Azores: Day 2 (São Miguel)

Azores have an unbelievable amount of hiking trails. Here you can find a really informative website on the trails with some directions and maps. The site is mostly really good, but if some trail is closed, it doesn’t give any information why or when it will be open again. Also the web site is really slow.

So while we are real couch potatoes, we decided to give at least one hiking trail a try. 🙂 When I googled info about Azores, I stumbled upon a blog (that I can’t find anymore). It was written by a couple, who are avid hikers and they did several hikes during their trip to Azores, but they liked one hike the most, so I decided that if we just do one hike, we should do the same one. Luckily it was a level medium and takes approximately two hours, so it seemed to be doable even for us. 😀

The day turned out to be really beautiful and much warmer than we thought, so we were wearing too much clothes for the weather. When we got to the start of the trail we saw this sign:

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Faial de Terra – Salto do Prego (PRC9SMI) hiking trail

I knew that the trail looks like this, but we had no idea whether we should go right or left:

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Hiking trail map

So purely by chance we decided to go right, which was an absolutely right thing to do, which we noticed only at the end of our hike. 🙂 We started with a pretty easy walk through the greenery. The walk is super pretty and there wasn’t a lot of people on the trail despite the beautiful day. The route doesn’t get super difficult at any point, but it was a somewhat sweaty journey due to it being very hot and us wearing too much clothes and the trail did demand some physical shape.

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It is possible to do just a round trail, but the best part was the waterfall at the end of the route. It was such a peaceful place that we stayed there for a long time. The water was also amazingly clear.

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We started walking back and saw some chickens on the way. 🙂

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At the end of the trail we walked through the village, which seemed kind of deserted, but it was well taken care of nevertheless. 🙂 The roads were so steep and narrow, so it seemed kind of impossible to get anything into the village other than by carrying the stuff yourself.

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And here comes the reason why I suggest you start this hike by turning right:

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Part of the trail is super steep brick road. It took us something like 15 min to walk it down, but I swear I would’ve give the entire trail up if we would’ve needed to climb this part of the trail upwards. The walk down was uncomfortable enough. 😀 But the trail did take us two hours as promised and despite being really sweaty, I am happy we did it. 🙂

After the trail we headed towards Caldeiras das Furnas, which is an area with naturally boiling water. Everything was walled off, but it was pretty cool to see smoke rising from different corners and puddles bubbling. The smell of sulphur also warns you. 😉

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Caldeiras das Furnas
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Caldeiras das Furnas
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Caldeiras das Furnas
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Caldeiras das Furnas
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Caldeiras das Furnas

We tried to find some lunch, but it was siesta time. So lunch usually ends around 2 or 3 p.m. and restaurants close for a while and reopen around 5 or 6 p.m. So we had to buy some ice cream and local cakes just to get something to eat. Not the healthiest lunch possible, but at least we got some food in us. 🙂

After Caldeiras das Furnas we headed towards the Terra Nostra Garden, which is a 200-year-old estate founded by a wealthy merchant from Boston with a beautiful garden and has thermal mineral water pools with water at a temperature between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius. There was an entrance fee of 6€ if I remember correctly.

So finally we had an opportunity to wash the sweat off ourselves in a super cold shower and then just lay in a warm water for a while. This time we even had our swimwear and towels with us. 😀 There was a huge pool right in front of the estate:

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Terra Nostra Garden

And a couple of smaller more intimate pools at the left side near the changing cabins. We got this small pool for ourselves for a few minutes, but then a group of about 20 people showed up and joined us. 😀

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Terra Nostra Garden

After enjoying the pools, we took a stroll around the garden, which was really beautiful.

 

 

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On our way back to Ponta Delgada, we stopped by Lagoa das Furnas, which turned out to be a really peaceful lake.

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Lagoa das Furnas
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Lagoa das Furnas

When we came back, I called a restaurant São Pedro and luckily they had a table available for the same night. When we came around seven, the restaurant was quite empty, but within half an hour it was full. When I checked Tripadvisor, this restaurant was listed as #11 of all restaurants in Ponta Delgada, but we were disappointed. The interior was a bit strange and had this new agey purple lighting. The dishes were huge! We ordered starters and main course, but the main course would’ve been enough. The food was ok, but it was really heavy and honestly this was probably my least favorite restaurant on our trip.

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São Pedro

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