The giant ghost hotel in the clouds.
High up on one of the vulcanoes on Sao Miguel you have a big hotel.
The place was build many years ago by someone who did not realise that the weather conditions up on top of this vulcano is not ideal for a hotel as the place is coverd in clouds most of the time and it rains a hell of a lot there.
The hotel was build and furniture put in, but the place went bankrupt before it ever got started and now it has been sitting as an empty shell for many years.
There is still furniture there and the old offices still have paper in them with old bills and you can walk freely around it all as the place is not closed off to the public yet.
This is really one of the more weird sights of the island, but it´s quite interesting to walk through this huge place that was once build as a luxury hotel and is now just a ruin that looks like something out of a horror movie.
Using the place to shoot a horror movie is actually just about the only thing i could see the place being used for these days.
Go and visit this odd sight before the goverment tears it down for security reasons.
It´s located by the viewpoint clled "Vista do rei" where you are overlooking "Sete cidades".
Whale watching points.
Around the island you have several watchout places for whales.
They used to be used by the whale hunters who would have persons stationes there to see if there were any passing whales in the waters, but these days they are used by the companies that takes people whale watching and then they call the people on the boats and give them directions when they take people out to study whales and dolphins.
I think it´s nice that they did not have to take them down when the whale hunting stopped in 1986, but that they can now use them for some other useful purpose and they are also part of the islands history.
- Historical Travel
- Whale Watching
Miradouro de Santa Iria.
Santa Iria is my favorite viewpoint on the northern part of Sao Miguel.
It´s located a little east of Ribeira Grande and shows you some of the nicest coastline on the northn shores of Sao Miguel.
There is quite a bit of parking space there and the place also have public toilets so the services there are pretty good.
It makes a really good stop if you are touring the northern part of Sao Miguel.
Santa Irira was also the site of a big naval battle in 1831 when Portugal had a civil war raging and there is a little memorial for that too at the viewpoint.
- Road Trip
Miradouro Pisao is my favorite viewpoint on the soth coast of Sao Miguel.
It´s located in between Vila France and Agua de Pau and you have a really nice view of the rugged coastline from there.
If you happen to drive along the south coast of Sao Mihuel then i recommend that you make a stop there to enjoy the scenery.
The viewpoint has good parking facilities.
- Road Trip
The chapel of nossa senhora da paz.
The chapel of nossa senhora da paz is located high over Vila Franca and is a small chapel that looks like a copy of "Bom jesus do monte" on the portugese mainland.
It´s a pretty little chapel though with a very nice stairway up to it and the hike up there is really nice and will make you sweat in a healthy way.
You can drive up there but i highly recommend that you walk up there as it´s a really nice hike.
- Hiking and Walking
- Religious Travel
Salto do cavalo.
Salto do cavalo is one of the best viewpoints on the island and located on the center/east point of the island.
From there you can see both coasts on the island and you are looking right down on the Furnas village from there.
- Hiking and Walking
Caldeira Velha is a small spring/waterfall up a little dirt road.
It´s located in between Ribeira Grande and Lagoa do Fogo and is a small stream with a warm water waterfall where you also have a little pool that is popular for swimming.
It´s a real pretty little place to stop if you are heading up to the viewpoint at Lagoa do Fogo.
Ilheu da Vila Franca.
Ilheu da Vila Franca is a small island just off the south coast of Sao Miguel and it´s the remains of a vulcano and the crater is linked to the sea so you have seawater in the middle of theisland and it´s a popular place to sail out in the summer to go swimming.
From the distance it looks like a normal island, but if you see it from the top it has the shape of a ring and you can see it if you get close to it.
It´s located by the village "Vila Franca" and in the summer you have small boats taking people out to the island, so if you are there during summer months then you have the option to visit the island.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Sailing and Boating
Agua de pau.
Agua de pau is a small town on the south coast of Sao Miguel that has a fair bit of fishing families aswell as other citizens.
The town has a nice little town center and a pretty little harbour about a kilometer from the town where you also have a salt water swimming pool where you can go for a swim.
Agua de pau is not a huge sight, but a nice little place to pop by if you want to experience every day life of the Azores.
Achada is located on the north eastern part of Sao Miguel and has a really pretty waterfall aswell as an old watermill that still functions.
It´s located along the road you will most likely take if you are going back to the center of the island after visiting Nordeste and it makes a perfect stop along the way.
It´s really a pretty little place and you have a little cafe next to the watermill too where you can have a coffee and use the bathroom if you need.
Prego's waterfall and Sanguinho
In the village of Faial da Terra, you will find Sanguinho, a place where the time stopped. In Sanguinho all inhabitants migrated and emigrated some years ago. Nowadays the adandoned houses are being rebuilted and adapted for tourism.
The waterfall and Sanguinho, located 1.8 km and 1.0 Km, respectivelly from Faial da Terra Village, can be seen making a medium difficult trekking. Go up to the river to find signs.
Public transportation is availabe by both CRP line 115, and Varela line 326. Faial da terra is best reached by bus from Povoação village.
Please, download files for complete timetable!
A natural hot swimming pool in the ocean. Also a Thermal centre is available.
Nowadays the route is good, and you can go down to the sea level by car.
This place is located at the southwest side of the island in Ginetes village.
If you want to travel to this location by public transportation, take line buses 205 or 206 in Ponta Delgada at the station located a few metres from the Tourist Post Office (same side), going to Sete Cidades or Mosteiros villages. You must get off at Ginetes village church. From this point, you have a long walk until you reach Ferraria, maybe 2 km.
Please note: the sea water is warm while the tide is low!
Natural heated Swimming pool
Have you ever swum in The Atlantic Ocean?
Have you ever swum in the atlantic Ocean while it´s 27 degrees Celsius?
If you have answered no on the second question you should go to the Portuguese island São Miguel and Ponta da Ferraria. After a deep descent of about 50-70m on a narrow serpentine gravel road you are actually not thinking of going swimming anymore, your´e just happy about you and your car coming down in one piece.
After a small walk across the characteristic black lava rocks that surrounds the island you have finally reached your goal of the hot natural swimming pool of ponta da Ferraria. The pool is actually a small lagoon shaped as an ellipse embedded in the black lava rocks with a small opening straight into the atlantic ocean whose waves constantly break across the sharp rocks.
a hot spring heatens the water in the lagoon up to 27 degrees Celsius (when I swam there) and may even become hotter at some days. The temperature of the water depends strongly on the tide and the best times to go are early in the morning or in the afternoon.
A word of caution though...
The currents in the lagoon are quite strong so general precaution should be taken to avoid beeing pulled towards the sharp cliffs.
Ponta da Ferraria is located at the western point of the Island and is accessible by car. When I was there(2008) the condition of the roads were bad or extremely bad.
- Diving and Snorkeling
When you are going to Sete Cidade from the village of Covoada, you will find many small lakes before reaching Sete Cidades lakes. All these lakes are inserted in a Protected Landscape.
Just take the trail on your left side in front to the entrance to the park and lake of Canário.
This characteristic place, among vineyards protected by stone walls, is located in Água de Pau village. Here one can find a picturesque fishing port on a narrow creek, and a swimming-pool at the end of the breakwater.
Places to visit: Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição. This monument, an interesting example of Baroque architecture, is integrated in the monastery of Recollects (Calouras) and was founded in the 17th century. Façade and interior are covered with glazed tiles Chancel, retable with funny angels with thick moustaches. Glazed tile portraits of Saint Teresa of Ávila and Saint Philip Nery. Statues are attributed to a French sculptor who, with his son, lived among the Recollects of Franciscan monks. Altars come with carved woodwork, and tombstones with poetical inscriptions. Interesting gratings carved out of the store of the lateral façade. Churchyard with a bucolic atmosphere and leafy trees Ruins of former fortifications.
Fort Nossa Senhora da Conceição. This fortress was built in the 17th century to defend the harbour.
Take the first route on your right side after passing Água de Pau Square.
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