After our amazing start into our trip with the obligatory whale watching tour, we headed for the center of the island of Sao Miguel. The Azores emerged from volcanic activity and in Furnas you can witness the active past of the island. For example, the lake Lagoa das Furnas is a crater lake with calderas at the north side of it. I have never seen any signs of volcanic activities (or remnants of it) before, so this was also a first. If I am not mistaken, the steams were sulfuric (some stones were yellow color) and the hot springs there were ferrous.
In Furnas itself you can find a ferrous pool, which is supposed to be having healing qualities. The pool is really warm, so even though it was raining we could swim and just hangout in the water, which was way warmer than the outside temperature! For 5€ entrance fee you can swim there the entire day. Dressing rooms and showers are available on site.
There is also a beautiful park presenting the flora of the Azores. I felt a bit like in the rainforest, least to say that I was impressed and enjoyed the unique nature there. For all so far mentioned activities I recommend to plan an entire day for this. The hike to Lagoa das Furnas is exhausting and swimming in the ferrous pool felt somewhat harder than in normal water. Also, you want to make sure you have enough time to explore the park in Furnas.
As for the travelling on Sao Miguel, you can either hire a rent-a-car or take busses. For shorter distances and depending on your budget, Taxis are also a convenient method of getting around. If you are travelling on a budget, I recommend travelling by bus. The bus schedules are available at the tourist information in Ponta Delgada at the harbor. Note that busses from Ponta Delgada to Furnas, for example, operate only twice a day. You should take the morning bus and make sure you don’t miss the return bus in the late afternoon. The one-way fare is just 4 Euros (compared to an average day-rent of minimum 30 Euros for a car). If you are really fit, you can also hike throughout the entire island, as it is very small. This is too hardcore for me, but for those who have a passion for hiking it will be most enjoyable since the Azores offer unique views and amazing nature.
The next time I will tell you all about horse riding, followed by a unique experience and reviews on the local food and people. Until then, stay healthy and fit, lovelies!