine destination in itself, and wonderful to visit any time of the year.
To really get a view of the Island from one spot, the Lighthouse Arnel is perfectly placed to serve this purpose. A Well maintained monument with the landscape sided by sea, the vegetation is unique. A postcard of the island so to say. From here, you can catch a glimpse of the whole area in one shot. It's worth stopping by!
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