hotspring Travelguide

My favorite places on São Miguel (Azores)

Recommended: Spend half a year quarantined on the island so you can explore the entire island and know all the best hot springs, hikes and beaches! If you have less time this list will help you to pick some natural highlights.

Hot springs for bathing, paid

  • Poço da Dona Beija, Furnas: 4 outdoor pools with water massage in a wonderful setting; 6 Euro entrance; 2 Euro towel fee; 1 Euro locker fee
  • Parque Terra Nostra, Furnas: Two outdoor jacuzzi style pools and a epic lake in a botanical garden; 8 Euros entrance; 4 Euro towel fee
  • Termas das Caldeiras; Ribeira Grande: Two outdoor pools in a small backyard; Quaint place to chill with a more local crowd; 3 Euro entrance; Private indoor pool and massages on reservation. excellent restaurant across the street;
  • Caldeira Velha; Ribeira Grande: 2 outdoor pools and a luke warm waterfall in a park-like setting; 8 Euro entrance
  • Furnas Boutique Hotel; Furnas: Can’t tell for sure since I did not go: They should have a outdoor and an indoor pool as part of their spa; 30 Euro entrance if you are not staying at the hotel. They make equally amazing pizza in the hotel restaurant; nicy but pricy

Thermal springs, free

  • Ponta da Ferraria, Ginetes: Volcanic rocks forming a interesting shore; At one place hot water mixes into the sea: To enjoy it you got to come at low tide when there is little waves.
  • Poça da Silvina, Furnas: Single outdoor pool near a park between cold river and a road; Scalding hot water makes it hard at first but you can bath your feet; If you bring a bucket you could probably shovel enough cold water from the river until the pool gets cool enough to sit inside;
  • Vale das Lombadas; Ribeira Grande: Embedded in a stunning remote valley connected by a old cobblestone paved road leading to the ruins of an long abandoned water bottling plant. Where the two rivers a meeting, in the riverbed you can find several spots with bubbling warm-ish water (≈25℃). Bit further downstream you also find lukewarm water spurting from surreal pipe between bushes.
  • Praia do Fogo, Ribeira Quente: Supposedly there is hot spring on the beach making the water a bit warmer; I did not feel it though: A very nice beach anyways!
  • Ladeira da Velha, Porto Formoso: Here you can take a bath in the remains of the pool at the foot of a cliff just off the coast. The water is potassium rich with temparature about 30℃. The bubbles of (presumably) CO₂ seem to be the warmer then the water itself and make a neat jacuzzi experience on a sunny day without being to hot. The nasty looking algae growth and the derelict state might be off-putting to some.

Water springs for drinking

  • Spring of the now defunct bottling plant; Vale das Lombadas (details above)
  • Any of the many thermal springs; Furnas
  • Sparkling water spring; 50m from the parking lot of Salto do Cabrito
  • Agua Férrea das Pachecas; Near Cascata do Porto Formoso
  • Popular roadside spring near Porto Formoso
  • Village water fountain; Aldeia do Sanguinho

My top 10+ waterfalls

  1. Salto do Prego; Faial da Terra
  2. Cascata da Gruta; Lomba de São Pedro
  3. Caldeira Velha; Ribeira Grande (Paid entrance see hot springs)
  4. Cascata do Teofilo; Lomba de São Pedro
  5. Salto da Farinha; Salga
  6. Salto do Cagarrão; Faial da Terra
  7. Cascata da Ribeira Quente; Ribeira Quente
  8. Salto do Rosal; Furnas (3€ entrance incl. botanical garden)
  9. Salto do Cabrito; Ribeira Grande
  10. Poço Azul; Achadinha
  11. Cascata do Porto Formosso; Porto Formoso
  12. Cascata da Ribeira Caldeirões; Achada (fake waterfall at the parking, real waterfall further upstream)
  13. Salto da Cidreira; Gorrena

Hiking trails

To be reviewed, but should be great:


  • Praia Moinhos; Porto Formoso
  • Praia de Santa Bárbara; Ribeira Grande
  • Praia Baixa d’Areia; Água de Pau (Offically closed due to errosion)
  • Praia do Fogo; Ribeira Quente
  • Zona Balnear dos Moinhos das Relvas; Achadinha (only easily accessable during low tide!)
  • Praia dos Mosteiros; Mosteiros
  • Praia da Viola; Lomba da Maia
  • Lombo Gordo; Pedreira

To be reviewed, but should be great:

  • Ilheu da Vila; Vila Franca do Campo
  • Piscinas naturais Frade; Maia

Sweet water bathing spots

  • Cascata do Porto Formosso; Porto Formoso
  • Praia; Lagoa do Fogo; Center of São Miguel
  • Poço da Truta; Trilho do Moinho do Félix; Lomba de São Pedro
  • Cascata da Fajã do Rodrigo; Nordeste
  • Most of the other waterfalls in my top 10 list

Natural sights and places

  • Vale das Lombadas: Mineral water springs in enchanted landscape (see above)
  • Parque Terra Nostra, Furnas: Botanical garden with one of a kind thermal baths (see hot springs)
  • Lagoa do Congro and Logoa do Fogo: each very different but with most amazing natural setting and flora
  • Sanguinho Village, Faial da Terra: reconstructed mountain village
  • Planalto dos Graminhais: Wetland on top the island
  • Monte Palace, Sete Cidades: Abandoned hotel with million dollar view
  • Lagoa das Furnas/Mata Jardim José do Canto: Stroll through the botanical garden, see a baroque chapel and volcanic steam vents
  • Caldeiras das Furnas: Fumaroles and bubbling mineral springs


  • Miradouro da Grota do Inferno; Sete Cidades
  • Miradouro sobra a Logoa do Fogo
  • Salto do Cavalo; Salga–Furnas (this is not a waterfall!)
  • Ponta da Sossego; Nordeste
  • Pico da Vara; Nordeste
  • Viaia das Baleias; Algarvia
  • [unknown name] cape and beach in Finais da Ajuda
  • Miradouro de Santa Iria; Ribeira Grande

Restaurant, Café & Bakeries

  • Borda del Agua; Lagoa: Best for fish!
  • Restaurante da Associação Agrícola; Rabo de Peixe: Best for beef!
  • Restaurante/Bar Caldeiras; Ribeira Grande: Try the Caldo do Cozido (soup made from geothermally cooked stew)!
  • Café Canto do Cais; Capelas: Try the Caldo do Peixe (Fish soup)!
  • Restaurante Pizzaria O Canadiano; Ribeira Grande: Very good Pizza!
  • Pão do Rei, Ponta Delgada: Amazing Pastry and Espresso!
  • Cooperativa Panificação Alegria Paz; Lomba da Fazenda: Typical bread from wood fired oven!
  • Coffee Bar Alfredo; São Brás: Lively road-side Café
  • Restaurante 3 Arcos; Ginetes: Delicious fishes

3 replies on “My favorite places on São Miguel (Azores)”

Thanks for inviting us. It was a dream to travel there with you!
One year i ago! Amazing experience. Thanks Miss you both!

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