Things to Do in Azores
An ancient volcanic zone that has been active for more than 100,000 years, Furnas is a hotbed of thermal activity. The lush area has been attracting spa visitors seeking the water’s healing properties since the 19th century. Close to three active volcanos, citizens of the Portuguese parish use the hot springs, geysers, and other hotspots for a variety of activities—including the cooking of a traditional meal of vegetables and stew underground, called cozido. Heated by the volcanic steam, the dish can take up to seven hours to prepare. Towns sit scenically in and beside large calderas or volcanic craters. There are more than 30 different hot springs, each with their own varying temperature and level of volcanic activity. The heated thermal mineral waters and mud baths are thought to still have therapeutic properties. Furnas makes up one of several small towns on the largest and most populated island of the Azores. There is also a beautiful lake in Furnas that is worth seeing.
The Pico do Carvao viewpoint is a popular lookout spot on Sao Miguel, the largest island of the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. Travelers will find panoramic views of both the northern and southern coasts of the island, including a string of volcanic cones that run from Ponta Delgada to Ribeira Grande.
Standing just over 2,600 feet high (800 meters high), Pico do Carvao also provides splendid views out to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as of several surrounding lakes, including Lake Carvao, Lake Canario and Lake Rasa. The area is quite green and flush with Japanese cedars and tree ferns and is often visited on day trips from Ponta Delgada.
The Azores island cluster lies in the Atlantic a little less than halfway between Lisbon, Portugal and Rhode Island in the U.S. In that cluster is Faial Island, or Ilha do Faial in Portuguese. Measuring only 13 miles long and 10 miles wide, this tiny volcanic island was discovered in 1451 and has since grown to be home to almost 15,000 and, as part of Portugal, is known to be the westernmost point of Europe.
But despite its diminutive size and small population, Faial Island is a treasure trove of protected lands and astonishing natural beauty – from the tip of Cabeço Gordo, its highest mountain, to the coral reefs under the sea. Its capital, Horta, holds almost half of the island's citizens and is a popular port for those traveling from the other islands of the Azores.
Things to do near Azores
- Things to do in Ponta Delgada
- Things to do in Terceira
- Things to do in Madeira
- Things to do in Alentejo
- Things to do in Beiras
- Things to do in Funchal
- Things to do in Cascais
- Things to do in Lisbon
- Things to do in Porto
- Things to do in Vigo
- Things to do in Northern Portugal
- Things to do in Galicia
- Things to do in The Algarve
- Things to do in Canary Islands
- Things to do in Castile and León