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Dare to explore – 3 days itinerary

Dare to explore – 3 days itinerary

Day 1

Leave the resort in direction to Ponta Delgada city

- Go up to covoada, stop at pico do carvão viewpoint where you can see the peaks region. From here it is possible to observe the narrowest part of the island between the north and south coast, with just 8km.

- Visit the empadadas little lakes after passing the old aqueduct.

- Stop at gruta do inferno/canário lake viewpoint. Here you can follow a little trail that leads you to one of the most iconic viewpoints of the island. From this point, it is possible to have a different perspective of Sete Cidades volcanic crater.

- Next stop – Vista do Rei (King’s view). This is one of the most well-known viewpoints of the island. At this place, the last king of Portugal saw a view worthy of a king, the blue and green lakes. At this viewpoint, you will find the Monte Palace hotel that was closed to the public in 1991 and then abandoned. Caution: currently this hotel is private property but it is still in ruins. Any visit to the inside is dangerous for the visitor.

- Go down in direction to Sete Cidades parish. On the way down you will find 2 viewpoints, where you can do a pit stop (cerrado das freiras and Santiago lake).

- Cross the bridge between the lakes and stop close to the lakes. Optional: small detour to the tunnel on the side of the blue lake.

- Leave the parish to várzea. Stop at Mosteiros, the western most part of the island. This is a fishing village, where you can see some natural swimming pools in the ocean, and one of the black sand beaches of the island. Leave mosteiros in direction to ferraria*. On the way, stop at escalvado viewpoint, where you can have an overview to mosteiros (right side) and ferraria (left side).

- Return to Ponta Delgada by the south coast. Optional Geoturism: visit gruta do carvão (volcanic cave) to see some underground geological formations (entrance fee).

- Stop in the capital. Here you can simply walk around the typical narrow roads in the city centre, observe the architecture of the old buildings, visit the local market or some of the gardens (António Borges, Palácio de Sant’Ana (entrance fee) and José do Canto (entrance fee).

- Visit the Azorean pineapple plantation in Fajã de Baixo.

- Cross são roque and melicias beaches in direction to lagoa city. Optional: stop at Vieira ceramic factory

Return to the resort.

Day 2

Leave the resort in direction to fogo lake. Go up on the north flank. Detour from the main road to visit salto do cabrito waterfall.

- Return to the main road. Optional stop at caldeira velha*.

- Continue going up until you get to fogo lake viewpoint. From here it is possible to see the best view over one of the most beautiful lakes of the island. On the way up to the highest point of this volcano, exists several viewpoints where you can stop, with views over the lake and the north coast.

- After passing Barrosa peak, start to go down in direction to the south coast of the island.

- Driving along the south coast in direction to Vila Franca do Campo, you can do a detour to caloura. Place to visit one of the most scenic natural pools

- Cross Água d’alto beaches

- Stop in Vila franca do campo to enjoy the view over the village and the islet natural reserve (Nossa Senhora da Paz viewpoint). Visit the traditional cakes factory, close to the marina.

- Leave the village to furnas. You can do a detour to congro lake (here follow the trail until you reach the lake).

- Continue to furnas. Stop close to the lake where you can see the place where the traditional stew is cooked under the ground with the heat from the volcano (entrance fee). There are other attractions close to this lake: Grená park (entrance fee), José do Canto Garden (entrance fee) or you can do the trail around de lake (approximately 1H30).

- Go down to furnas village. Stop for thermal baths: Terra Nostra Park and Poça da Dona Beija*.

- Visit the hot springs and fumaroles where you can see evidences of the volcanic activity of the island. Optional: visit the bolo levedo (sweet bread) factory and furnense cheese factory.

- Leave furnas from the north coast. Stop at pico do ferro viewpoint, where you can see a different perspective over furnas volcanic crater.

- On the way to Ribeira Grande, stop at the oldest tea factory in Europe (Gorreana), to visit the plantation and taste the tea. You can do a detour to São Brás lake before stopping in Ribeira Grande to visit the city. In the central square you can visit the garden of paradise, where the stream that gives the name to the city runs to the ocean and the 9 arches bridge. Optional: visit the liquor factory (mulher do capote). Geological landmark: fountain buried by the volcanic eruption of 1563 (ribeira seca).

Return to resort

Day 3

Leave the resort to nordeste. Stop at Santa Iria viewpoint to check the coastline. Possible detour until moinhos beach in Porto Formoso.

- Cross salga village and stop at salto da farinha, a 40 meters high waterfall. Before you get to nordeste village, stop at ribeira dos caldeiroes natural park (free entrance). This is a park with an exotic look, where you can find a small trail along the stream to see several waterfall and old watermills.

- Continue to Nordeste village. Here you can stop to visit the central square.

- After leaving the village in direction to the eastern part of the island, exists sevral viewpoints where it is possible to observe the big cliffs along the coast. Vigia dos barcos/farol do arnel, ponta do sossego and ponta da madrugada.

- For those who like hiking trails, do a detour from the regional road to faial da terra. Here exists a official trail, with approximately 5km, where you can adventure yourself through the luxuriant vegetation until you reach Salto do Prego waterfall.

- Return to the main road and go to Povoação. Stop at the village to visit the first place of the settlement in the island. Leave the village to Salto do Cavalo viewpoint, where you can have a panoramic view over Furnas and Povoação volcanic craters.

Return to resort by the north coast